Mathematics BSc

Placement Offered This course has a Professional Practice option.

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

About the Course

Mathematics is a fundamental subject that is constantly developing. Yes – it is a discipline in its own right, but it is also the thinking behind countless commercial, industrial and technological activities. Mathematical models underpin engineering, the applied sciences, computing and many aspects of management today. 

The BSc Mathematics programme is broad-based, which means the focus is not on a single area of applications such as finance, management or computer studies. Instead, it aims to develop skills that you can use in a wide range of areas.

You will study many aspects of pure and applied mathematics, together with general concepts of mathematical modelling. When it comes to the application of mathematics, we cover finance, statistics, operational research (how maths can be applied to commercial and industrial problems), numerical analysis (the approximate solution of very hard problems) and mechanics.

In the final year you will be able to study in-depth those areas of mathematics that particularly appeal to you. For example, you can choose to concentrate on statistics or financial applications or you can maintain a broad approach to the subject as a whole.

This programme will meet the educational requirements of the Chartered Mathematician designation, awarded by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, when it is followed by subsequent training and experience in employment to obtain equivalent competences to those specified by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for taught Master's degrees.

Aims

This course will equip you with a deep understanding and versatility in applying mathematical knowledge to scientific, technological, business and other areas – preparing you for the many jobs that need these skills. We continue throughout to encourage the joy of studying maths that attracted students to this degree in the first place.

Studying maths at Brunel means you will be working with staff who are internationally recognised for their state-of-the-art subject knowledge. Because mathematics has links with many other subject areas, we offer an excitingly wide choice of courses, each with a different emphasis. These include modules in pure and applied mathematics, operational research, computer science, finance, information technology and management studies. This structure means that most individual subject modules are not unique to any particular degree.

We are also very active at postgraduate level, offering Mathematics MSc courses and research opportunities in many areas. External grants and contracts with industry and government establishments support much of our research – keeping us right at the 'cutting edge' and actively in contact with modern uses of mathematics. The result is that our undergraduate courses are truly up-to-date. For example, you may undertake your major final year project in one of our research areas.

Enquiries

Dr D Roman
Admissions Tutor

Department of Mathematics
Brunel University
Uxbridge
Middlesex
UB8 3PH

Tel +44 (0)1895 265180
Fax +44 (0)1895 269732
Email maths.admissions@brunel.ac.uk

Related Courses

Course Content

Typical Modules

Level 1

  • Transition to Independent Learning of Mathematics
  • Fundamentals of Mathematics
  • Calculus
  • Linear Algebra
  • Probability and Statistics I
  • Geometry and Applications
  • Computing Projects and Mechanics
  • Algorithms and Numerical Methods.

Level 2

  • Algebra
  • Linear Methods
  • Multivariable Calculus
  • Advanced Calculus and Numerical Methods
  • Vector Calculus and Applications
  • Probability and Statistics II
  • Elements of Combinatorics
  • Operational Research
  • Analysis 1 & Analysis 2
  • Employability Skills.

Level 3 core

  • Major Project (see below for more).

Level 3 options

  • Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations
  • Complex Variable Methods and Applications
  • Encryption and Data Compression
  • Numerical Methods for Differential Equations
  • Statistics III
  • Stochastic Models
  • Risk and Optimisation for Financial Planning.

Level 3 Major Project

This is a very valuable feature of the Mathematics BSc course – a substantial piece of individual, course-related work, personally supervised by a staff member. Project work accounts for about one third of your Level 3 study load, and will often be connected to staff research areas – it may also be in response to industry demands.

Students usually select from a list of projects offered by staff members. During 2014-15, over 150 project titles were available. These covered a wide range of mathematical areas and applications including, for example:

  • The very famous ‘travelling salesman problem’ (also known as ‘the lazy waiter’!);
  • Simulations of iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma and game theory
  • The mathematics of complex networks such as the web or Facebook
  • Applications of statistics to the Premier League, police complaints data and climate change.

Modern theories in quantitative finance – in particular, the highly influential financial derivatives (e.g. options) industry. (The ‘Black-Scholes theory’ is most famous for winning a Nobel Prize, and its misapplication is often blamed, rightly or wrongly, for the recent worldwide financial crisis.)

Students can work to their strengths and emphasise real applications or abstract theory, using theoretical and/or computational tools. Furthermore, students who have completed a work placement may choose to focus on a project associated with their work experience.

