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Discrete maths features in all AS/A level Further Mathematics specifications, albeit under different titles:

  • Discrete Mathematics - AQA and OCR A
  • Decision Mathematics - Edexcel
  • Modelling with Algorithms - OCR B (MEI)

Teaching Discrete Mathematics (TD) is an extended professional development course for teachers wishing to build their confidence in teaching this content, and covers the discrete maths material common to multiple A level Further Mathematics specifications.

TD consists of:

  • 11 live online tutorials
  • Two compulsory study days
  • Access to course-specific teaching and learning resources on Integral (MEI’s learning platform)
  • Email support from tutors and access to an online group forum

Towards the end of the course a short assignment is issued, for which support and guidance are provided. Course certificates will be available for those participants completing the assignment.

TD is a new streamlined course replacing the previous courses TD1 and TD2; it is therefore not suitable for teachers who have already completed these courses. 


  • Gain a deeper understanding of the application of algorithms to a wide range of problems
  • Develop skills with using standard algorithms to solve optimisation problems
  • Develop confidence in incorporating practical work within maths teaching
  • Improve subject knowledge and build on pedagogical skills
  • Link topics in discrete maths with other areas of maths

Who will benefit from attending?

TD is designed for mathematics teachers who are new to teaching discrete/decision mathematics, or those that have previously taught these topics but wish to develop their practice.

Our extended courses enable teachers to broaden and deepen their subject, pedagogical and pedagogical content knowledge. This makes teachers better equipped to make links between topics, address students’ misconceptions and confidently challenge learners at all attainment levels. Our course aims and intended outcomes are consistent with the principles set out in the Education Inspection Framework.


Live online sessions take place on Thursdays (16:30 to 17:45); these are recorded and available for playback. Although we encourage live attendance when possible, there is no expectation on teachers to study topics not on their specification. The provisional schedule is as follows:

Thu 25 Jan:  Course introduction and graph theory
Thu 8 Feb:  Further graph theory
Thu 29 Feb:  Algorithms on networks 1: Kruskal's, Prim's and Dijkstra's algorithms
Thu 7 Mar:  Algorithms on networks 2: Route inspection and travelling salesperson
Thu 21 Mar:  Network flows
Thu 25 Apr:  Critical path analysis
Thu 9 May:  Algorithms: General principles, sorting and packing
Thu 23 May:  Linear programming 1: Graphical method
Thu 6 Jun:  Linear programming 2: The simplex algorithm
Thu 20 Jun:  Further simplex
Thu 27 Jun:  Game theory

At the two course study days there will be further exploration of topics common to all specifications, with a greater emphasis on pedagogy. See the study schedule section below for further information.

Self-paced resources will be provided for topics that are unique to single specifications:

  • Mathematical preliminaries (OCR A)
  • Binary operations and group theory (AQA)
  • Floyd’s algorithm and additional D2 topics (Edexcel)

Materials and equipment

A computer with a reliable internet connection will be required to attend the online tutorials. In addition, a headset with a microphone is suggested to get the best experience.


This course is free of charge to teachers working in state-funded schools and colleges in England. For others the course fee is £300.

Schools and colleges located in areas targeted for additional support (TSMAs) will receive a subsidy payment of £200 for each study day attended.

Study schedule

Study days

Study days are face-to-face events that take place from 10:00 to 16:00, with lunch and refreshments provided. Attendance at both days is expected.

Study day one

Central London
Saturday 20 April 2024


Study day two

Central London

Saturday 15 June 2024


Please note that although it is our intention to run these study days face-to-face, all events are subject to government restrictions and may be moved online if required. We therefore advise against making non-cancellable travel arrangements.


Do I need to have taught A level Mathematics before doing the TD course?

There is no requirement that applicants have taught A level Mathematics before undertaking TD.

How much time will I need to devote to studying?

It is difficult to be specific as this will depend on previous experience. In the past, participants have reported spending between one and four hours studying each week. We appreciate that most teachers have workloads that make regular study difficult, so the course is designed with flexibility in mind. We do ask that you have caught up with recordings of any missed sessions prior to attending study days.

It is not our usual policy to allow teachers to enrol on more than one extended course (TAM, TFM, TM, TS, TD) at the same time. Please contact us before making multiple course applications.

Do I have to hand in any work during the course?

The TD assignment is the only work that delegates hand in. To receive a certificate at the end of your TD course you will need to submit and pass the TD assignment. Certification is optional but we strongly encourage you to submit an assignment anyway to help you consolidate what you have learnt.

Participant feedback

Practical activities to use immediately with students. Linked well to all specifications. Chance to ask questions in a friendly atmosphere.
[It was] very interactive and very fun. Full of ideas to be used in the classroom.
I really appreciate the hands on activities – what I was hoping to get from the course.
Excellent subject knowledge of course leaders, including relating discrete maths to real life.
I was worried I would be out of my depth, but all was accessible.

Key facts

  • Reference:#12333
  • Audience:Teachers
  • Curriculum focus:A level Further Mathematics
  • Mathematical focus:Discrete/decision maths
  • Format:Blended
  • Duration:6 months
  • Study days:2
  • Online sessions:11
  • Region:National
  • Venue:Online classroom and study days in London
  • Start date:25 Jan 2024
  • Course times:16:30 - 17:45
  • Fee:Free for state-funded schools; £300 otherwise
  • TSMA subsidy:2 x £200


If you have any queries about this event, please do not hesitate to contact:

Teacher Support Operations Team
[email protected]
01225 716494

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