School of Computing, Electronics 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.

We’re very proud of our National Student Survey (NSS) 2017 return showing overall satisfaction for 100 per cent of our students. 98 per cent of students said our staff are good at explaining things, with 97 per cent finding the course intellectually stimulating, well organised and run smoothly.*

There are very many job opportunities for statisticians. Google’s Chief Economist said that “I keep saying the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians.“ Statistics is applicable to almost every field, which is why a famous statistician also said "The best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone's backyard."  

Key features

  • Benefit from outstanding teaching: in the 2017 National Student Survey 98 per cent of our final year students said that 'Staff are good at explaining things' and that 'The course is intellectually stimulating'.*
  • Study mathematics, statistics and their applications through modules in pure and applied mathematics as well as probability, statistics and operational research.
  • Choose from a wide range of final year options to follow your interests and shape your future career. These include financial mathematics and statistics and also medical statistics.
  • Enjoy teaching from leading mathematicians and statisticians: in the UK 2014 Research Excellence Framework 68 per cent of our research papers were classified as World Leading or Internationally Excellent.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Become a confident, effective communicator, able to present your ideas visually, verbally and in writing. Small group tutorials help you acquire these skills. In the 2017 National Student Survey 100 per cent of our final year students agreed that 'I have had the right opportunities to work with other students as part of my course'.*
  • 100 per cent of final year students agreed that they were satisfied with the quality of the course in the 2017 National Student Survey.*
  • 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.
  • Expand the ways you study with access to an extensive set of online support materials, including podcasts and eBooks, that you can freely access via your provided tablet PC.
  • 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
  • Learn high-level mathematical and statistical skills and master industry software including Matlab and Maple 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 and statistics. We’ve structured the curriculum so that all of our students acquire a common mathematical expertise. You’ll also be able to explore your interests with the flexibility to move between courses as you progress.
    Core modules
    • BPIE113 Stage 1 Mathematics Placement Preparation

      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.

    • MATH1601 Mathematical Reasoning

      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.

    • MATH1602 Calculus and Analysis

      This module covers key topics in calculus and analysis and prepares students for the rest of their degree. It has an emphasis on proof and rigour and introduces some multi-dimensional calculus together with the reasoning skills needed for the development of modern mathematics. Analysis is the rigorous underpinning of calculus and these key ideas are developed and applied to limits of sequences, series and functions.

    • MATH1603 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 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.

    • MATH1605 Probability with Applications

      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.

    • MATH1606 Numerical and Computational Methods

      This module provides an introduction to computational mathematics using the Matlab software to create simple computer programs. The Maple software is also used, primarily for computer algebra. The relevant formulae for the numerical methods are derived and the convergence and accuracy of the methods are investigated. These methods, which underlie scientific applications, are implemented on computers

    Optional modules
    • MATH1604PP Symmetry and Space

      This module introduces the foundations of the study of symmetries - group theory, and the study of the characteristics of shapes and spaces - topology and geometry. The topics covered are placed in the context of the wider discipline of mathematics, introducing their historical development and their relationship with (for example) art and physics.

    • MATH1608PP Understanding Big Data from Social Networks

      The amount of data from questionnaires and social networks has grown enormously. Computer tools are needed to understand what these data are telling us. Students gain valuable experience in questionnaire analysis, and in the use of software for understanding and reporting the underlying messages from data sources such as social networks. They also meet appropriate high performance computing techniques.

  • Year 2
  • Study core modules including advanced calculus, analysis, ordinary differential equations, a case study-based introduction to operational research and Monte Carlo techniques. An advanced statistical module helps you to build on and develop your existing knowledge and expertise.

    Core modules
    • BPIE213 Stage 2 Mathematics Placement Preparation

      These sessions are designed to help students obtain a year-long placement in the third year of their programme. Students are assisted both in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • MATH2601 Advanced Calculus

      In this module the geometrical and dynamical concepts needed to describe higher-dimensional objects are introduced. This includes vector calculus techniques and new forms of integration such as line integration. Students also explore the relations between integration and differentiation in higher dimensional hyperspaces. This knowledge is applied to various real world problems.

    • MATH2602 Statistical Inference and Regression

      The module provides a mathematical treatment of statistical inference, including confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. Methods of estimation are explored, focusing on maximum likelihood estimation. The module also demonstrates the underlying mathematical theory of the general linear model, through a variety of applications, using professional software.

    • MATH2603 Ordinary Differential Equations

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

    • MATH2604 Mathematical Methods and Applications

      Vector calculus is extended to higher dimensions and applied to a range of important scientific problems primarily from classical mechanics and cosmology. Differential and integral calculus is applied to the solution of differential equations and the orthogonal functions bases are constructed. The crucial mathematical concepts of integral transforms (Fourier and Laplace) and Fourier series are introduced.

    • MATH2605 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. The skills in computational simulation developed in this module have many application.

    • MATH2606 Real and Complex Analysis

      This module deepens the student’s understanding of real analysis and introduces complex analysis. The important distinction between real and complex analysis is explored and the utility of the complex framework is demonstrated. The central role of power series and their convergence properties are studied in depth. Applications include the evaluation of improper integrals and the construction of harmonic functions.

  • Optional placement year
  • Take an optional but highly recommended paid placement year. Your placement will provide valuable professional experience, enhancing your employability and making your CV really stand out. Previous placement with world renowned companies have included the Department for Communities and Local Government, Fujitsu, GlaxoSmithKline, Vauxhall Motors, Liberty Living and Eli Lilly.
    Optional modules
    • BPIE331 Mathematics and Statistics Placement

      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 between several different project modules in mathematics, statistics or both, or opting to study a school-based module. Your studies will focus on a diverse range of topics from partial differential equations and optimisation to a wide variety of statistical modules including medical and Bayesian statistics. After graduating, you’ll have the skills and experience needed to begin your career, or to take a research degree – often including funded places on MSc's in medical and financial statistics.

