Mathematics for science and technology
Mathematics for science and technology

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Mathematics for science and technology

Week 4: Starting with trigonometry


Trigonometry is the area of maths that deals with triangles, and how their sides and internal angles are related. The trigonometric functions have very practical applications in science and technology, such as in navigation, bridge design and determining astronomical distances. This week you will work with the three basic functions of sine, cosine and tangent. It is important that you have access to a scientific calculator to carry out the activities. This does not have to be a hand-held calculator, you may be able to use a mobile phone, tablet or PC. You will just need to check the calculator has trig functions. 

By the end of this week you will have:

  • gained an understanding of the sine, cosine and tangent functions
  • revised Pythagoras theory
  • calculated unknown angles and the length of sides of triangles.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371