Special Features

  • Academic staff with an international reputation
    Learn from the best. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), nearly 60% of our research in the department was rated ‘World Leading’ or ‘Internationally Excellent’. Within London the Department of Mathematics was ranked in the top three.

  • Excellent career prospects
    Past graduates have gone on to work for Accenture, Rank Xerox, IBM, Kodak, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bank of New York, Nortel, British Aerospace, Merrill Lynch, Abbey, Lloyds, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and Touche, Coca Cola, Ernst and Young, Virgin Trains, Accenture, HSBC, BT, Deutsche Bank and the BBC.

  • Optional placement year with top UK companies
    You do not have to decide which study mode (with or without placement) until after you have joined us. You can transfer both to and from the sandwich programme during the first year – sometimes even later. Our placement team has developed strong connections with industry. Our students have taken placements within top UK companies such as BUPA, Debenhams, HSBC, IBM, Thomson Reuters, Unilever, Virgin Trains and Walt Disney.

  • Funding for your learning
    Apply for scholarships worth £1,000 per year (excluding placement year).

  • Help to bridge the school-university gap
    University is a step up from school. For this reason, in Level 1 we teach the core material in small group classes of about 20 students for the first few weeks of Term 1. Students and lecturers get to know each other quickly, and the extra attention means that any problems can be picked up quickly.
    • Students that look like they are falling behind are invited to attend extra help sessions throughout the year. In addition, new students are allocated a student mentor from among our Level 2 and 3 student volunteers to give advice and answer questions from a student’s perspective.
    • Students are given the opportunity to reinforce essential mathematical skills from A-level mathematics such as algebraic manipulation and trigonometry – we realise that many students forget some of this material over the summer, so we provide classes to support the re-learning of it.
  • Employability skills workshops
    In addition to a number of university-wide careers and work placement events run by the Brunel Placement and Careers Service, the Mathematics department runs three very popular employability skills workshops for all students. Topics include CV writing, job applications and cover letters, testing centres (e.g. psychometric tests), and talks from former students and local employers about how to succeed in the job market. These workshops are spread through Levels 1, 2 and 3, and are integrated within the academic programme to encourage full engagement from all students.

  • Group projects applying mathematics to the real world
    All Level 1 students work through three projects during the year on topics that illustrate some diverse applications of mathematics to the real world. These are undertaken in small groups of 4-6 students, guided closely by their personal tutor (an academic staff member).
    • As well as mathematical knowledge, students develop skills using mathematical software and MS Word, writing skills, and group work skills – all highly valued by employers.
    • During 2014-15, projects included modelling interest rates and personal finances when there are student loans, mortgages, other loans and income to consider; creating beautiful fractals and understanding the underlying theory; and the Google PageRank algorithm which searches for web pages and almost always returns the pages you want at the top of the list!
    • Mathematics with Computer Science students undertake similar projects programming robots with computing students.
  • Excellent links with business
    Our staff are involved in research programmes that are informed by modern problems in science, technology and business – often working in collaboration with companies. This means:
    • Your degree is designed to meet the needs of industry and the marketplace
    • The latest commercial world developments are included in your course
    • You've a greater choice of high quality, professional placements.
  • A vibrant, friendly, safe campus in a great location near London
    All the advantages of affordable living costs, an international community, world-class sports and social facilities and a thriving arts and social scene.

Accreditation

This programme will meet the educational requirements of the Chartered Mathematician designation, awarded by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, when it is followed by subsequent training and experience in employment to obtain equivalent competences to those specified by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for taught Master's degrees.

Facts and Figures

  • A Brunel degree is a recognised symbol of quality. Brunel has roots in education dating back to 1798 as well as a very strong technological heritage.
  • Mathematical sciences is one of the largest disciplines at Brunel and has links with many other subject areas.
  • Within the College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences, the Department of Mathematics is ranked top in the country in its area in terms of ‘research power’, while almost 60 per cent of the research in the Department has been rated ‘World-leading’ or ‘Internationally Excellent’.

Teaching and Learning

Up-to-date teaching
Mathematics is an active and dynamic research centre. Our academics' work is frequently supported by external grants and contracts with leading industry and government establishments. Lecturers are consequently at the frontiers of the subject and in active contact with modern users of mathematics. This in turn helps to ensure that our undergraduate degrees are truly up-to-date.