    Optional modules
    • MATH3603 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 over two semesters.

    • MATH3604 Geometry and Algebra

      A review of group theory leads into an exploration of plane affine, hyperbolic, and projective geometries, all from the Kleinian point of view. Then an introduction to rings and fields is given with applications in geometry emphasised. These topics are key ideas in the study of pure mathematics.

    • MATH3605 Partial Differential Equations

      This module introduces partial differential equations using real-life problems. It provides a variety of analytic and numerical methods for their solution. It includes a wide range of applications including heat diffusion and the Tsunami wave.

    • MATH3606 Classical and Quantum Mechanics

      All of physics and a large part of applied mathematics is based on classical mechanics and its extension to quantum theory. This module introduces key ideas of these topics to students with a mathematics background. An overarching theme is the key role of symmetry, both for classical motion and quantum behaviour.

    • MATH3609 Optimisation, Networks and Graphs

      This module introduces the mathematics of continuous and discrete optimisation. It provides the theoretical background and practical algorithmic techniques required to model and solve a diverse range of problems.

    • MATH3611 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 also explains why E = mc^2.

    • MATH3612 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. Both regular and chaotic dynamics are explored.

    • MATH3613 Data Modelling

      This module provides an employment relevant tool box of statistical modelling techniques and a rigorous treatment of the underlying mathematics. The Bayesian framework for statistical inference is developed and compared with the classical approach. Important computational algorithms, including Markov Chain Monte Carlo, are described. Application-rich modelling problems are considered.

    • MATH3614 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.

    • MATH3616 Professional Experience in Industry

      This module provides an opportunity for students to gain experience in applying mathematics in a commercial setting by undertaking a summer placement. Students develop their skills in written and verbal communication, listening, problem solving, time management, teamwork and leadership. Recent summer placement providers include Babcock International, BMW Group, Chess Dynamics Ltd and South West Water.

    • MATH3623 Financial Statistics

      This module introduces students to the concepts and methods of financial time series analysis and modelling and to a variety of financial applications. The module reviews the necessary univariate and multivariate time series models and inferential techniques. Model selection, forecasting and the ‘curse of dimensionality’ problem for high dimensional modelling are treated both analytically and computationally. The R programming language is widely used in this module.

    • MATH3627 Mathematical Statistics in Context

      In this module students will perform structured investigations on a variety of advanced topics in mathematical statistics. Written and oral presentations of the work will be made.

    • MATH3628 Project

      Students who have identified a topic of particular interest have the opportunity to study it in a final year project. Students work individually and independently, with help and advice from a supervisor, on the chosen topic. The project is assessed through presentations and the preparation of a dissertation. This is a major piece of work and the project counts as two modules

    • MATH3629 Fluid Dynamics

      Fluid flow problems are at the heart of systems ranging from weather forecasting and climate models to hydroelectricity generation and aerodynamics. They are all formulated mathematically as systems of partial differential equations. These are then solved and the results interpreted for a mixture of theoretical and practical examples of both inviscid and viscous fluid flows. Applications studied include: aeronautics, ocean waves and a variety of industrial topics.

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:

BScMathematicsandStatistics ProgrammeSpecification September 2017 1273

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.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

120 - 128

A level
A typical offer is 120 points to include minimum of 2 A levels, including grade B in A level Mathematics or B in Further Mathematics or A level Mathematics and Statistics or Math (Pure and Applied) excluding general studies. Mathematics (mechanics) accepted as mathematics.

BTEC
18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDM to include a distinction in a mathematics subject: 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. English must be included.

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.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.


Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £12,250 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.
Scholarships and Awards
For 2017 entry, we have the following scholarship:
  • Mathematics Scholarship of up to £1,000: students are automatically paid £500 for an A in Mathematics A level and/or £500 for an A in Further Mathematics A level. This is awarded to anybody who puts us as their firm choice before the 1st of August 2017. The scholarship is paid in the first semester 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. 

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 international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.



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 tablet PC. 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.

Current student - Patrycja Nguyen Hong

"I am currently on my second year of BSc (Hons) Mathematics and Statistics. Choosing Plymouth University was undoubtedly an excellent decision. Throughout the course I had a chance to work on multiple statistical modelling, operational research and case study projects which are a relevant preparation for prospective careers. I have developed my skills in various programming languages such as R, Python, Maple, MATLAB and Simul8, which are all extremely valued by many employers. During my second year I took the opportunity to work on a real world data project from a Plymouth based company, Iotec. The workshop was run by the Chief Scientific Officer and a recent Plymouth University graduate, currently employed by Iotec. It was an extremely beneficial and valuable experience as it gave me insight into how Big Data industry operates and how statistics and data analysis are used in solving real world problems."

Work placements

A ‘placement year’ is an excellent way to gain a competitive edge. It will set you up for when the graduation schemes launch and help you make better career decisions.

Elizabeth Goult gained important skills and career-defining experiences working for Plymouth Marine Laboratory as a student programmer.

Read more about Elizabeth's journey, and how you can launch your own career

Mathematics Scholarships: up to £1000

Choose to study mathematics with Plymouth University and you may be eligible to receive a scholarship of up to £1000.

Make Plymouth University your firm choice before the 1st of August 2017 and you will automatically be paid £500 for an A in Mathematics A level and/or £500 for an A in Further Mathematics A level. You will receive the scholarship during the first semester of the first year.

Additional prizes and awards will be available in later years to reward high marks.

Studying mathematics at Plymouth

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

Meet some of your lecturers

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