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BSc Mathematics

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Course options2017-18

BSc Mathematics Full-time

UCAS code: G100
Duration: 3 years
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Mathematical Sciences
Fee (Home/EU): £9,250
Fee (International): £13,350
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
Home and EU fee information
International fee information

UCAS code: G102
Duration: 4 years
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Mathematical Sciences
Fee (Home/EU): £9,250
Fee (International): £13,350
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
Home and EU fee information
International fee information

UCAS code: G103
Duration: 4 years
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Mathematical Sciences
Fee (Home/EU): £9,250
Fee (International): £13,350
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
Home and EU fee information
International fee information

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 873666
Email admit@essex.ac.uk

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About the course

Mathematics is the language that underpins the rest of science. At Essex, Mathematics has truly broad reach; we are working on projects ranging from the economic impact of the behaviour of dairy cows, to understanding crowd behaviour through modelling a zombie apocalypse, to circular Sudoku and other puzzles. Our Department of Mathematical Sciences is genuinely innovative and student-focused.

On our BSc Mathematics you study a wide range of topics including:

  • Finance and Big Data
  • Discrete mathematics, languages and semigroup theory
  • Optimisation
  • Probability and applied statistics
  • Bioinformatics and mathematical ecology

Our interdisciplinary research recognises that mathematics, including what can be very abstract mathematics, is an essential part of research in many other disciplines.

You therefore can gain an exceptional range of knowledge and skills that are currently in demand in mathematically oriented employment; in business, commerce, industry, government service, education and in the wider economy.

“Essex is one of the best universities in the UK for the quality of its teaching and research and, it was an easy decision to study here. Upon graduating, I secured an internship with the European Bioinformatics Institute, and Pfizer, the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company. The high standards of teaching at Essex guaranteed that I’ll have the skills and knowledge needed to be successful.”

Madalina Ghita, BSc Mathematics, 2011

Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

Our course provides you with credits towards qualifying for accreditation with the Chartered Insurance Institute, the world’s largest professional body for insurance, risk and financial services.

Study abroad

Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you extending your education through offering you an additional year at no extra cost. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year studying abroad or employed on a placement, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.

Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. Popular destinations include:

  • California State University (Chico, USA)

Placement year

Alternatively, you can spend your third year on a placement year with an external organisation, where you learn about a particular sector, company or job role, apply your academic knowledge in a practical working environment, and receive inspiration for future career pathways. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our Employability and Careers Centre.

Our expert staff

As well as being world-class academics, our staff are award-winning teachers. Many of our academics have won national or regional awards for lecturing, and many of them are qualified and accredited teachers – something which is very rare at a university.

We are a small but influential department, so our students and staff know each other personally. You never need an appointment to see your lecturers and professors, just knock on our office doors – we are one of the few places to have an open-door policy, and no issue is too big or small.

Specialist facilities

  • Unique to Essex is our renowned Maths Support Centre, which offers help to students, staff and local businesses on a range of mathematical problems. Throughout term-time, we can chat through mathematical problems either on a one-to-one or small group basis
  • We have our own computer labs for the exclusive use of students in the Department of Mathematical Sciences – in addition to your core maths modules, you gain computing knowledge of software including Matlab and Maple
  • We host regular events and seminars throughout the year
  • Our students run a lively Mathematics Society, an active and social group where you can explore your interest in your subject with other students

Your future

Clear thinkers are required in every profession, so the successful mathematician has an extensive choice of potential careers.

Mathematics students are in demand from a wide range of employers in a host of occupations, including financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy. The Council for Mathematical Sciences offers further information on careers in mathematics.

Our recent graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of high-profile companies including:

  • KPMG
  • British Arab Commercial Bank
  • Johal and Company

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

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Example structure

Studying at Essex is about discovering yourself, so your course combines compulsory and optional modules to make sure you gain key knowledge in the discipline, while having as much freedom as possible to explore your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are just a selection of those available. The opportunity to take optional modules will depend on the number of core modules within any year of the course. In many instances, the flexibility to take optional modules increases as you progress through the course.

Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current first-year students, including details of all optional modules.

Year 1

At University of Essex, we are all about understanding and creating change. This module will allow you to study mathematical change and build your knowledge of differentiation and integration, how you can solve first and second order differential equations, Taylor Series and more.

Want to understand Newtonian Dynamics? Interested in developing applications of mathematical ideas to study it? Enhance your skills and knowledge in the context of fundamental physical ideas that have been central to the development of mathematics. Analyse aspects of technology and gain experience in the use of computer packages.

