School of Engineering, Computing 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.

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 course-specific 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.

Many of our students go on to work in the City of London and other financial centres, including careers in accountancy, actuarial science (modelling risk), quantitative analysis as well as in commercial and merchant banking.

Key features

  • The degree includes high level mathematical and statistical techniques, with financial applications ranging from accountancy to financial markets and investment management.
  • You will be taught by staff with expertise in financial mathematics and statistics from both the Centre for Mathematical Sciences and Plymouth Business School.
  • Financial statistics is lectured by someone who has worked for a hedge fund. Other important mathematical material for financial markets includes partial differential equations, time series and optimisation techniques.
  • Model and simulate financial products with Bloomberg Professional service and the statistical programming language, R. These skills are valued by financial employers.
  • 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.

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

    • 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.

    • Calculus and Analysis (MATH1602)

      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.

    • 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.

    • Geometry and Group Theory (MATH1611)

      This module will introduce the foundations of group theory, elementary geometric topology, and Euclidean geometry.

  • 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

    • Financial Institutions and Markets (ACF5002)

      This module deals with financial markets, instruments, and institutions. You will examine the bond market, the stock market and the foreign exchange market and explore investment banking and mutual funds.

    • Stage 2 Mathematics Placement Preparation (BPIE213)

      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.

    • Advanced Calculus (MATH2601)

      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.

    • Statistical Inference and Regression (MATH2602)

      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.

    • Ordinary Differential Equations (MATH2603)

      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.

    • Mathematical Methods and Applications (MATH2604)

      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.

    • Operational Research and Monte Carlo Methods (MATH2605)

      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 applications.

  • 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

    • 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

  • 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

    • Investment Management (ACF6002)

      In this module, you will develop a broad understanding of equities and bonds as investments, considering their pricing and use in investment management along with that of derivatives. In addition, you will explore core concepts in finance including market efficiency, diversification, risk, portfolio building and evaluation.

    • Optimisation, Networks and Graphs (MATH3609)

      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.

    • Financial Statistics (MATH3623)

      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

    • Geometry and Algebra (MATH3604)

      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.

    • Partial Differential Equations (MATH3605)

      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.

    • Data Modelling (MATH3613)

      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.

    • Medical Statistics (MATH3614)

      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.

    • Professional Experience in Industry (MATH3616)

      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.

    • Project (MATH3628)

      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

    • Mathematical Sciences Group Project (MATH3631)

      Students work in small groups researching a problem in mathematics, statistics or theoretical physics. These projects can involve the solution of financial, computing, industrial or scientific problems. Students give oral presentations on their work and write up a journal style article. Some of these articles have been published. This module enhances communication and employability skills.

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 ProgrammeSpecification September 2022 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.

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.

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

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.

T level: As a University we will continue to review T Level qualifications as more information becomes available in the next couple of months.

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 2021-2022 2022-2023
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,200 £14,600
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.

The Plymouth Mathematics Scholarship

Up to £1,000. 

Students are automatically paid £500 for an A in Mathematics A level and/or a further sum of £500 for an A in Further Mathematics. This is awarded to home applicants who put us as their firm choice before the 1 August 2022. The scholarship is paid during your first year.

There are additional prizes and awards to reward high achievement in later years of the degree.

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

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.

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

  • 6 Benefit from outstanding teaching: in the National Student Survey 2021, 93% agreed that, "Staff are good at explaining things", placing us in the top 10 of universities for Mathematics.*
  • > Accredited by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications
<p>Students working in the Bloomberg Lab</p>

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

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.
Find out more about studying mathematics with finance

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What it is like to carry out a project on our mathematics degrees

Your final year project is an opportunity to explore an area of mathematics in depth. In this video our graduate Edward Evans talks about his final year project on Fermat’s Last Theorem.

“It was difficult concepts to get my head around, but closer and closer to the end everything came together and I understood everything more. By the hand in date I had this document that I could be really proud of.”

Mathematics graduate Edward Evans

<p>Mohammad Tahir</p>
Welcome to mathematics and statistics at University of Plymouth

Supporting you to succeed

In the 2021 National Student Survey, 84% agreed that, "Good advice was available when I needed to make study choices on my course", placing us in the top 10 of universities for Mathematics in the UK.*
Find out more about the varied support available to you

Studying mathematics at Plymouth

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

Work placements

  • ? A placement year will give you the opportunity to experience working life, and can lead to a job offer upon graduation

Work placements

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

Martin Burdett gained important skills and career-defining experiences working as a Catastrophe Modelling Assistant at Amlin. Read his story.

Further information about mathematics student placements

<p>Martin Burdett -&nbsp;BSc (Hons) Mathematics with Finance</p>

People

  • Associate Head of School - School Outreach & Admissions
    Associate Head of School - Outreach and Admissions, Admissions Tutor
  • Lecturer in Pure Mathematics
    Admissions Tutor
  • Associate Head of School
    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

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
<p>athena swan bronze</p>

Athena Swan Bronze

The School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics was awarded an Athena Swan Bronze award in October 2020 which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to advancing gender equality and success for all.

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