MA20216: Algebra 2A


This is the home page of MA20216: Algebra 2A taught by Fran Burstall.

The story so far

I keep a diary of what I covered in lectures. There is also an official syllabus and a reading list.

Here is the timetable. I shall lecture at least 5 times every 2 weeks and have a problem class whenever it seems like a good idea: mail me when you want one.

Exercise sheets

Exercise sheets will be issued weekly on Fridays and homework should be handed a week later after which solutions will be available here.

Lecture notes

By public demand but with serious misgivings, I am making typeset notes available.

WARNING: these are not a substitute for taking your own careful notes during lectures. In particular, these notes are a work in progress and will certainly contain many mistakes (if you find any, report them to me!).


Look here for recordings of lectures.


There are two forums on moodle associated to this unit where you can ask me questions (equally, you can just send me an email):

You can unsubscribe to either forum if they do not interest you.


This unit is assessed 100% by exam. Generic exam feedback will be available early in the spring. Individual exam feedback will be offered after the marks come out.

Past papers

In 2017–18, two things happened: I took over the course and changed its focus somewhat and the format of year 2 exams changed to the present section A/B format. So there are only three past papers that really give a good approximation to the real thing:

That said, past papers from previous years (available from the library) are still a good revision aid with the following caveats:
  1. The format is different: the rubric was to answer three questions out of four. There was no section A or B.
  2. The questions are a bit longer.
  3. There are questions on things we did not cover:

Other things to read


I welcome feedback in the form of constructive comments or criticism.

Problems with this site?

If you encounter any problems while using this site, send me mail describing as completely as you can what has gone wrong.

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Fran Burstall <>
Last modified: Wed Feb 5 10:47:33 GMT 2020