Syllabus for Several Variable Calculus



  • 10 credits
  • Course code: 1MA016
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Mathematics G1F

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle
    G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified.

    Second cycle
    A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified.

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2007-03-19
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2020-02-11
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 27, 2020
  • Entry requirements: Single Variable Calculus together with Linear Algebra and Geometry I or Algebra and Geometry.
  • Responsible department: Department of Mathematics

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course the student shall be able to:

  • give an account of the concepts of limit, continuity, partial derivative, gradient and differentiability for functions of several variables;
  • parametrise curves and surfaces;
  • compute partial derivatives of elementary functions;
  • use partial derivatives to compute local and global extreme values - with and without constraints;
  • outline the definition of the multiple integral, compute multiple integrals and use multiple integrals to compute volumes, centres of gravity, etc.;
  • give an account of the concepts of line integral and surface integral and know how to compute such integrals;
  • use the theorems of Green, Stokes and Gauss;
  • give an account of existence and uniqueness results for solutions to ordinary differential equations, solve simple exact equations and simple linear systems of ordinary differential equations;
  • exemplify and interpret important concepts in specific cases;
  • formulate important results and theorems covered by the course;
  • express problems from relevant areas of applications in a mathematical form suitable for further analysis;
  • use the theory, methods and techniques of the course to solve mathematical problems within the course's domain;
  • present mathematical arguments to others.


Polar, cylindrical and spherical coordinates. Parameterisations of curves and surfaces.
Level curves and level surfaces. Arc length. Scalar and vector valued functions of several variables. Partial derivatives, differentiability, gradient, direction derivative, differential. Derivatives of higher order. The chain rule. The Jacobian. Taylor's formula. Implicit functions. Optimisation: local and global problems, problems with equality constraints. Multiple integrals, change of variables, improper integrals, applications of multiple integrals: volume, centres of mass, etc. Line integrals and surface integrals of scalar functions and vector fields. Divergence and curl. Identities for grad, div and curl. Green's, Stokes' and Gauss's theorems. Systems of ordinary differential equations. Exact equations. Linear systems. ​Introduction to partial differential equations and boundary values. Laplace equation, the heat conduction and wave equation.


Lectures, lessons and problem solving sessions.


Written examination at the end of the course, or two written tests each of five credit points. Moreover, compulsory assignments may be given during the course in accordance with instructions at the beginning of the course.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Other directives

The course cannot be included in passing degree together with the course Several Variable Calculus, limited version.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 27, 2020

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Adams, Robert A.; Essex, Christopher Calculus : a complete course

    9. ed.: Toronto: Pearson Addison Wesley, 2017

    Find in the library