Open University

Open University

Calculus of Variations and Advanced Calculus (M820)

This course provides an introduction to the central ideas of variational problems, as well as some of the mathematical background necessary for the subject; many of the simple applications of calculus of variations are described and, where possible, the historical context of these problems is discussed; the course also contains some more advanced material, such as an analysis of the second variation and of discontinuous solutions; it ends with a discussion of the general properties of the solutions of an important class of linear differential equations, namely Sturm-Liouville systems; throughout, the emphasis is on the mathematical ideas and one aim is to illustrate the need for mathematical rigour; applications are discussed but students are not expected to have a detailed understanding of the underlying physical ideas.

Entry requirements

Students must be registered for the MSc in mathematics or for another qualification towards which the course can count; at least a 2nd Class Honours degree in mathematics or in another subject with a high mathematical content, such as engineering or theoretical physics.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
Credits from The Open University Distance learning October 2016 - 9 months
Credits from The Open University Distance learning October 2016 - 9 months

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Distance Learning

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