School of Computing and Mathematics

BSc (Hons) Mathematics and Statistics

Are you interested in a career as a statistician or a data scientist? Our course equips you with high-level skills in pure and applied mathematics, probability and statistics to excel in your chosen career. Master the techniques and programming skills required for everything from measuring exposure to financial risk, to organising a large scale medical trial, or understanding the principles underlying management, decision making and logistics. Giving you the cutting edge in the workplace.

Do you aspire to become a medical statistician, financial statistician, marketing analyst or business modeller? By studying this course you could have a career in operational research and logistics, as an actuary or a chartered accountant. Your high-level skills in probability, statistics, and mathematics can open the door to all areas of business and management. This programme has consistently high student satisfaction scores in the National Student Survey.

UCAS tariff
UCAS course code
Institution code
3 years
(+ optional placement)
Start date
September 2014
Course type

Key features

  • Learn high-level mathematical and statistical skills and master professional software used in industry, such as R, for statistics, MATLAB and Maple, right from the start of the course – equipping you with powerful tools to extract meaning from large data sets vital in today’s world of Big Data.
  • Benefit from outstanding teaching: 100 per cent of our students agreed that ‘staff are good at explaining things’ in the latest National Student Survey.
  • Receive excellent support in a friendly environment – from our open door policy, to the Maths Lab dedicated study space, to online support materials and clickers for immediate feedback in class, we’ll provide the support you need to reach your full potential.
  • Refine your knowledge and skills, with teaching delivered and developed through lectures, tutorials, practical sessions and a variety of assessment methods: 100 per cent for ‘Staff are good at explaining things’ in the latest National Student Survey.
  • Develop your oral, visual and written communication skills to become a confident, effective communicator with the opportunity to work independently and in groups on project-based tasks. In the latest National Student Survey 93% of students agreed ‘My communication skills have improved’.
  • Explore your interests with the flexibility to move between courses as you progress. 
  • Open the door to a successful future by taking our optional but highly recommended paid placement year – gaining valuable commercial experience so you’re primed for the career you want. Previous placement providers have included the Department for Communities and Local Government, Eli Lilly, Fujitsu, GlaxoSmithKline and Liberty Living.
  • Distinguish yourself professionally with a degree accredited by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, setting you on a path to Chartered Mathematician (CMath) status, and by the Royal Statistical Society for Chartered Statistician status.
  • Free ebooks and a free iPad Mini so you can create your own content for assessment.
  • Lay strong foundations for a successful future with a degree that employers value, or pave the way to a research degree often including funded places on MScs in medical and in financial statistics.
  • An impressive track record of graduate positions, with our graduates working for PAREXEL, Glory Global Solutions, KPMG, Towers Watson, Oxford Clinical Trials Research Unit and BT Retail.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year you’ll build on the mathematical skills and topics you learnt at school. You’ll study six core modules including calculus, linear algebra, numerical methods, pure mathematics, and probability and statistics. We’ve structured the curriculum so that all of our students acquire a common mathematical expertise.
    Core modules
    • MATH1501 Calculus

      This module covers key topics in calculus and will prepare students for the rest of their degree. It has a greater emphasis on proof and rigour than at A-level. It also introduces some more advanced multi-dimensional calculus. The module contains various applications from pure and applied mathematics as well as from statistics, physics and finance.

    • MATH1506 Geometry, Graphs and Groups

      This module introduces three important areas of pure mathematics. First, key theorems and constructions from classical Euclidean geometry will be introduced. Then we study elementary graph theory, and consider graphs on surfaces, and polynomial invariants of graphs. Finally, we define groups, explore a wide variety of examples, and study cosets and quotients.

    • MATH1503 Linear Algebra and Complex Numbers

      This module explores the concepts and applications of vectors, matrices and complex numbers. The deep connection between algebra and geometry will be explored. The techniques that will be presented in this module are at the foundation of many areas of mathematics, statistics, physics, and several other applications.

    • MATH1504 Numerical and Computational Methods

      This module provides an introduction to the Maple and Matlab software, computational mathematics and creating simple computer programs. Students will use Maple/Matlab interactively and also write procedures in the Maple/Matlab computer languages. The elementary numerical methods which underly industrial and scientific applications will be studied.

    • MATH1505 Probability and Statistical Inference I

      This module provides a mathematical treatment of basic probability and statistical techniques including random variables, estimation, hypothesis testing, as well as regression and correlation. It also covers exploratory data analysis. All methods are implemented using real data and professional computer software such as R.

    • MATH1502 Reasoning and Modern Mathematics

      This module introduces the basic reasoning skills needed for the development and applications of modern mathematics. The utility of clear logical thinking will be explored in various important topics and current applications, including security on the internet, fractal geometry and the continuous nature of real numbers.

