Your feedback is important to us
Please take two minutes at the end of your visit to help us improve our information and services.
Skip to content The Open University

BSc (Honours) Mathematics

On this page

Description

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

Where will you be resident whilst you study?

If your country isn’t shown here, please visit our website for international students.

Fee: Choose country above to see fee and ways to pay.
Study method: Flexible, part-time study through distance learning.
Type of qualification: Degree
Degree
undergraduate.qualification.Q31,qualification,,degree,1

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.
Code: Q31

Entry requirements

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.

To help determine your mathematical level, visit our MathsChoices website.

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. This qualification will contribute to you gaining all grades of membership of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), from Student Membership to Chartered Mathematician. 

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
  • 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
  • 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 OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.

Register your interest

For academic year 2014/15, registration opens on 24/04/2014. If you would like to be kept updated, you can register your interest now.

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.

Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.

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.

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.

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.

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:

Computing requirements

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.

Distance learning

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.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.

Your questions

Try our frequently asked questions.

Come and meet us at an event near you.

Or contact an adviser by Email or call +44(0) 845 300 60 90 +44(0) 845 366 60 35

Employers' questions

Contact Corporate Enquiries
Visit our website for employers or Email us