How do you apply the addition rule of probability? Or construct appropriate diagrams to illustrate data sets? Learn the basics of probability (combinatorial analysis and axioms of probability), conditional probability and independence, and probability distributions. Understand how to handle data using descriptive statistics and gain experience of R software packages.

Can you perform simple operations on matrices? How do you solve systems of linear equations using row operations? Can you calculate the determinant and inverse of a matrix? Understand the basics of linear algebra, with an emphasis on vectors and matrices.

Want to develop your mathematical skills by solving problems that are varied in nature and difficulty? Keen to write mathematical arguments that explain why your calculations are answer a question? Examine problem-solving techniques for situations across mathematics, including calculus, algebra, combinatorics, geometry and mechanics.

This module will provide you with a foundation of knowledge on the mathematics of sets and relations, mainly to finite collects. You will develop an appreciation of mathematical proof techniques, including proof by induction.

What skills do you need to succeed during your studies? And what about after university? How will you realise your career goals? Develop your transferable skills and experiences to create your personal profile. Reflect on and plan your ongoing personal development, with guidance from your personal advisor within the department.

Are you always keen to solve a puzzle? This module introduces how to construct an algorithm, including automata and Turing machines and the basic numerical methods to see how they can be used to solve problems.

Year 2

How do you prove simple properties of linear space from axioms? Can you check whether a set of vectors is a basis? How do you change a basis and recalculate the coordinates of vectors and the matrices of mapping? Study abstract linear algebra, learning to understand advanced abstract mathematical definitions.

What are the principles underlying proofs of basic theorems concerning limits, continuity and differentiability? How do you use quantifiers in analysis? Gain an understanding into real analysis, examining sequences and functions. Study relevant theorems (like Rolle’s and the Mean Value) and learn to reproduce elementary epsilon-delta arguments.

Can you recognise and manipulate simple sequences and series? Are you able to calculate Taylor series expansions? Or radii of convergence in power series? Can you change the order of integration in repeated integrals? Study a range of core mathematical techniques that have broad applicability.

This module combines a brief period of revision where you look at events and their probabilities with a close look at the principal continuous distributions. You will also have the opportunity to learn how to determine confidence intervals and carry out hypothesis tests.

Can you formulate an appropriate linear programming model? Are you able to solve a small linear programming problem using an appropriate version of the Simplex Algorithm? Can you use the MATLAB computer package to solve linear programming problems? Understand the methods of linear programming, including both theoretical and computational aspects.

What are the principles of actuarial modelling? And what are survival models? Examine how calculations in clinical trials, pensions, and life and health insurance require reliable estimates of transition intensities/survival rates. Learn how to estimate these intensities. Build your understanding of estimation procedures for lifetime distributions.

How do we know the Earth goes around the sun? How has mathematics been used to shed light on the physical sciences? Study a broad overview of modern physics, covering topics like atoms, light, relativity, quantum reality, cosmology, and the laws of nature. Develop your essay writing skills in mathematics.

University of Essex enjoy breaking away from tradition. In this module you will break from “classical physics” and gain a conceptual understanding in quantum physics. You will develop skills in solving quantum mechanical problems associated with atomic and molecular systems.

What skills do you need to succeed during your studies? And what about after university? How will you realise your career goals? Develop your transferable skills and experiences to create your personal profile. Reflect on and plan your ongoing personal development, with guidance from your personal advisor within the department.

What are the processes and pitfalls of mathematical approximation? How do you carry out simple numerical processes “by hand”? Understand the practical techniques for carrying out numerical computations on a range of mathematical problems. Build your knowledge of mathematical computing. Learn how to implement and execute algorithms in Matlab.

How do you define gradient, divergence and curl? What do you know about Green’s Theorem? And about Stoke’s? Study the classical theory of vector calculus. Develop the two central theorems by outlining the proofs, then examining various applications and examples. Understand how to apply the ideas you have studied.

What instruments are used by companies to raise finance and manage financial risk? What is the role of financial institutions operating in financial markets? What are the techniques of financial accounting? How do you use spreadsheets in financial analysis? Examine and develop the concepts and elements of corporate finance.

How do you define simple assurance contracts? What practical methods are required to evaluate expected values from a contract? How can you calculate gross premiums and reserves of assurance and reserves? Understand the mathematical techniques that can calculate, model and value cashflows dependent on death, survival or other uncertain risks.

Final year

How do you express numbers in both Cartesian and polar forms? Can you identify curves and regions in the complex plane defined by simple formulae? How do you evaluate residues at pole singularities? Study complex analysis, learning to apply the Residue Theorem to the calculation of real integrals.

How do you solve systems of linear first-order equations in two unknowns with constant coefficients? Or analyse the stability characteristics of non-linear systems in two unknowns? Study the standard methods to solve single ordinary differential equations and systems of equations. Understand the underlying theory.

