MATH1081 - Discrete Mathematics

3 minute read easy

Difficulty: 3/10 · Time Commitment: 4/10 · Enjoyability: 9/10 · Mark: 91


I did MATH1081 (Discrete Mathematics) in Term 2 2021. The subject is everything hard about high school maths combined into one uni subject. While it seems hard at first, there’s actually a lot of really interesting content, especially in graph theory.


  • Well-structured
  • Low difficulty and commitment during the term
  • Lots of resources and prerecorded content
  • Good overview of compsci related topics
  • Tutorials really helpful


  • Wish it covered more in-depth graph theory
  • The assignment is a little tedious and there isn’t enough support



MATH1081 has weekly online modules on the NUMBAS platform which take about 30 mins a week. There are weekly lectures broken up by topic and tutorials to supplement the content. As with other first year courses, there is a big emphasis on proofs and using properties of functions.

There are a few core topics, the most significant of which are:

  • Set Theory
  • Modular Arithmetic
  • Logic
  • Recurrent Relations
  • Graph Theory

Although it seems like a lot of work, it is easy to stay up-to-date and the tutorials are really helpful to consolidate course content.

Lab Tests

The lab tests in this course are far more stressful than the ones in the other first-year maths courses. There is a lot of content crammed into them, some of which isn’t too heavily explained in lectures or past online tutorials. Nonetheless, the fact that the entire questionbank is provided beforehand is extremely helpful and anyone who spends a few hours practicing beforehand has a very good shot at getting full marks.

The way that I prepared was by doing every practice question once and then writing down all the steps for the questions I wasn’t confident with. Using this, I practiced everyday for the week and eventually those steps were consolidated into my memory and I didn’t have to look through those steps again.


The assignment has a long process:

  1. Attempt every question
  2. Submit for peer feedback
  3. Give peer feedback to another student
  4. Edit work taking into account feedback
  5. Submit final assignment

The peer feedback part of the assignment is actually very interesting and reassuring because it provides an opportunity to clarify uncertainties and look at the assignment from the other side of the marking criteria. However, there wasn’t enough time between getting the assignment and having to submit it for feedback.

I recommend starting the assignment as soon as it’s released and finishing it early because trying to attempt so many questions within only a week or two is very stressful. Additionally, it is a good idea to do all assignment work in latex because typeset equations and clear formatting are so much more readable and it is so much quickly to type equations in latex.


  1. Use Latex - It takes literally one minute to create an overleaf account and latex saves hours of tedious work typing and formatting maths in word. It is very easy to learn and there is extensive documentation on many different websites online that make it extremely quick to learn.
  2. Start the assignment early - It is so much easier to finish and edit the assignment when it’s done early and that leaves so much time to do other subjects and fix any mistakes you find later on.
  3. Watch the lectures at 2x speed - The lectures are extremely slow and there is often not too much content in each video. It’s a good idea to skim through lecture recording at 2-3x speed and skip the irrelevant content because this saves so much time and actually emphasises the content that matters.
  4. There is no scaling - This course usually isn’t scaled at all unlike the other first year maths courses so make sure to keep that in mind when setting expectations for yourself for lab tests and the finals. The final exam in this course is significantly easier than other first year maths subjects and with basic revision and high goals, any mark is achievable!