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Postgraduate Diploma in Mathematics

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Diploma

Code
E23
Level
Postgraduate
Made up of
120 credits

Description

The postgraduate diploma course has been designed for students who want to continue their mathematics studies by delving more deeply into particular aspects of pure and applied mathematics. The modules may well be of interest to mathematically inclined scientists and engineers as well as to mathematicians.

Planning your studies

You should normally have a minimum of a second-class honours degree in mathematics or in a subject with a high mathematical content. Whatever your background, you should assess your suitability for this diploma course by trying our diagnostic quiz.

If you are new to postgraduate study in mathematics you are advised initially to study Calculus of variations and advanced calculus (M820) on its own as your first module. However, if you have an undergraduate degree in pure mathematics you may alternatively study Analytic number theory I (M823) as your first module.

The modules in this qualification are categorised as entry, intermediate and advanced as follows:

Entry: Calculus of variations and advanced calculus (M820), Analytic number theory I (M823)

Intermediate (applied): Applied complex variables (M828), Approximation theory (M832), Nonlinear ordinary differential equations (M821)

Intermediate (pure): Analytic number theory II (M829), Coding theory (M836), Fractal geometry (M835)

Advanced intermediate (applied): Advanced mathematical methods (M833)

Guidance about the order in which the modules should be studied is as follows:

  • You must normally pass at least one of the entry modules, Calculus of variations and advanced calculus (M820) or Analytic number theory I (M823), before studying any intermediate module.
  • You must normally pass at least one of the intermediate modules before studying any advanced intermediate module.
  • You must pass Analytic number theory I (M823) before studying Analytic number theory II (M829). Otherwise within each category modules may be studied in any order, and you may register for a module while studying a pre-requisite for that module (i.e. before you know whether you have actually passed the pre-requisite module or not). 

Further information about how the modules relate to each other is given in the description for each individual module.

All modules are worth 30 credits, and you are advised not to study more than 60 credits worth at a time. Not every module is presented each year, and we cannot guarantee that the same selection of modules will continue to be available.

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 40 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Career relevance and employability

Mathematics is at the heart of advances in science, engineering and technology, as well as being an indispensable problem-solving and decision-making tool in many other areas of life. It is no surprise therefore that mathematics postgraduates can be found throughout industry, business and commerce, in the public and private sectors. Employers value the intellectual rigour and reasoning skills that mathematics students can acquire, their familiarity with numerical and symbolic thinking and the analytic approach to problem-solving which is their hallmark.

There are a variety of reasons for studying mathematics at postgraduate level. You may want a postgraduate qualification in order to distinguish yourself from an increasingly large graduate population. You may find, particularly if you are a professional programmer or work in finance, that your undergraduate mathematical knowledge is becoming insufficient for your career requirements, especially if you are hoping to specialise in one of the more mathematical areas, which are becoming more sought after by employers. The extent of opportunities is vast and mathematics postgraduates are equipped with skills and knowledge required for jobs in fields such as finance, education, engineering, science and business, as well as mathematics and mathematical science research.

There is 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.

Suggested routes to the degree

You can take a number of different routes towards your qualification. The routes illustrated below are routes many students are using, or have already successfully followed.

Please bear in mind that other routes are available – see the full module list for all options.


Modules

For this postgraduate diploma you require:

120 credits from the following optional modules:

Postgraduate optional modules Credits Next start
Advanced mathematical methods (M833)

Learn advanced mathematical methods with the aid of algebraic computing language Maple, and explore various forms of approximation on this MSc in Mathematics module.

See full description.

30
Analytic number theory I (M823)

This module introduces number theory – which is still undergoing intensive development – using techniques from analysis, particularly the convergence of series and the calculus of residues.

See full description.

30 Oct 2014
Analytic number theory II (M829)

This module teaches number theory using techniques from analysis, and in particular the convergence of series and the calculus of residues.

See full description.

30 Oct 2014
Applied complex variables (M828)

Complex variable theory pervades many subjects, and this module teaches topics that are useful in the theoretical sciences and of interest in their own right.

See full description.

30 Oct 2014
Approximation theory (M832)

Develop your understanding of the mathematical theory behind many approximation methods in common use. The module is based on M.J.D. Powell’s Approximation Theory and Methods.

See full description.

30 Oct 2014
Calculus of variations and advanced calculus (M820)

This module, which develops the theory of the calculus of variations and other related topics, is the starting point for our MSC in Mathematics.

See full description.

30 Oct 2014
Coding theory (M836)

Explore the theory of error-detecting and error-correcting codes, investigate the bounds of these codes, and discover how they can be used in real situations.

See full description.

30 Oct 2014
Fractal geometry (M835)

This module examines the theory of fractals – whose geometry cannot easily be described in classical terms – and studies examples to which it can be applied.

See full description.

30
Nonlinear ordinary differential equations (M821)

Relevant to scientists, engineers and mathematicians, this introduction to basic theory and simpler approximation schemes covers systems with two degrees of freedom.

See full description.

30 Oct 2014

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules M431, M822, M824, M826, M827, M830, M841, M860, M861, MZX861

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.

Credit for previous study elsewhere

For this qualification, we do not allow you to count credit for study you have already done elsewhere.

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Mathematics entitling you to use the letters PG Dip Maths (Open) after your name.

You may continue your studies and add a further 60 credits to your diploma to gain an MSc in Mathematics (F04).

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.

How to register

If you want to study for this qualification, read the description and check you meet any specific requirements (for example, some of our qualifications, require you to be working in a particular environment, or be sponsored by your employer). Then select the module you wish to study first and ensure it is suitable for you before following the registration procedure for that module. During the registration procedure you will be asked to declare which qualification you are studying towards.

See a full list of modules available for this qualification