    • BPIE100 Stage 1 Placement Preparation

      Focusing on assisting you in your search for a placement, this module will also help prepare you for the placement itself.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year you’ll study core modules including advanced calculus, analysis, ordinary differential equations, a case study based introduction to operational research and Monte Carlo techniques plus an advanced statistical module building on and developing your existing knowledge and expertise.
    Core modules
    • MATH2501 Advanced Calculus and Transforms

      This module extends the differential and integral calculus of severable variables and uses them to solve a wide range of problems. The important techniques of Laplace transforms, Fourier series and transforms are introduced. The applications explored in this module include the solutions of important differential equations and the construction of functions and generalised functions in terms of a basis of orthogonal functions.

    • MATH2506 Advanced Probability and Inference

      This module extends the probability theory covered in the first year. It discusses and demonstrates the links between various distributions, with a focus on some standard continuous distributions. The module also covers topics from the theory of statistical inference and methods of maximum likelihood estimation. This will equip students with the skills required to perform a number of statistical tests, including randomisation tests, using statistical packages where appropriate.

    • MATH2504 Operational Research and Monte Carlo Methods

      This module gives students the opportunity to work on open-ended case studies in operational research (OR) and Monte Carlo methods, both of which are important methods in, for example, industry and finance. It allows students to work on their own and in teams to develop specific skills in OR and programming as well as refining their presentation and communication skills.

    • MATH2503 Ordinary Differential Equations

      The module aims to provide an introduction to different types of ordinary differential equations and analytical and numerical methods to obtain their solutions. Extensive use will be made of computational mathematics packages. Applications to mechanical and chemical systems are considered as well as the chaotic behaviour seen in climate models.

    • MATH2507 Regression Modelling

      This module develops your understanding of advanced regression modelling by extending and generalising the linear model. The module will develop your understanding of the underlying mathematical theory by careful use of case studies in a variety of applications using professional software.

    • BPIE200 Stage 2 Placement Preparation

      Building on the year one module (BPIE100), this module continues supporting you with your search for a placement and your preparation for the placement itself.

    • MATH2502 Vector Calculus and its Applications

      This module introduces the student to the methods of vector calculus and the fundamental integration theorems. The applications include a range of important scientific problems primarily from classical mechanics and cosmology. The module also introduces the idea of curvature and applies this to the geometry of bubbles and minimal surfaces.

  • Optional placement year
  • You’ll have the opportunity to take an optional but highly recommended placement, providing valuable paid professional experience with world renowned companies, enhancing your employability and making your CV really stand out. Previous placement providers have included the Department for Communities and Local Government, Fujitsu, GlaxoSmithKline, Vauxhall Motors and Eli Lilly.
    Optional modules
    • BPIE331 Mathematics and Statistics Placement

      A 48-week period of professional training spent as the third year of a sandwich programme undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company. This provides an opportunity for the student to gain experience of how mathematics and statistics are used in a working environment, to consolidate the first two stages of study and to prepare for the final stage and employment after graduation.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you’ll have the choice of several different project modules in mathematics, statistics or both, or opting to study a school-based module. Additionally, from a wide range of options from medical statistics to quantum theory. Your studies will focus on a diverse range of topics from partial differential equations and theoretical physics to a wide variety of statistical modules including medical and Bayesian statistics.
    Core modules
    • MATH3514 Multivariate Statistics and Experimental Design

      The first half of this module covers the general principles of designing experiments and analysing the resulting data. This then leads into a study of methods for analysing multivariate data. Thorough practice is provided in applying all the methods learnt using appropriate computer software.

    Optional modules
    • MATH3504 Applications of Partial Differential Equations

      This module provides an introduction to the numerical methods needed to solve partial differential equations (PDE's). The numerical solution of a variety of examples of practical interest is considered using computer software such as MATLAB. The accuracy and precision of these approximate solutions will be estimated.

    • MATH3512 Bayesian Inference

      Often we need to make inferences based on a limited data set. The Bayesian approach to statistics allows us to do this. This module provides an introduction to the Bayesian analysis. The first part covers Bayesian inference and the second part explores the use of modern computational methods, in particular Markov chain Monte Carlo, for solving practical problems.

    • MATH3508 Classical and Quantum Mechanics

      This module introduces advanced classical mechanics and the key ideas of quantum mechanics to students with a mathematics background. An overarching theme will be the key role of symmetry, both for classical motion and quantum behaviour.

    • MATH3511 Dynamical Systems

      This module presents an introduction to the basic concepts and techniques needed to analyse nonlinear dynamical systems modelled by differential equations and difference equations. The distinction between regular and chaotic dynamics will be explored and the transition between them will be analysed. The methods will be used to model systems in physics, chemistry and biology.

    • MATH3509 Electrodynamics and Relativity

      This module introduces Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism and Einstein's theory of special relativity. It includes a wide range of applications of electromagnetism, the Lorentz transformations and some of the apparent paradoxes of relativity together with their resolution. It will also explain why E = mc2.

