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BSc (Honours) Mathematics and Statistics

Mathematics and statistics play an important role in almost every area of life, and are at the heart of advances in science and technology. They're also indispensable problem-solving and decision-making tools in many areas of life. The BSc (Hons) Mathematics and Statistics will equip you for a wide range of careers, from engineering to accountancy. You'll gain a good knowledge of probability and statistics alongside choices in modern pure mathematics or mathematical methods and modelling, together with experience of using relevant software packages. This degree course will also help you:

  • develop your understanding of time series analysis, multivariate data analysis, regression analysis, and hypothesis testing
  • appreciate both classical and Bayesian approaches to statistics
  • familiarise yourself with statistical software packages
  • gain experience in conducting and communicating statistical investigations.

In addition, depending on your choice of modules, you'll gain a broad understanding of either modern pure or applied mathematics. Some of the modules in this degree give exemption from specific Royal Statistical Society examinations.

Study Mode

Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available

Key facts

Code: Q36 Made up of: 360 credits
Entry
Requirements:

There are no formal entry requirements to study this degree, but we offer four routes through the course, depending on your experience and confidence with mathematics and your interests. See Pathways to your qualification.

Fees: Our fees depend on where you are ordinarily resident. We have a range of funding options to help you with payment. When you apply to study we will tell you the fee and funding options that are available to you. Before you apply you can read What you can expect to pay.

Career relevance and employability

You'll be equipped with skills and knowledge required for jobs in a wide range of fields, including education, engineering, the pharmaceutical industry, business, finance and accountancy. There are some careers for which a degree in mathematics and/or statistics is specified - for example teaching, statistical work (including actuarial work), some types of research and development, and some areas of computing. Your studies may provide exemption from some requirements that lead to professional awards from the Royal Statistical Society (see Recognition leaflet 3.11 for further details).

It is widely accepted that a degree in statistics and the mathematical sciences particularly enhances the following transferable and much sought-after skills:

  • Communicating mathematical ideas clearly and succinctly
  • Explaining mathematical ideas to others
  • Understanding complex mathematical texts
  • Working with abstract concepts
  • Thinking logically
  • Expressing problems in mathematical language
  • Constructing logical arguments
  • Working on open-ended problems
  • Finding solutions to problems
  • Interpreting mathematical results in real-world terms
  • Analysing / interpreting data
  • Conducting statistical investigations
  • Using professional and relevant software.

There's more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU's Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.

Educational aims

This degree introduces you to mathematical and statistical concepts and thinking, and helps you to develop a mathematical approach. By the end of the degree you will be:

  • familiar with the key ideas of probability and statistics (particularly basic distributions and inference, linear and generalised linear models, time series, multivariate statistics, Bayesian statistics applied probability including Markov processes), and have an ability to apply their main tools to a range of applications
  • familiar with the essential ideas of pure mathematics (particularly analysis, linear algebra and group theory), and the ability to recognise a rigorous mathematical proof
  • able to apply the main tools of applied mathematics (particularly Newtonian mechanics, differential equations, vector calculus, numerical methods and linear algebra)
  • able to model real world situations and to use mathematics and statistics to help develop solutions to practical problems
  • able to follow complex mathematical and statistical arguments and to develop brief arguments of your own
  • experienced in of the study of mathematics and statistics in some breadth and depth
  • able to understand some of the more advanced ideas within mathematics and statistics
  • capable of working with abstract concepts
  • able to communicate mathematical and statistical ideas, arguments and conclusions effectively
  • equipped with the skills necessary to use mathematics and statistics in employment, or to progress to further study of mathematics and/or statistics
  • able to use modern mathematical and statistical computer software packages.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of this degree are described in four areas (although there is considerable overlap between the last two).

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this degree, you will

  • know and understand a range of simple and more advanced methods for analysing statistical data (including data from medical applications, time series data and multivariate data), working with probability models and carrying out statistical inference (including in particular methods for linear and generalised linear models, and Bayesian methods)
  • know and understand one or both of:
    • the elements of linear algebra, analysis and group theory
    • the concepts behind the methods of Newtonian mechanics, differential equations, multi-variable functions, vector calculus, linear algebra, numerical analysis and mathematical modelling.

The degree is flexible, offering you a considerable choice of mathematical topics at Level 3. You will further develop your mathematical knowledge and understanding in the topics you choose to study. Currently the following topics are available:

  • pure mathematics: number theory, combinatorics, geometry, topology, mathematical logic, further group theory and analysis
  • applied mathematics: advanced calculus, fluid mechanics, advanced numerical analysis, methods for partial differential equations, variational principles.

The topics may change from time to time, and if they do they will be replaced by others at a similar level and providing similar learning outcomes.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this degree, you will have acquired

  • the ability to carry out mathematical and statistical manipulation and calculation, using a computer package when appropriate
  • the ability to assemble relevant information for mathematical arguments and proofs, and/or judgement in selecting and applying a wide range of mathematical tools and techniques
  • the ability to construct appropriate mathematical and statistical arguments of your own
  • the ability to create appropriate mathematical and statistical models and draw justifiable inferences
  • the ability to reason with abstract concepts
  • qualitative and quantitative problem-solving skills.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this degree, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills

Application

Apply mathematical and statistical concepts, principles and methods.

Problem solving

Analyse and evaluate problems (both theoretical and practical) and plan strategies for their solution.

Information technology

Use information technology with confidence to acquire and present mathematical and statistical knowledge and data, to model and solve practical problems and to develop mathematical and statistical insight.

Independence

Be an independent learner, able to acquire further knowledge with little guidance or support.

Key skills

On completion of the degree, you will be able to demonstrate the following key skills:

Communication

  • Read and/or listen to documents and discussions that have mathematical or statistical content, with an appropriate level of understanding.
  • Communicate information having mathematical content, accurately and effectively in written form, using a structure and style that suits the purpose.

Application of number

  • Exhibit a high level of numeracy, appropriate to a graduate in Mathematics and Statistics.

Information technology

  • Use information technology with confidence to acquire and present mathematical and statistical knowledge, to model and solve practical problems and to develop mathematical insight.

Learning how to learn

  • Be an independent learner, able to acquire further knowledge with little guidance or support.

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