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Degree type


Course length

3 years full-time


Durham City

UCAS code


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Typical offers

Typical offers
A Level A*A*A/A*AA
International Baccalaureate 38

Course details

Mathematics is all around us. From accounting to architecture, engineering to software development, mathematics plays a central role in our data-driven world. The study of maths develops the analytical, critical thinking, reasoning and problem-solving skills that are valued by employers and form the basis for a wide range of careers. 

When you choose maths you’ll be taught by a team of mathematicians with a passion for sharing the beauty of mathematics and a wealth of experience in research across the spectrum of pure and applied mathematics and statistics. And with many of the teaching team actively involved at the forefront of research, the degree is designed to link learning to research in distinctive and creative ways.

The BSc Mathematics is housed in a brand-new facility, purpose-built to meet the learning, teaching and study needs of students from the Department.

The first year of the course begins with a broad-based introduction to pure and applied mathematics, statistics and probability and provides a sound foundation for in-depth study in subsequent years. As you move into the second year the structure offers more flexibility, enabling you to shape your degree around one specific area or continue developing your skills across a wide range of subjects.

During the final year the range of optional modules expands further with a choice of around 20 different areas. The degree culminates in a project that gives you the opportunity to investigate a mathematical topic of interest in depth.

You can also apply to add a placement year or a year abroad to your degree, increasing the course from three years to four.

Course structure

Year 1

Core modules:

Calculus builds on ideas of differentiation and integration in A level mathematics, beginning with functions of a single variable and moving on to functions of several variables. Topics include methods of solving ordinary and partial differential equations, and an introduction to Fourier Series and Fourier transforms.

Linear Algebra presents mathematical ideas, techniques in linear algebra and develops the geometric intuition and familiarity with vector methods in preparation for more challenging material later in the course.

Analysis aims to provide an understanding of real and complex number systems, and to develop rigorously the calculus of functions of a single variable from basic principles.

Programming is taught via lectures and practical sessions that introduce basic principles and basic competence in computer programming. You will also study control structures; floating point arithmetic; and lists, strings and introduction to objects.

Dynamics develops an understanding of elementary classical Newtonian dynamics as well as an ability to formulate and solve basic problems in dynamics.

Probability introduces mathematics ideas on probability in preparation for more demanding material later in the course. The module presents a mathematical subject of key importance to the real-world (applied) that is based on rigorous mathematical foundations (pure).

Statistics introduces frequentist and Bayesian statistics and demonstrates the relevance of these principles and procedures to real problems. This module lays the foundations for all subsequent study of statistics.

Year 2

Core modules:

Complex Analysis introduces the theory of complex analysis through the study of complex differentiation; conformal mappings; metric spaces; series and uniform convergence; contour integrals and calculus of residues; and applications.

Analysis in Many Variables provides an understanding of calculus in more than one dimension, together with an understanding of, and facility with, the methods of vector calculus. It also explores the application of these ideas to a range of forms of integration and to solutions of a range of classical partial differential equations.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Algebra
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Statistical Inference 
  • Data Science and Statistical Computing
  • Elementary Number Theory
  • Geometric Topology
  • Markov Chains
  • Mathematical Modelling
  • Probability
  • Special Relativity and Electromagnetism 
  • Statistical Modelling.

Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a placement year or year abroad) 

Core module:

in the final-year Project you will investigate a mathematical topic of interest and then produce a written report and give a short presentation. The project develops your research and communication skills which are important for future employment or postgraduate studies.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Analysis 
  • Cryptography and Codes 
  • Differential Geometry 
  • Fluid Mechanics 
  • Galois Theory 
  • Geometry of Mathematical Physics 
  • Mathematical Biology 
  • Operations Research 
  • Partial Differential Equations 
  • Quantum Mechanics 
  • Solitons 
  • Topology. 

Additional pathways

Students on the BSc Mathematics can apply to be transferred onto either the ‘with Year Abroad’ or ‘with Placement’ pathway during the second year.  Places on these pathways are in high demand and if you are chosen your studies will extend from three years to four. 


You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.


Methods of teaching and learning on the BSc Mathematics include lectures, tutorials, problem classes, computer practicals, homework problems, written and oral presentations, and individual projects.

For most modules you will attend two lectures a week. Mathematical questions are set in lectures and may form the topic of discussion in tutorials or problem classes. The best way to learn maths is to work through problems, so in addition to independent study we recommend collaborative working with other students.

