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Mathematics & Computer Studies


This department was founded in Mary Immaculate College in 1975 to provide a subject programme in Mathematics for the newly established Bachelor of Education degree. Today, the Department of Mathematics & Computer Studies continues to offer undergraduate Mathematics for the B Ed degrees as well as a similar academic programme, with additional computer skills modules, for the BA (Liberal Arts).

The name was changed to its present form in 1987 to reflect the involvement of the department in Computer Studies courses for all students and in a number of action-research projects on the applications of computers in education. We offer first year BA students a Computer Skills unit within their Foundation Studies and in second year, we offer BA Elective modules through which students may further advance their knowledge and skills in the area of Information Technology.

Postgraduate research opportunities are also available in mathematics for MA and PhD degrees.

The department also offers undergraduate modules in Business Studies and Accounting, as part of three concurrent BA in Education (post-primary teaching) programmes offered at MIC, St Patrick's Campus, Thurles.

Head of Department
Diarmuid O'Driscoll
+353 61 204349

Subject Overview

Mathematics & Computer Studies

Mathematics is an ancient study which has been fundamental to the development of society since earliest times. It involves the abstract understanding of concepts and the acquisition of computational skills. It develops an appreciation of the essential links between theory and practice insofar as to know mathematics is to be able to do mathematics and to do mathematics well one must understand what it is.

The twin values of a study of mathematics are the intrinsic educational gain, which springs from the personal satisfaction of mastering a slightly elusive piece of theory, or from solving even a moderately difficult problem, and the extensive economic utility of mathematics, which is so visible in the commercial and business world and in the great achievements of science and engineering.

The mathematics programme includes several modules in the two main branches of Pure Mathematics, namely Analysis, both Real and Complex and Algebra, both Linear and Abstract. Relevant applications of mathematical theory are included in course modules and there are introductory modules of Information Technology and Statistics.

The First Year Foundation modules, which are designed to take account of the mixed mathematical background of students, are intended to be an appropriate introduction for students who wish to study mathematics to degree level and a reasonable taste of the subject for students who wish to specialise in other subject areas.

Below is a list of Mathematics & Computer Studies modules currently on offer at MIC Limerick, in descending order from First Year onwards. All of the following modules are for BA students only except when specified otherwise:

Representation of numbers, mathematical induction, divisibility, prime numbers, Euclid's Algorithm and congruences.

Angle, distance, length, area, coordinates, lines, triangles and circles, geometric constructions, congruence and similarity.

Vectors and vector spaces, inner products, matrices, linear equations, linear mappings and linear transformations.

Functions, slope, Newton quotient, derivative, limits, differentiation rules, trigonometric functions, logarithms, exponential functions, continuous functions, completeness of the real numbers, Intermediate Value Theorem, inverse functions and their derivatives.

The number system hierarchy, key algebraic properties of addition and multiplication, integers, divisibility, elementary number theory, rational and irrational numbers, place value and other number bases.

Description of sample data; graphical representation, mean and standard deviation, probability theory, random variables, sampling theory, estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation and regression and testing methods.

Maxima and minima, Rolle's Theorem, Mean Value Theorem, antiderivatives, Riemann sums, definite integrals, Fundamental Theorem of Calculus and Taylor's Formula.

BA students follow the Off-Campus Programme for both semesters of the third year. This is comprised of international study placement and/or relevant work placement. Mathematics students, who wish to study abroad, are advised by department staff on the availability of appropriate courses. Guidance is also provided for those who wish to use the opportunity to begin research work for final year projects in Mathematics.

Limits of sequences and series; functions; sketching graphs; limits of functions; rate of change; derivatives of functions; measure of area and volume; integration and Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.

Description of sample data; probability theory; random variables; probability distributions; sampling theory; hypothesis testing; correlation and regression and testing methods.

Real vector spaces of dimension n, lines and planes, curves and surfaces. Calculus of several variables, continuity and derivative. Double and line integrals, surface and volume integrals. Introduction to ordinary and partial differential equations.

Angle, distance, length, area; coordinates; geometric constructions; symmetry; vectors and dot product and non-euclidean geometry.

Groups, subgroups, Lagrange's theorem. Binary codes. Conjugacy, normal subgroups, permutation groups. Rings, subrings. Integral domains, congruences. Fields.

Learn to use a computer algebra system to study problems from various areas of undergraduate mathematics.

An opportunity for personal work/study, with limited supervision, on an approved mathematical topic or computing assignment of special interest to the student; an opportunity to develop research and presentation skills and/or computing expertise.

Lines, angles, circles, area, geometric constructions, transformations, congruence, similarity, triangles, polygons, special points in triangles and Non-Euclidean geometry.

