Integrated undergraduate and graduate university study programme in mathematics and computer science

After 7 years of carrying out this study programme at the Department of Mathematics, J.J. Strossmayer University of Osijek, we have found out that some corrections and amendments thereto are necessary. In this context, we have updated and split several existing compulsory courses and introduced 5 new ones that additionally support most important compulsory courses through a variety of applications and ICT related novelties: Applications of Differential and Integral Calculus I (Semester 4, 1+2+0, 4 ECTS credits), Applications of Differential and Integral Calculus II (Semester 6, 1+2+0, 4 ECTS credits), Mathematical Tools (Semester 4, 1+2+0, 4 ECTS credits), Graphs (Semester 7, 2+2+0, 5 ECTS credits) and Statistical Practice (Semester 7, 1+2+1, 6 ECTS credits). Fourteen new elective courses have also been introduced, i.e., Convex Sets (Year 3, 1+0+1, 3 ECTS credits), Inequalities (Year 3, 1+1+0, 3 ECTS credits), Decision Theory (Year 4, 1+1+0, 4 ECTS credits), Financial and Actuarial Mathematics (Year 4, 2+2+0, 5 ECTS credits), Non-Euclidean Geometry (Year 4, 2+1+0, 4 ECTS credits), Concrete Mathematics (Year 4, 2+2+0, 5 ECTS credits), Introduction to Algebraic Topology (Year 5, 2+0+2, 6 ECTS credits), Projective Geometry (Year 5, 2+1+0, 3 ECTS credits), Applications of Differential and Integral Calculus I (Year 2, 1+2+0, 4 ECTS credits), Mathematical Tools (Year 2, 1+2+0, 4 ECTS credits), Applications of Differential and Integral Calculus II (Year 3, 1+2+0, 4 ECTS credits), Graphs (Year 4, 2+2+0, 5 ECTS credits), Statistical Practice (Year 4, 1+2+1, 6 ECTS credits) and Influence of the Town on the Region of Slavonia and Vice Versa (Year 3, 1+0+1, 3 ECTS credits). In addition to these changes, course contents changes and literature updates have been kept to a minimum.

It is important to note that these adjustments have not affected competencies students acquire upon completion of the study programme. Coverage by our own staff is very high (64%). All part-time associates come from the University of Osijek.

Integrated undergraduate and graduate university study programme in mathematics and computer science is largely based upon the existing undergraduate university study programme in mathematics and computer science which was updated on the basis of our own awareness of the need for innovation and modernisation of teaching contents, but also on the basis of numerous contacts and discussions with colleagues from other Croatian and foreign universities established during the Mathematical Colloquium, as well as results obtained by student performance analysis and the feedback from our graduates.

Integrated undergraduate and graduate university study programme in mathematics and computer science offered by the Department of Mathematics, J.J. Strossmayer University of Osijek, is based on study programmes offered by reputable Croatian, European and American universities. Study programme contents and qualifications are entirely comparable with the following study programmes:

- University undergraduate study programme in mathematics granting a BEd degree, together with the University graduate study programme in mathematics and computer science granting an MEd degree, Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Croatia,
- Integrated undergraduate and graduate university study programme in mathematics and computer science, Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, Vilnius University, Lithuania,
- Mathematics (BSc) The School of Mathematics at Cardiff, University of Cardiff, United Kingdom.

A high level of compatibility between this study programme and the aforementioned related study programmes shall allow the flow of mathematics students between the University of Osijek and most European universities.

**Issuing institution and education provider:** Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek/Department of Mathematics

**Academic title acquired upon completion of study:** Master of Education in Mathematics and Computer Science (MEd)

**Scheduled duration of study:** Five years (ten semesters). The student shall acquire a minimum of 300 ECTS credits

**Student status**: full-time students (30 full-time students)

**Admission requirements:** Applicants must have completed their four-year secondary school education and passed the state graduation exam in each of the following three subjects: A-level mathematics, A- or B-level Croatian and A- or B-level foreign language (All applicants are registered for the study programmes offered by the Department of Mathematics through the National Information System of Applications for Higher Education Institutions (NISpVU), which can be accessed through the website www.postani-student.hr.)

**Competencies students achieve upon completion of the study programme**: The five-year integrated undergraduate and graduate university study programme in mathematics and computer science is organised such that the graduates become trained to teach mathematics and computer science, work with primary and secondary school children and teach mathematics and computer science in elementary and secondary schools of all profiles. Given that modern schools put in the forefront of the teaching process the idea of linking acquired knowledge and thinking, developing problem solving skills and training for lifelong learning, the study programme is based on the development of these general competencies with future teachers as well.

In their first three years of study, students acquire:

- standard basic knowledge of mathematics (see the list of courses),
- basic theoretical knowledge of computer science.

During their study, MEd students also develop the following skills:

- practical applications of acquired knowledge in mathematics and computer science, and
- solving problems by applying mathematical models and computers.

Forms and methods of teaching contribute to the development of:

- the learning ability and inclination to scientific research,
- communication and presentation skills.

Students are also encouraged to learn and speak at least one foreign language. In the fourth and fifth year of study, emphasis is placed on preparing students for the transfer of knowledge, teaching mathematics and informatics and working with primary and secondary school children.

During this period, students:

- complement mathematical and computer science knowledge, and learn about the basics of modern pedagogical, psychological, didactic and methodological theories, strategies and methods (see the list of courses);
- improve the skills in relation to practical application of the acquired theoretical knowledge in the fields of mathematics and computer science;
- become qualified for the implementation of pedagogical, psychological, didactic and methodical methods in practice;
- undergo practical teacher training;
- improve their communication and presentation skills;
- are taught how to initiate, organise, and conduct research related to teaching and methods of teaching mathematics and informatics; and
- are educated on how to integrate knowledge and scientific research.

Upon completion of this study programme, Master of Education in Mathematics and Computer Science (MEd) degree holders are also qualified to work in industry, government and the public sector that require basic knowledge of mathematics and computer science, the ability of mathematical modelling and solving different problems that are not necessarily mathematical by using mathematical models and computers, knowledge of statistics, analytical thinking, the organisational ability, analysis and presentation of data as well as computer usage.

**End of study**: Integrated undergraduate and graduate university study programme in mathematics and computer science is completed by passing all the exams, writing the thesis, which includes the study of the existing literature on a given topic and its systematic presentation, and passing the graduation exam.