School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

BSc (Hons) Mathematics

Whether you are drawn to it because of the exhilaration of solving problems, the beauty of an elegant or unexpected result, or its power and adaptability to model the world around us, studying mathematics at Plymouth trains you to think both systematically and creatively. These are skills that are valued in today’s economy and mathematics graduates are sought after by a wide range of employers.

Choose your direction with this highly flexible course. Take the opportunity to personalise your degree - by choosing appropriate modules you can graduate with the following degree titles: BSc Mathematics, BSc Mathematics with Education or BSc Mathematics with Finance.

Mathematical sciences degrees

This is one of the suite of mathematics undergraduate degrees that we offer. You can find out more about the various options at the link below.

Which mathematics degree is right for me?

Opportunities available...

  • A scholarship scheme is available: for more information, see the 'Fees, costs and funding' section, below.
  • Excellence schemes: we may make you a personalised offer if you are a strong candidate – visit our webpage for details.
Careers with this subject

A Plymouth Mathematics degree opens the door to a rewarding career in many sectors including science, engineering, finance, government, medicine and education. Employers value work experience, and we offer a varied programme of student placements. Our graduates progress to a wide range of interesting jobs or postgraduate study. Recent employers include KPMG, GCHQ, Lloyds Banking Group, the Met Office, Oxford Clinical Trials Research Unit, and Siemens.

What can you do with a mathematics degree?

Key features

  • This course offers modules in all key areas of mathematics, statistics and theoretical physics, including a wide choice of final year options. This allows you to follow your interests and shape your future career.
  • You will acquire skills which are highly sought after by employers: problem solving skills, knowledge of computing languages and mathematical software packages as well as presentation and communication skills.
  • Enjoy new facilities – state of the art lecture theatres, computer laboratories, study and social spaces – in our £50 million teaching and research building opening in 2023.
  • Benefit from being part of the close-knit, collaborative and supportive family that is Mathematical Sciences at Plymouth. This includes small group tutorials, study space next to staff offices, our lecturers’ open-door policy, student-led learning sessions and the Maths Society.
  • Meet the mathematics of sustainability and climate change in our Mathematics of Planet Earth module.
  • An optional but recommended paid placement year primes you for the career you want. Students who have taken a placement tend to attract multiple job offers.
  • You have an opportunity in the final year to carry out an in-depth research project on a mathematical topic of your choice, supervised by an expert in that field. This involves producing a 50 page report and presenting your work at a poster session.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Learn the underlying mathematics that underpins the rest of your degree and master coding in the industrial software Python, right from the start. You’ll begin by building on the mathematical skills and topics you learnt at school, studying six core modules including calculus, linear algebra, numerical methods, pure mathematics, and probability. We’ve structured the curriculum so that all of our students acquire a common mathematical expertise, so you’ll also have the flexibility to move between courses as you progress.

    Core modules

    • Stage 1 Mathematics Placement Preparation (BPIE113)

      The route to graduate-level employment is found easier with experience. These sessions are designed to assist students in their search for a year-long placement and in their preparation for the placement itself. Such placements are optional but strongly recommended.

    • Mathematical Reasoning (MATH1601)

      This module introduces the basic reasoning skills needed to develop and apply mathematical ideas. Clear logical thinking is central to the understanding of mathematics. The module explores fundamental properties of prime numbers, their random generation and use in modern cryptography.

    • Linear Algebra and Complex Numbers (MATH1603)

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

    • Probability with Applications (MATH1605)

      An understanding of uncertainty and random phenomena is becoming increasingly important nowadays in daily life and for a variety of fields. The aim of this module in probability is to develop the concept of chance in a mathematical framework. Random variables are also introduced, with examples involving most of the common distributions and the concepts of expectation and variance of a random variable.

    • Numerical and Computational Methods (MATH1610)

      This module provides an introduction to appropriate mathematical software, computational mathematics and creating simple computer programs. Students will use mathematical software interactively and also write programs in an appropriate computer language. The elementary numerical methods which underlie industrial and scientific applications will be studied.

    • Calculus (MATH1702)

      Calculus underpins mathematical modelling in science, finance and industry. This module gives students the ability to calculate accurately and efficiently. Key results are proven and calculus is extended to higher dimensions through partial differentiation and multiple integration. The methods covered in this module will be used by students throughout the rest of their degree.

    • Analysis and Group Theory (MATH1704)

      In this module we explore two fundamental areas of pure mathematics. Analysis provides a rigorous foundation of calculus, while group theory introduces important algebraic structures that are used in many branches of pure mathematics and their applications. A rigorous approach will be taken in both topics, with emphasis on proof. Python will be used to illustrate and investigate cutting edge applications.

