School of Computing and Mathematics

BSc (Hons) Mathematics with Finance

Invest in your future and learn the inner workings of the financial markets. High-level mathematics puts you a step ahead in the financial world, whether you want to price financial options or quantify your exposure to risk. Key topics include stochastic calculus and time series, which are used for modelling financial markets and pricing, as well as accountancy, financial institutions and investment management. Master analytical and computational skills and improve your communication skills.

UCAS tariff
UCAS course code
Institution code
3 years
(+ optional placement)
Start date
September 2014
Course type
Full-time, Part-time route available

Key features

  • Seize the opportunity to be taught by staff with expertise in financial mathematics and statistics from both the School of Computing and Mathematics and Plymouth Business School.
  • Receive outstanding teaching – highly rated by students in the latest National Student Survey.
  • Sharpen your knowledge with high level mathematical and statistical techniques from the core of our mathematics degree, and financial applications ranging from accountancy to financial markets and investment management.
  • Progress in your final year with modules on quantitative finance, which introduce techniques in stochastic calculus for modelling fluctuating financial markets. Other important mathematical material for financial markets include partial differential equations, time series and optimisation techniques.
  • Model and simulate financial products with the professional computing skills you gain on the course.
  • Receive a free iPad mini to support your learning and eBook textbooks worth over £200. 
  • Benefit from a degree accredited by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications for Chartered Mathematician status.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you’ll study the same modules as students on BSc (Hons) Mathematics. As well as mathematics, you will study probability and statistics, which underlie much of modern finance such as risk analysis. Modules include calculus, linear algebra, mathematical reasoning and numerical methods. Plymouth Business School lecturers introduce financial accounting.
    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.

    • 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.

    • ABF103 Principles of Accounting

      This module provides an introduction to accounting for students, who mainly intend to specialise in this area. The module largely deals with the preparation of the main financial statements and their interpretation.

    • 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 year two, you'll study a range of modules including vector calculus, differential equations and Monte Carlo methods where random sampling is used to solve numerical problems. You'll also examine financial markets, institutions, and instruments including interest rates, exchange rates, forward rates, options, swaps and hedging with derivative securities. The second year also provides you with skills in operational research, the mathematical techniques underlying management and decision making.
    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.

    • ABF204 Financial Institutions and Markets

      This module deals with financial markets, financial information, and financial institutions. The coverage includes expectations, arbitrage, asymmetric information, and the characteristics of financial institutions.

    • 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.

    Optional modules
    • 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.

    • 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
  • An optional but highly recommended placement in year three provides you with valuable paid professional experience and helps make your CV stand out.
    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 study financial institutions as well as stochastic calculus and time series both of which underlie the modelling of financial markets. You’ll choose from a range of modules including mathematical statistics and non-linear systems and undertake a final year project. Recent final year projects have included the Black-Scholes model and simulations of derivative pricing.
    Core modules
    • ABF305 Investment Management

      This module is designed to provide a broad understanding of equities and bonds as investments. It considers their pricing and their application in fund management, along with that of equity derivatives. It also looks the nature of financial market efficiency and the evaluation of portfolio performance. Students on the module will, among other activities, evaluate models of equities and bonds, understand the fundamentals of equity and bond portfolio construction, appreciate the difficulties of evaluating portfolio performance, assess the efficiency of capital markets, and understand the uses of equity derivatives in portfolio management.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

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 2014 entry, we have the following scholarships: 
  • Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence - £2,000 for any applicant for this course who has made Plymouth University their first choice by Wednesday 8 May 2014 and who achieves the equivalent of ABB in three A levels (or equivalent) and enrolls here in September 2014. Students are eligible if they have at least one of the following combinations listed in the qualification/grade table as well as satisfying all our entrance criteria.
  • Mathematics Scholarship: students who do not obtain the Dean’s Award 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 2014. The scholarship is paid in term one of the first year. 
  • There are additional prizes and certificates 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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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.

  • Institute of Mathematics and its Applications logo
    Institute of Mathematics and its Applications accredited degree
  • Guardian University Awards logo
    Winner in the Teaching Excellence category for the Guardian University Awards 2013

Studying mathematics with finance

Become an expert in financial markets, investment management and the use of high level mathematical tools such as the Black-Scholes stochastic partial differential equation used to model option pricing.

You’ll also master statistical skills and the analytical and computational techniques required for business and management.

Find out more about studying mathematics with finance

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.


Academic Excellence Awards

Our scholarships reward achievement above and beyond that required for entry to a particular course of study.

At Plymouth University, we not only recognises academic excellence but also the value of people who push themselves the extra mile.

Find out more about how Academic Excellence Awards can benefit you