What skills do you need to succeed during your studies? And what about after university? How will you realise your career goals? Develop your transferable skills and experiences to create your personal profile. Reflect on and plan your ongoing personal development, with guidance from your personal advisor within the department.

How do you apply an algorithm or numerical method to a problem? What are the advantages? And the limitations? Understand the theory and application of nonlinear programming. Learn the principles of good modelling and know how to design algorithms and numerical methods. Critically assess issues regarding computational algorithms.

In this module you will not only learn what underpins the algorithms used where variables are integer, but also apply these algorithms to solve integer and mixed integer problems with cutting-plane algorithms.

How do you formulate financial decision problems mathematically? And how do you identify an appropriate method of solution? Understand the basic models and mathematical methods underlying modern portfolio management. Assess the limitations of these models and learn to correctly interpret your results from calculations.

Can you prove basic results in the theory of graphs? Or deal with basic theory about matchings, like Hall’s theorem? Examine key definitions, proofs and proof techniques in graph theory. Gain experience of problems connected with chromatic number. Understand external graph theory, Ramsey theory and the theory of random graphs.

Can you calculate confidence intervals for parameters and prediction intervals for future observations? Represent a linear model in matrix form? Or adapt a model to fit growth curves? Learn to apply linear models to analyse data. Discuss underlying assumptions and standard approaches. Understand methods to design and analyse experiments.

This module will enable you to expand your knowledge on multiple statistical methods. You will learn the concepts of decision theory and how to apply them, have the chance to explore “Monte Carlo” simulation, and develop an understanding of Bayesian inference, and the basic concepts of a generalised linear model.

Ever considered becoming an Actuary? This module covers the required material for the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries CT4 and CT6 syllabus. It explores the stochastic process and principles of actuarial modelling alongside time series models and analysis.

Why are arbitrage arguments important in modern finance? How can a binomial model evaluate derivatives? What are the main models for interest rates? Understand the mathematical techniques underlying the modelling of derivative pricing. Acquire skills in the development of pricing and risk management. Explore stochastic methods and credit risk.

What do you understand about Bayes’ theorem and Bayesian statistical modelling? Or about Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation? Focus on Bayesian and computational statistics. Understand the statistical modelling and methods available. Learn to develop a Monte Carlo simulation algorithm for simple probability distributions.

This module will cover partial differential equations (PDEs), which can describe a majority of physical processes and phenomena. You will learn the properties of first and second order PDEs, the concepts behind them and the methods for solving such equations.

How can mathematical processes explain biological phenomena? Can mathematical methods help us assess population dynamics? Or the harvesting of optimal yields? Study selected case studies to answer these questions. Examine a range of mathematical models including probability, limits, phase plane analysis, travelling waves, reaction-diffusion equations and ODEs with moving boundaries.

Placement

On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

Year abroad

On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

Teaching

  • Teaching mainly takes the form of lectures – you study roughly two 50-minute lectures and one 50-minute class per week, per module
  • Take a mathematics careers and employability module, where you compile a portfolio of skills and experience

Assessment

  • Your final mark is a weighted combination of marks gained on coursework (eg homework problem sheets or tests) and your summer examinations
  • Your first year of study does not count towards your final degree class
  • Third-year students have the opportunity to complete a full-year or one-term project

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Qualifications

UK entry requirements

A-levels: BBB, including Mathematics
Please note we are unable to accept A-level Use of Mathematics in place of A-level Mathematics

IB: 30 points, including Higher Level Mathematics grade 5. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Please note that Maths in the IB is not required if you have already achieved GCSE Maths at grade C or above.

Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

International and EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email admit@essex.ac.uk for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the high school qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

IELTS entry requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. (Different requirements apply for second year entry.)

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications.

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Applying

Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.

Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.

Applicant Days and interviews

Resident in the UK? If your application is successful, we will invite you to attend one of our applicant days. These run from January to April and give you the chance to explore the campus, meet our students and really get a feel for life as an Essex student.

Some of our courses also hold interviews and if you’re invited to one, this will take place during your applicant day. Don’t panic, they’re nothing to worry about and it’s a great way for us to find out more about you and for you to find out more about the course. Some of our interviews are one-to-one with an academic, others are group activities, but we’ll send you all the information you need beforehand.

If you’re outside the UK and are planning a trip, feel free to email visit@essex.ac.uk so we can help you plan a visit to the University.

Visit us

Open days

Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. In 2017 we have three undergraduate Open Days (in June, September and October). These events enable you to discover what our Colchester Campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

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The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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