    • MATH3510 Fluid Dynamics

      Fluid flow problems are formulated mathematically as systems of partial differential equations. These will then be solved and the results interpreted for a mixture of theoretical and practical examples of both inviscid and viscous fluid flows. Applications studied will include: aeronautics, ocean waves and a variety of industrial topics.

    • MATH3507 Geometry and Topology

      Plane affine, hyperbolic, and projective geometries will be explored, from the Kleinian point of view. Then elementary geometric topology will be introduced, ending with the study of polyhedra on various surfaces.

    • MATH3502 Mathematical Sciences in Context

      This module is designed to be an alternative to the MATH3501 individual project. In the module students will perform a series of structured investigations on a variety of advanced topics in mathematics and statistics. Written and oral presentations of the work will be made.

    • MATH3513 Medical Statistics

      The content includes the design and analysis of clinical trials, including crossover and sequential designs and an introduction to meta-analysis. Epidemiology is studied, including case-control and cohort studies. Survival analysis is covered in detail. Computer packages are used throughout.

    • MATH3516 Optimisation

      This module covers the mathematics of optimal solutions to diverse problems that arise in science, engineering and management. Techniques include linear programming and related methods; discrete optimisation using network algorithms; non-linear optimisation including gradient methods and global optimisation methods. This module uses specialist software and gives the student advanced skills in mathematical decision making.

    • MATH3503 Partial Differential Equations

      This module covers the central theoretical techniques of partial differential equations (PDE's). The analytic tools are introduced practically through modelling of scientific, industrial or financial problems. The module also introduces the theoretical framework which underlies the numerical solution of PDE's.

    • MATH3515 Professional Experience in Mathematics Education

      This module provides an opportunity for final year students to gain experience in teaching and to develop their key educational skills by working in a school environment for one morning a week. This can be at a primary, secondary or FE establishment and will focus on providing both practical experience of mathematics teaching and an insight into the modern teaching profession.

    • MATH3501 Project

      In this module students will work individually and independently, with help and advice from a supervisor, on a topic chosen by the student. This could range from a topic preparing you for a particular career or a subject which the student is particularly interested in exploring in depth. Written and oral presentations of the work will be made.

    • MATH3517 Stochastic Calculus with Financial Applications

      : This module gives an introduction to stochastic calculus with applications to finance. We introduce the basic concepts of stochastic processes and we construct the stochastic integral with respect to the Brownian motion. We show how to formulate and solve stochastic differential equations. We illustrate its use for pricing and hedging of derivative securities in the Black-Scholes model, including further applications to exotic options and interest rate models.

    • MATH3518 Time Series Analysis and Modelling

      This module introduces students to the concepts and methods of time series analysis and modelling for a variety of applications, including finance. The module reviews the main time series models and inferential techniques. Model selection and forecasting are treated both at methodological and computational levels.

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

320 points from a minimum of two A levels including grade A in mathematics.
International Baccalaureate: 30 points with HL mathematics at grade 5.
Other qualifications are also welcome and will be considered individually, as will be individuals returning to education.

Fees & funding

Home/EU £9,000 International £11,500 Home/EU part time £750 per 10 credits
For more information about our fees and funding please visit

Scholarships and Awards  
For 2015 entry, we have the following scholarship: 
  • Mathematics Scholarship: students are eligible for a £500 automatic scholarship if they have a grade A* in A-level Mathematics plus £500 for an A in Further Mathematics, up to a total of £1,000. To be eligible for this scholarship, students must put us as their first choice before 1 August 2015. The scholarship is paid in term one of the first year. 
  • There are additional prizes and awards to reward high marks in later years.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

Apply for this course on the UCAS website.

For more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.


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Open days

A number of open day events are held each year, welcoming you to the campus to find out more about the University, accommodation, facilities and study opportunities.

Find out more from our open days section or register to come and see us using a short open day registration form.

Studying mathematics and statistics

Use mathematics to problem solve and master statistical software used in industry – equipping you with powerful tools vital in today’s world of Big Data.

This course includes high level mathematical and statistical theory with a wide range of applications and often using real-world data.

Find out more about studying mathematics and statistics

Technology supported learning

From podcasts, online videos, eBooks and electronic copies of lecture notes, to in-class voting and online feedback, you’ll have access to all the resources you need with your own Apple iPad mini. You can also use this to create podcasts in assessments.

Access to University online systems such as module sites, the eLibrary and email at your fingertips.

Supporting you to succeed

In the latest National Student Survey 100 per cent of our students agreed our ‘staff are good at explaining things’.

From our open door policy and personal tutors to your own iPad and ebook library, benefit from the support you need to match your needs and ambitions.

Find out more about the varied support available to you

Welcome to mathematics at Plymouth

Professor David McMullan, Head of Mathematics and Statistics, and final year student Dan Hodges discuss what it’s like to study here and show you some of our facilities.

Watch and discover more about studying mathematics at Plymouth University.