School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics

BSc (Hons) Mathematics with Finance

In the financial world, high-level mathematics equips you to understand and model the markets. Key topics in this course include stochastic calculus and time series, which are used for modelling the pricing of financial options or quantifying your exposure to risk. You are introduced to the structure of the financial world through modules in accountancy, financial institutions and investment management. You gain strong communication skills through presentations and small group tutorials.

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.*

Many of our students go on to work in the City of London and other financial centres. Careers include accountancy, actuary (modelling risk), quantitative analysts as well as commercial and merchant banking

Key features

  • Benefit from outstanding teaching: in the 2017 National Student Survey 98 per cent of our final year mathematics students said that 'Staff are good at explaining things' and 97 per cent felt that 'The course is intellectually stimulating'.*
  • 'Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of the course': 100 per cent of our final year mathematics students agreed with this statement in the 2017 National Student Survey.*
  • Seize the opportunity to be taught by staff with expertise in financial mathematics and statistics from both the Centre for Mathematical Sciences and Plymouth Business School.
  • Learn 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 students agreed that ‘I have had the right opportunities to work with other students as part of my course'.*
  • 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 such as Bloomberg Professional service and R.
  • 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.
  • Benefit from a degree accredited by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, setting you on a path to Chartered Mathematician (CMath) status.
  • An optional but strongly recommended placement between the second and final years gives you excellent career prospects. Recent placement providers include Vauxhall Motors (finance division) and reinsurance giant Swiss Re.
  • An impressive track record of graduate positions, with our graduates working for Ernst and Young, Whitbread PLC, Francis Clark Chartered Accountants, Rightmove, Wellers, Ricoh UK and Lloyds Banking Group.

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 you to financial accounting.
    Core modules
    • ACF1002PP Understanding Financial Markets

      This module explores the role of financial markets in a capitalist economy. The module provides an introduction to the nature and operation of financial markets and the risks and opportunities that investors, including banks and insurance companies, face when using financial markets. The module also covers, at a basic level, some key financial concepts, including risk and return and market efficiency.

    • 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

  • Year 2
  • In Year 2, 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
    • ACF201 Financial Institutions and Markets

      This module deals with financial markets, instruments, and institutions. The coverage includes the bond market, the stock market and the foreign exchange market. The module also introduces investment banking and mutual funds.

    • 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.

  • Optional placement year
  • An optional but highly recommended placement in Year 3 provides you with valuable paid professional experience and helps make your CV stand out. Recent placement providers include Vauxhall Motors (finance division) and reinsurance giant Swiss Re.
    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
  • 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. Deepen your expertise with optional modules covering topics including partial differential equations, time series and optimisation techniques. You can also undertake a final year project on a topic of personal interest. Recent projects have included the Black-Scholes model and simulations of derivative pricing.
    Core modules
    • ACF302 Investment Management

      This module is designed to provide a broad understanding of equities and bonds as investments. It considers their pricing and use in investment management along with that of derivatives. In addition core concepts in finance are covered including market efficiency, diversification, risk, portfolio building and evaluation.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • MATH3624 Mathematical Finance in Context

      This module is designed to be an alternative to the individual project. In the module students perform structured investigations on a variety of advanced topics in mathematics and statistics. Students give oral presentations and write up a journal style article on their work. Some of these articles have been published in the University of Plymouth’s Student Scientist journal.

    • 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

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 Mathematics with Finance 2517 Programme Specification September 2016 2517

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.

English language requirements

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 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

Students working in our Bloomberg Lab using live data from stock markets

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.

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.