BSc (Honours) Mathematics
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From economic policy to scientific advancement, mathematics is indispensable to modern life. This degree course will give you a good understanding of pure and applied mathematics at an advanced level, and enhance your career prospects in a huge array of fields. You’ll cover a wide range of topics, from the abstract to how mathematics is used in the real world, and develop a secure understanding of mathematical concepts and approaches. Through your study of the BSc (Honours) Mathematics you’ll gain:
a broad understanding of, and practice with, basic ideas of modern pure mathematics (including analysis, linear algebra and group theory)
a broad understanding of, and practice in using, basic tools of applied mathematics (including mathematical methods, mathematical modelling and numerical analysis)
an appreciation of the role and construction of rigorous proof in mathematics
familiarity with the use of mathematical software
experience of communicating mathematical arguments and conclusions.
Fees and facts
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Flexible, part-time study through
Undergraduate or bachelors degrees are nationally recognised qualifications consisting of academic study designed to help you gain a thorough understanding of a subject.
For a degree in a named subject, such as business studies or humanities, you'll study mainly in your chosen subject, although you may be able to include some modules from other subjects.
With The Open University you could also study an Open degree where you can combine a range of modules from similar or different subjects to suit either your particular career or personal interests.
You can use a degree to:
change careers or progress your current career gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in gain professional recognition go onto postgraduate study, such as a diploma or masters degree.
There are no formal entry requirements to study this degree, but we offer two routes through the course, depending on your experience and confidence with mathematics.
Career relevance and employability
Mathematics lies at the heart of many activities, from everyday tasks, problem solving and decision making, to the formulation of economic policies and advancement of science and technology. A qualification in mathematics will always enhance your career prospects. Mathematical knowledge is much sought after by a wide variety of employers, as shown by the Government’s initiative to increase participation in the strategically important STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). By studying this degree course you'll be equipped with skills and knowledge required for jobs in fields such as education, engineering, business, finance, and accountancy. It will contribute to you gaining Chartered Mathematician status, which is awarded by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA). You can view or download our
for further information. Recognition leaflet 3.6 Institute of Mathematics and its Application
It is widely accepted that a degree in mathematics 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
Expressing problems in mathematical language
Constructing logical arguments
Working on open-ended problems
Finding solutions to problems
Interpreting mathematical results in real-world terms
Using relevant professional 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 and look at our OU study and your career subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
Choose a pathway and register
Pathways allow you to specialise or choose particular topics that interest you. You will need to choose a pathway before registering.
You can choose from a number of different pathways to your degree depending on the amount of time you wish to commit to studying, and your mathematical level at the start of the course. To help determine your mathematical level, visit our
Maths Choices website.
If you are confident with algebra and trigonometry and scored well on the Maths Choices quiz then you should be ready to start the standard pathway. However if you are less confident with algebra and trigonometry; or if you’ve not previously studied mathematics to an advanced level; or if you’ve not studied it for some time and need to refresh your skills, then we strongly recommend the gentle start pathway.
The pathways are available in October 2013 and February 2014. If you wish to commence study on a Standard pathway in February 2014, details and registration will be available from October 2013.
Credit for previous study elsewhere
If you have already completed some successful study at higher education level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible, and before you register for this qualification.
If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete this qualification. This may also mean that the next start date and the maximum time limit for this qualification are different to those shown above.
Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Practical and professional skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.
Classification of your degree
On successful completion of the required number and type of modules you will be awarded a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Mathematics degree.
Your honours degree will be classified either as first-class honours, upper second-class honours, lower second-class honours or third-class honours. The class of degree is determined by the best grades you achieve in a minimum of 240 credits from post-Level 1 modules. At least 120 of those credits must come from the two sets of Level 3 modules, and at least 60 must come from the first of these two lists.
You will have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
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.
If you have a disability
Choosing the qualification that’s right for you is very important. Depending on your disability, long-term health condition, mental health disability or specific learning difficulty, you may need to consider any challenges posed by:
the learning objectives: for example, to gain an honours degree in a language you must be physically able to speak the language
how the modules are taught: for example, some of our science qualifications require that you complete laboratory work
any work-based competency requirements.
Choosing the right qualification can be a complex mix of the subject requirements and the support you may need. To help you assess whether the qualification you are interested in will work for you, further advice is available from:
You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007),
Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you
will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you
register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.
The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities
we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move.
As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed
feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online
tutorials, or by phone.
For more information read
Distance learning explained.