Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the Maths Support Centre just for mathematicians?

NO! It’s for everyone in the University. Our tutors are ready to help students, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, from ALL subject areas and at ALL levels with ANY mathematics or statistics problems they may have.

2. Where is the Centre?

It’s on the ground floor of the Frederick Lanchester Library (in the glass-fronted room next to the stairwell).

3. Do I need to book?

No. You can drop in whenever we are open. If the tutors are busy when you arrive, just sit down at one of the tables until a tutor is free to help you.

4. When is the Centre open?

The Maths Support Centre is open for over 50 hours a week in term time, including weekends. It opens at 10am on weekdays and at 1pm on Saturdays. We also open during the resit exam period in the summer. Please see the timetable page for more details.

5. What kinds of questions can I ask for help with?

We do our best to answer all questions about mathematics or statistics in the context of the subject you are studying, be it in Nursing, Economics, Engineering or any of Coventry’s degree programmes. No question is ever too elementary or trivial. We cover everything from basic numeracy and foundation GCSE right up to advanced degree level. You should never be afraid to ask!

6. Can I get help with Coursework?

No. For reasons of fairness we can’t directly do your coursework for you. We can, however, offer encouragement and general advice on how to set about coursework questions. We can also suggest resources that may help you.

7. Is the Maths Support Centre only for those students who struggle with maths and stats?

Not at all — the Centre is for every type of student. No matter whether you struggle with maths or you are very good at it, if you aspire to do better – pay us a visit.

8. I am doing a degree project or dissertation and need statistics. How can I get help?

The sigma team includes several members with statistics expertise, and for more than 20 hours each week at least one of them is on duty in the Centre. On the timetable, they are shown in green or annotated with an “S”.
If you need more intensive advice on collecting and analysing your project data, you can book an hour-long appointment here. We also offer a range of workshops on statistical techniques and training for statistics software such as SPSS and R. You can sign up for these here.

9. Can I get help with Maple/Matlab/SPSS/LaTeX and other mathematics software?

Yes, sigma‘s members of staff have knowledge and experience in the different mathematics and statistics software that you may use in your degree. Our tutors’ software expertise is indicated on the timetable.

10. Do I need to sign in when I arrive?

Yes please. It really helps us if you swipe your ID card at the MSC entrance on your way in. We do not share your personal information with anyone, but we use the anonymous attendance statistics to convince the University that they are getting value for money by funding sigma!

11. Can I just come to the Centre to study?

We encourage students to use the Centre as a congenial space for mathematics and statistics study. But at busy times (such as the lead-up to exams), you can help us do our core work by limiting your visits to occasions when you need explicit help from one of our tutors.

12. Can I get subject-specific help if I am not free when a tutor with that expertise is on duty?

If you need help but can’t attend the Centre when a specific tutor is on duty, then please email

13. Can I get help when the Centre is closed?

Yes. You can make use of all of our resources that are on this website.

14. Does sigma have subject-specific resources to help me learn?

Yes, we have a wide range of mathematics and statistics worksheets aimed at different subject areas; they are available in both paper and electronic form. We also have a reference collection of core textbooks in the Centre.

15. Can I arrange a private tutorial?

If you need special help, or are unable to reach the Centre, we can sometimes make special arrangements. For instance, we can call on the services of our dyslexia tutor or arrange a Skype session for distance tuition. Let us know by sending an email to You can also book a one-to-one appointment with either our mathematicians or statisticians – please see our one-to-one bookings page.

If you have any other questions then please feel free to either email or pop into the centre during opening hours.