  • Year 2

  • In Year 2 you'll expand your knowledge with topics including vector calculus, complex analysis, differential equations, transform theory, algebra and mathematical statistics. You will also have a case study-based introduction to operational research, the branch of mathematics developed for better management and decision making, and powerful Monte Carlo methods for simulating complex problems.

    Core modules:
    • Advanced Calculus
    • Statistical Inference and Regression
    • Algebra and Transforms
    • Differential Equations
    • Operational Research
    • Complex Analysis and Vector Calculus
    • Stage 2 mathematics placement preparation
  • Optional placement year

  • You'll have the opportunity to participate in an optional but highly recommended placement year, providing valuable paid professional experience and helping make your CV stand out. Typically students are paid around £17,000 and placement providers have included the Department for Communities and Local Government, Fujitsu, GSK, Vauxhall Motors, VirginCare, Visteon and Jagex Games Studio.

    Optional modules

    • Mathematics and Statistics Placement (BPIE331)

      A 48-week period of professional training is spent as the third year of a sandwich programme while undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company. This provides an opportunity for the student to gain experience of how mathematics is used in a working environment, to consolidate their previous study and to prepare for the final year and employment after graduation. Recent placement providers include GSK, the Office for National Statistics, NATS (air traffic control) and VW Group.

  • Final year

  • Choose from a wide range of modules covering pure and applied mathematics, and operational research, as well as theoretical physics and statistics. A choice of small group case studies and the additional option of an individual project offer you the chance to study an interest in depth. You may opt to study a school-based placement module.

    Optional modules:

    • Mathematics of Planet Earth
    • Project
    • Industrial Placement
    • School Placement
    • Statistical Data Modelling
    • Financial Statistics
    • Medical Statistics
    • Quantum Computing
    • Relativity and Cosmology
    • Machine Learning
    • Big Data Analytics
    • Partial Differential Equations
    • Fluid Dynamics
    • Modelling and Numerical Simulation
    • Optimisation, Networks and Graphs
    • Algebraic Geometry and Cryptography

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Hons Mathematics Programme Specification 0153

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

112 - 128

A level
112-128 points, to include a minimum of 2 A levels, including B in Mathematics or Further Mathematics. (Pure Maths, Pure and Applied Maths, Maths and Statistics, Maths and Mechanics are also accepted as they are considered the same as the Maths A Level). Excluding General Studies. Must have GCSE English and Maths at Grade C/4 or above.

A typical offer might be 120.

We do not run an unconditional offer scheme but may make personalised, lower offers to selected candidates.

Furthermore, applicants attending one of our spring offer holder days may also be given a lower offer after we have met you on the day.

BTEC
18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDM to include a distinction in a mathematics unit: individual interview/diagnostic test will be required.

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. This information enables us to process your application quickly and avoid delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

Access
Pass Access to HE Diploma (e.g mathematics, science, combined) with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction and to include at least 12 credits in mathematics units with merit. Individual interview/diagnostic test will be required please contact admissions@plymouth.ac.uk for further information.

International Baccalaureate
30 overall to include 5 at Higher Level mathematics. 

Other qualifications are also welcome and will be considered individually, as will be individuals returning to education, email maths@plymouth.ac.uk

Students may also apply for the BSc (Hons) Mathematics with Foundation Year. Successful completion of the foundation year guarantees automatic progression to the first year of any of our mathematics courses.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,600 £16,300
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Science and Engineering and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Additional fieldwork and equipment costs.

Scholarships for outstanding School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics applicants


The School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics Scholarship Scheme recognises and rewards the achievements of high achieving entrants to our undergraduate degree programmes. Scholarships of £1,000 will be automatically awarded to the best 12 new entrants from across our four disciplines - Engineering, Computing, Mathematics and Navigation. Selection will be based upon entry qualifications and strength of application. Awards will be made during first year of study.

There are additional subject specific prizes and awards to reward outstanding achievement in later stages of study.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

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. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Progression routes

International progression routes

The University of Plymouth International College (UPIC) offers foundation, first-year and pre-masters programmes that lead to University of Plymouth degrees. Courses are specially designed for EU and international students who are missing the grades for direct entry to the University, and include full duration visa sponsorship. You can start in January, May or September, benefitting from small class sizes, top-quality tuition and 24/7 student support.


Find out more at plymouth.ac.uk/upic or contact our team at info@upic.plymouth.ac.uk

Discover mathematics at Plymouth

Explore profound and beautiful ideas and understand how they can be applied to the key challenges facing us today and tomorrow.

Our Maths Lab is a dedicated space for students to solve problems, practise presentations and talk about mathematics

Studying mathematics
This research-led mathematics degree equips you with a solid base in pure and applied mathematics.

