Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Games, Puzzles and Strategies
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 6 x 1 Hour Lectures
Practical 11 x 2 Hour Practicals


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Presentation (peer assessed)  (i) Demonstration  30%
Semester Assessment Written Coursework  (ii) Poster (A3)  35%
Semester Assessment Written Coursework  (iii) Pamphlet (short report of 2000 words)  35%
Supplementary Assessment Demonstration  (i) Presentation (staff assessed) - Resubmit failed components.  30%
Supplementary Assessment Written Coursework  (ii) Poster (A3) - Resubmit failed components.  35%
Supplementary Assessment Written Coursework  (iii) Pamphlet (short report of 2000 words) - Resubmit failed components.  35%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Lead a group demonstration session of a game/puzzle.

Analyse a game/puzzle and present key features via a poster.

Identify key information about a game/puzzle and communicate this via a pamphlet.

Brief description

There is an increasing demand in the workplace for graduates skilled in problem solving, and who are then able to communicate their findings. This module consists of analysing various games and puzzles, by both logical reasoning and experimentation in play, and then disseminating the information through presentations, posters, and pamphlets. Students will work in groups. For each puzzle, students will complete exactly one of the assessments.


Many (board, card, dice) games and puzzles contain tactical and planning elements. Winning strategies often depend on analysing the problem, solving by restructuring as a connected set of easier problems. For well-known games and puzzles, such a noughts and crosses, blackjack, regular sudoku, and the Tower of Hanoi, optimal strategies have been formulated. The purpose of this module is to take lesser known problems of similar complexity, such as those described in the IMA Maths Arcade. (, and develop writing formulas. (Problems will be selecetd on teh interests and availability of staff, and are likley to change each year.) Key elements of the module are experimentation during practical sessions, and teh ability to communicate the outcomes both verbally and in written form.


1. INTRODUCTION. Analysing games/puzzles by logical reasoning, pattern recognition, and experimentation. Simple examples such as noughts and crosses. Determining winning/successful strategies. Leading demonstrations of play.

2. THREE GIVEN PUZZLES/GAMES. Outline. Experimentation. Analysis of game/puzzle. Student led demonstration session. Reflection on outcomes.

3. POSTERS. Selecting content. Approrpiate balance of text and pictures

4. PAMPHLETS. Writing concise and informative summaries. Outling rules and strategies.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Present throughout the module.
Communication Verbal instructions should clarify understanding; written documents must be clear and well-structured; presentations should be informative and easy to comprehend.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students are expected to develop their own approaches to time-management regarding the completion of tasks on time.
Information Technology Word processing skills required for report writing.
Personal Development and Career planning Ability to analyse a problem, and develop optimal strategies.
Problem solving Fundamental part of the module
Research skills Students will be encouraged to independently find and assimilate useful resources
Subject Specific Skills Develops logical thinking and systematic approaches.
Team work Students will be working in teams throughout the module.


This module is at CQFW Level 4