The determinant is a function that takes a square matrix as an input and produces a scalar as an output. So unlike a vector space, it is not an algebraic structure. However, it has many beneficial properties for studying vector spaces, matrices and systems of equations, so it is hard to ignore (though some have tried). While the properties of a determinant can be very useful, they are also complicated to prove.

Section DM Determinant of a Matrix
Section PDM Properties of Determinants of Matrices