Welcome to mathematics and statistics at University of Plymouth

Supporting you to succeed
You are supported by an open door policy, a personal tutor system, peer assisted learning and much more.

Studying mathematics at Plymouth
This short film will help you discover what studying one of the range of mathematics degrees at Plymouth is like.

  • 6 In the 2022 National Student Survey, 100% of our final year students said that ‘Staff are good at explaining things’.*
  • , The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) accredited degree

Develop your skills, knowledge and confidence with a work placement

Katie Hardman – industrial experience to a job offer
"I found that the skills I had already gained at the University prepared me well for the experience and also for future jobs."
After her industrial internship with Babcock, Katie was offered a full-time graduate position by them after the completion of her degree. Read Katie's story.

<p>Katie Hardman,&nbsp;BSc (Hons) Mathematics student at the University</p>

People

  • Head of School and substantive Professor of Mathematics
  • Associate Head of School for Mathematics
    Associate Head of School - Outreach and Admissions, Admissions Tutor
  • Lecturer in Pure Mathematics
    Admissions Tutor
  • Associate Professor in Mathematics
    Associate Head of School for Mathematical Sciences, Pure Mathematician
  • Deputy Head of School
    Teaching and Learning, Statistician, Senior Fellow of the HE Academy
  • Lecturer in Statistics
    Mathematical Sciences Employability Lead
  • Lecturer in Mathematics
    Programme Manager, Applied Mathematician
  • Lecturer in Mathematics Education
    Mathematics Education Lead
  • Associate Professor of Statistics
    Royal Statistical Society South West Local Group Secretary
  • Associate Professor of Theoretical Physics
    Final Year Tutor, Otto Hahn Medal winner
  • Visiting Professor
    High Performance Computing Lead, Associate Member CERN theory group
  • Professor in Theoretical Physics
    First Year Tutor, Professor of Theoretical Physics
  • Associate Professor of Data Science and Statistics
    MSc Programme Manager, Data Analytics
  • Lecturer in Statistics
    Financial Statistics lecturer
  • Lecturer in Theoretical Physics
    Member HPQCD collaboration
  • Associate Professor in Mathematics and Statistics
    Royal Statistical Society South West Chair, Senior Fellow of the HE Academy
  • Lecturer in Mathematical Sciences
    Applied Mathematician
  • Lecturer in Applied Mathematics
    Foundation Year Programme Manager, Lead of the Plymouth GPU Research Centre
  • Associate Professor in Theoretical Physics
    Theoretical Physicist, Member User Forum of the UK Central Laser Facility
  • Lecturer in Theoretical Physics
    High Performance Computing Unit Director, Associate Member CERN theory group
  • Visiting Researcher
    Applied Mathematician
  • Visiting Researcher
    Emeritus Professor
<p>Callum Patmore – BSc (Hons) Mathematics<br></p>

Student profile: Callum Patmore

I would highly recommend taking a mathematics degree as it opens your eyes to the language of the universe and how things truly work. 
The most important factor to any student's journey is having lecturers that positively love the subject they teach. Plymouth provides this in so many ways. In the last year of my degree, I undertook a project on the applications of quantum entanglement. I delved into quantum cryptography and used a method called Schmidt decomposition to determine if a state in quantum mechanics is entangled. My project supervisor was Professor David McMullan and he was the greatest, helping me academically and personally through the ups and downs of the final year of my studies. I truly couldn’t have finished the last year without his guidance. Going forward from my degree at Plymouth I am looking into a career as a mathematics educator. 

Choose Plymouth

Exciting career opportunities, passionate academics and state-of-the-art facilities

Opening doors with mathematics
Graduating with a mathematics degree can open the door to many employment opportunities, learn how Plymouth can help you stand out from the crowd.

Nathan Broomhead

The truth and perfection of mathematics
To those who have studied it, mathematics is like a language. A language that allows complex ideas to be expressed with precision and clarity.

<p>New Engineering and Design Facility</p>

New engineering and design facility
A state-of-the-art space to inspire creativity and collaboration on our campus.

Advice on personal statements

"Your personal statement should paint a picture of why you want to study mathematics — use it to show me your enthusiasm for the subject. For example, tell me which topics have particularly excited you, and why."

"Outside interests and work experience can show more about you – have you been a trusted person at work? Have you volunteered to help others learn at school? Have you trained people in a sport? Any of these things makes you a stronger applicant, so do mention them, but remember to keep the focus on your studies."

Dr Nathan Broomhead, Admissions Tutor in Mathematical Sciences

Equations in the mathematics laboratory

*These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni is updated annually in September.