MA20216: Algebra 2A


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


Lectures and problem classes

The last lecture of the official course was at 15:15 on Tuesday 7th December.  Thereafter, the remaining appointments are:

Week 10
Week 11
Week 15 (Revision Week)

All other lectures are cancelled.


These run as normal in weeks 10 and 11.  There are NO tutorials in revision week.


I will lecture three times a week as follows:

Lectures start in week 1.

Additionally, I shall record a problem class in the shape of me working through the exercise sheets at 14:15 every Friday afternoon. Join me on zoom if you like and mail me if there is something you particularly want me to cover.

Office hours

Any hour that I am not busy with lectures or problems classes is an office hour. Just drop me an email or swing by my office (4W3.39).

The story so far

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

Exercise sheets

Exercise sheets will be issued weekly on Fridays and homework should handed in at the 4W pigeon holes by noon a week later after which solutions will be available here.

Lecture notes

Here are typeset notes for the course.

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, problem classes and tutorials.

Mock exam

Here is a mock open-book exam. It is based on the January 2020 exam so you can see how the bookwork has been adjusted for the open book setting.

In both cases, the rubric asks you to do all questions in section A and two questions from section B.


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 five past papers that give a good approximation to the real thing:

That said, the 2016/17 paper (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 have not covered: in particular, ignore Q1!

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: Fri Dec 17 08:54:35 GMT 2021