Mathematical sciences

Courses in mathematical sciences can lead to a wide range of employment prospects.
Relevant to

Key stats

36,130 students were studying this subject in 2014/15.

  • 73% UK
  • 27% international
  • 73% full-time
  • 27% part-time
64.9% of graduates went directly into employment.

Top five graduate destinations:

  1. Financial and insurance
  2. Professional, scientific, and technical
  3. Education
  4. IT
  5. Wholesale and retail trade

What courses are available?

Universities and colleges in the UK are offering courses in the following subject areas:

Alongside a range of single subject choices including pure, applied maths and statistics there are a large number of joint honours courses. Maths and statistics are frequently offered together, with other common pairings being computing, business, finance, or economics.

Subject combinations and available course options include:

  • single, joint, and multiple subject combinations
  • full-time, part-time, and flexible study options as well as a few courses with a placement (sandwich courses)
  • qualifications ranging from BSc and MMath (Hons) degrees, through to a small number of HND, HNC, and Foundation Certificates

A number of universities offer an integrated masters degree known as MMAth. This is a four year undergraduate degree in which the final year is at master’s level. It enables students to study mathematics in greater depth and/or breadth.

‘Some courses provide the possibility of including a year out in professional training by working for an employer in industry, business or commerce. This gives an opportunity to see how statistical methods are put to use in real-life work situations. These courses are usually known as ‘sandwich courses’ and are four years long altogether.’
Royal Statistical Society


Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are available in the following areas:

Degree apprenticeships:

  • Accountancy – e.g. professional accountant
  • Banking and financial servicese.g. relationship manager (banking)
  • IT/digital technologies – e.g. data analyst, network engineer

 Higher apprenticeships:

  • Accountancy – Level 4 – e.g. management accountant, actuarial technician
  • Banking and investment – Level 4 – e.g. financial adviser, investment operations specialist
  • Insurance – e.g. insurance underwriter
  • Information technology – e.g. cyber security technologist, software developer

Advanced apprenticeships:

  • IT application helpdesk support
  • IT supervisor
  • website manager
  • trainee accounting technician
  • assistant accountant

Find out more about apprenticeships


Entry requirements

A levels – To get on to a degree in this subject area you will usually require a minimum of two A levels, with three A levels and A/B grades required for the most popular courses. Maths A level is normally required, with some courses also asking for further maths. Other useful subjects to hold for maths degrees include; physics, chemistry, biology, economics or computer science.

In addition to A levels or equivalent you will also need five GCSEs (A-C) including science, English, and maths.

‘You don't need to study Further Maths to get a place to study mathematics at university but extra study is always an advantage, it gives you an excellent grounding in the subject and can also be fun! Some universities may require Further Maths so make sure you are aware of the entry qualifications when choosing a university and course.’
Institute of Mathematics and its Applications

Selection

A few courses may require some applicants to sit an additional aptitude test in mathematics.


Personal statement

Universities are looking for:

  • why you have a particular interest in mathematics/statistics
  • evidence that you have an enthusiasm for the subject, which could be demonstrated by:
    • relevant work experience/shadowing or voluntary work
    • additional reading and research around maths topics
    • membership of related societies/clubs – e.g. maths club, chess club
  • a range of interests outside of academic study – e.g. sport, music
  • a well written statement that shows you are a motivated individual who has something to contribute to the university 

 How to write your personal statement



Where can I find out more?

Visit the websites of the following professional bodies to find out more about courses and careers in mathematical sciences.