Techniques of mathematical problem solving, problem solving as a tool of mathematics instruction, solving problems, and how to write a solution or a proof.

Business Studies & Accounting

Below is a list of Business Studies & Accounting modules currently on offer at MIC Thurles as part of programmes MI009, MI010 and MI012. 

AC4711: Fundamental Accounting
AC4721: Regulatory Framework
AC4712: Financial Accounting Principles
AC4713: Management Accounting Principles
AC4723: Financial Accounting 1
AC4714: Management Accounting 1
AC4715: Financial Accounting 2
AC4716: Advanced Management Accounting
AC4726: Financial Management
AC4718: Financial Reporting
BS4715: Business Studies Accounting
Business Studies
BS4711: Management Principles
MH4741: Business Mathematics
BS4721: Marketing
BS4723: Legal Environment of Business
BS4733: Economics
BS4725: Entrepreneurship and New Enterprise Creation
BS4735: Business Information Systems
BS4745: Ireland and Global Economy
BS4713: Organisational Behaviour
BS4718: Strategic Management


Diarmuid O'Driscoll

BSc (NUI) & MSc (NUI)
Head of Department
  • Phone: +353 61 204349
  • Email:
  • Location: N17

Niamh Armstrong

BA; HDip Ed; Software Design (NUIG) and MA E-Learning Design & Development (UL)
  • Phone: +353 61 204952
  • Email:
  • Location: S102

Dr Bernd Kreussler

Dipl Math (HU Berlin); Dr rer nat (HU Berlin) and Dr rer nat habil (Univ. Kaiserslautern)
  • Phone: +353 61 204578
  • Email:
  • Location: N29

Dr Norbert Hoffmann

Dipl Math (Univ Göttingen); Dr rer nat (Univ Bonn) and Priv-Doz (Freie Univ Berlin)
  • Phone: +353 61 774776
  • Email:
  • Location: G22

Dr Marian Carcary

Lecturer in Business and Accounting
  • Email:
  • Location: P213

Dr Ronan Flatley

BE; BA; HDip Math Sci; MA and PhD (NUI)
  • Phone: +353 61 204308
  • Email:
  • Location: N30


At present, the department has five active researchers in diverse areas which have minimal overlap.

The main areas of research are conducted in

  1. Statistics: Measurement Error Regression Model; Design Criteria; Response Surface designs; Ridge Regression: Diarmuid O’Driscoll.
  2. Pedagogical strategies that utilise ICT to enhance the Teaching & Learning environment; development and expansion of our Graduate Diploma Master in ICT to post primary sector: Niamh Armstrong.
  3. Algebraic Vector Bundles and Principal Bundles, Moduli Spaces and Moduli Stacks: Norbert Hoffmann.
  4. Complex Algebraic geometry and Homological Algebra; Homological Mirror Symmetry; Quantum Cohomology, Gromov Witten Invariants; Classification of complex manifolds; Twistor spaces: Bernd Kreussler.
  5. Central simple algebras with involution; The algebraic theory of quadratic forms: Ronan Flatley.

Departmental Assistantships

Departmental Assistantships 2020 - Applications Open

The Department of Mathematics and Computer Studies is now accepting applications from potential research MA/PhD students for at least one funded Departmental Assistantship in Mathematics beginning in September 2020.

General information on the Departmental Assistantship funding scheme

To be considered for a Departmental Assistantship, applicants should identify a research topic
and supervisor, and complete a research postgraduate application.

For further information, please contact Diarmuid O'Driscoll, Head of Department (


Learner Support

Mathematics Support Unit at MIC

Although students have weekly tutorial classes in all modules, in which considerable assistance is provided towards the development of mathematical understanding and expertise, it has become clear that some students would benefit from additional support.  Leaving the regular tutorial provision in place and encouraging all to use the worksheets to the fullest possible extent, we have also forged links with the Learner Support Unit in the college to make provision for additional support. The MSU or Mathematics Support Unit has thus been established as a collaboration between the Department of Mathematics and Computer Studies and the LSU. Its support provision is coordinated by Diarmuid O'Driscoll, from whom further details may be obtained.

The Mathematics Learning Centre at UL

As a consequence of ongoing cooperation between the college and the university, especially in the context of the Shannon Consortium, we are pleased to advise that the Mathematics Learning Centre at UL is also open to students who are studying mathematics at MIC. Those of you who happen to be living at that side of the city may find it convenient to drop in and avail of the support services. Online support is also available, through the MLC Website, and you'll find useful material there on many topics in mathematics.

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    • Subject Overview
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    • Departmental Assistantships
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