Broad spectrum of thinking
We can offer a wide range of expertise in a variety of subjects. Many of our lecturers are widely published and highly recognised in their fields.

How will I be taught?

We use a range of approaches to help you engage effectively with the subject, both through your tutors and working with fellow students:

Lectures – These provide a broad overview of key concepts and ideas. They give you a framework from which to carry out more in-depth study.

Tutorials – Smaller tutorial groups enable you to work on mathematics exercises with guidance from a staff member.

Computer workshops – These replace some tutorials in certain modules involving computer-based tasks. This includes some mathematical modules such as statistics and operational research. 

One-to-one – In your final year you will normally have one-to-one supervision for your project. You will also be allocated a personal tutor each year who is available to discuss personal or academic problems. If you go on placement your personal tutor will help you set objectives and monitor your progress, and will provide further support if you need it.

Assessment

The ‘exams to coursework’ ratio is around 50:50 in Level 1, increasing to 70:30 in Level 3.

We base your final degree class on your performance at Levels 2 and 3. Level 3 carries twice the weight of Level 2.

Employability

Career prospects for mathematicians are excellent. Maybe you want to pursue a career that specifically uses your mathematical or statistical skills or would prefer a more general career – such as management or consultancy.

Either way you will possess key skills that are highly sought after by business – in fact any industry that uses modelling, simulation, cryptography, forecasting, statistics, risk analysis and probability.

Follow the four-year ‘Professional Placement’ degree programme and you will benefit from our extensive experience in helping students to find well-paid work placements with blue-chip companies. Our sandwich students find that their mathematical and transferable skills are in demand in many sectors, both in the UK and abroad.

Areas recently offering placements include: accountancy, aviation, banking, defence, finance, insurance, IT (software development, network management and design), management (public and private sector), marketing and telecommunications.

Switching courses later is easy
If you are not sure precisely which programme to follow now don't worry – you will have the chance to change after the course starts. So the decision you make now is NOT final. Once you are at the University, you can explore what works best for you.

Careers

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey

These statistics relate to graduates from a number of different pathways – Mathematics, Mathematics and Management Studies, Mathematics and Computing, Mathematics and Statistics with Management and Mathematics with Computer Science.

In 2013/14, six months after graduating:

Read more about graduate destinations for this subject area

Our combination of work experience and up-to-date teaching means that you will be well-equipped to follow the career you want after graduation.

These are some of the areas where a maths degree is valued highly:
  • Finance: banking, accountancy, actuarial, tax, underwriter, pensions, insurance

  • Medicine: medical statistics, medical and epidemiological research, pharmaceutical research

  • Design: engineering design, computer games

  • Science: biotechnology, meteorology, oceanography, pure and applied research and development

  • Civil Service: scientists (‘Fast Stream’, DSTL, DESG), GCHQ, security service, statisticians

  • Business: logistics, financial analysis, marketing, market research, sales oil industry, management consultancy, operational research

  • IT: Systems analysis, research

  • Engineering: aerospace, building design, transport planning, telecommunications, surveying.

Placements

We know just how much experience counts in the job market. You will have the opportunity to gain invaluable work experience alongside experts in industry, the public sector and commerce – both in the UK or overseas. In fact if you undertake a four year professional placement programme, you are likely to earn some £4,400 more than your three-year course colleagues from ‘Day One’ in your job. (Source: The Brunel report on Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2013/14)

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2015/6 entry

UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year

International students: £14,750 full-time

See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements 2015/6

  • GCE A-level ABB, including grade A in Mathematics or Further Mathematics.
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD plus A-level Mathematics or Further Mathematics at Grade A.
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in a related subject with an A-level Mathematics or Further Mathematics at grade A.
  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in a related subject with A-levels grade AB including an A grade in Mathematics or Further Mathematics.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 31 points, including 6 points in Higher Mathematics.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass relevant Access course with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. Applicants must also have an A-level in Maths grade A.
  • Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics with an Integrated Foundation Year with Professional Development For Brunel Foundation of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics progression requirements, see the course page.

In addition 5 GCSEs or equivalent at Grade C or above, to include English and Mathematics, are required.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

EU Entry Requirements

If your country is not listed here please contact Admissions

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas) 
  • Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.

Page last updated: Thursday 30 July 2015