Your final-year project is organised around weekly small-group or individual meetings with lecturers. You are free to choose the remaining modules from a wide range of options, one of which is a teaching module in which you study how pupils learn in school.


Most of your modules are assessed by end-of-year examinations. In your final year you also complete a project which is worth one-third of your final-year marks, it includes a written project report, a poster and a short presentation on your chosen topic.

Entry requirements

A level offer – A*A*A–A*AA 

Suitable performance in the University Admission Tests TMUA or MAT or 2 in any STEP will lead to the lower A*AA offer (A*A in Mathematics and Further Mathematics, either way round plus A in any other A level or equivalent). Otherwise, the standard offer is A*A*A (A*A* in Mathematics and Further Mathematics plus A in any other A level or equivalent).

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma – D*D*D – D*DD and A level requirements as above.

IB Diploma score – 38 with 776 including  a 7 in Mathematics (Analysis & Approaches) or 766 in higher level subjects, including a 7 in Mathematics (Analysis & Approaches)

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note our offers consist of:

  • We strongly encourage applicants to sit the University’s Admissions Test (*) if it is available to them, as we give a high weighting in our selection process to evidence of ability in Mathematics.
  • We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study. Please contact our Admissions Selectors.
  • If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take an International Foundation Year pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.
  • We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry, although we advise you to make sure that you take steps to maintain your level of mathematical expertise.

The University uses a national Admission Test in Mathematics (TMUA), in conjunction with the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing (CAAT). Test results will be sent by the CAAT directly to students at the end of November, and all information concerning the Test (including whether it was taken at all) will be provided to us by the applicants on an entirely voluntarily basis: suitable performance will entitle the applicant to the reduced A*AA offer. Taking part in the TMUA can therefore only increase the chances of receiving an offer. More information can be found on the Mathematics Department website, on the CAAT website and in most schools nationwide. (Schools that currently administer STEP and MAT will be automatically registered).

Science A levels

Applicants taking Science A levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This applies only to applicants sitting A levels with an English examination board.

Alternative qualifications

International students who do not meet direct entry requirements for this degree might have the option to complete an International Foundation Year.

English language requirements

Country specific information

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £9,250 per year
EU students £27,000 per year
Island students £9,250 per year
International students £27,000 per year

The tuition fees shown for home students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.

The tuition fees shown for overseas and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

Mathematical Sciences

As well as developing you academically, a Durham University degree will equip you with a range of practical skills including critical thinking, an analytical approach and ability to reason with information, alongside experience in building relationships and leading teams.

A significant number of our students progress to higher level study following their degree. Some remain within their academic field of interest and pursue higher level research, notably at Durham but also other prestigious institutions. Others take a different route and pursue postgraduate programmes or employment in areas from statistics and financial management to conservation and teaching.

Some of the high-profile employers our graduates have gone on to work for include Royal London, Deloitte, CERN, Morgan Stanley and Ocado.

Of those students who graduated in 2019:

  • 94% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 89% are in high skilled employment
  • With an average salary of £31,000.

(Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey. The survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing 15 months after graduation. Further information about the Graduate Outcomes survey can be found here

Department information

Mathematical Sciences

Mathematical Sciences offers a high-quality education that is taught by subject specialists, informed by the latest research and delivered in a stimulating academic environment. Using distinctive and creative methods, we do all we can to incorporate relevant aspects of the Department’s world-leading research into the undergraduate curriculum.

We offer a range of degrees which give you a choice from a wide spectrum of pure mathematics, applied mathematics (including mathematical physics) and statistics.

The overall aim is to develop you as a member of the community of professional mathematicians. Degrees combine theoretical learning with practicals and mini projects, enabling you to develop your capacity for critical thinking, problem-solving and independent learning, which will equip you with the skills to meet a variety of challenges in the workplace. We seek to develop both the generic and subject-specific skills you need to pursue a range of careers, and to further develop your skills we offer the opportunity to spend a year studying overseas or working in industry.

For more information visit our department pages.


  • 11th in The Complete University Guide 2024


For a current list of staff, please see the Mathematical Sciences department pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • 96% of our research outputs are world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021).


The Department lies in the heart of the University on the Upper Mountjoy campus near to the University library and the science and engineering departments. We share our purpose-built £40 million new building with Computer Sciences given the natural synergy between the subjects. It is also home to several supercomputers, keeping our education at the forefront of innovation.

The building provides cutting-edge learning, teaching and study areas, with plenty of space for group work to deepen the Durham experience and enhance the staff-student relationship.


Find out more:

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