Mathematics, Operational Research and Statistics (BSc)
Combining the fields of Statistics and Operational Research with a study of mathematics in general, in a course carefully tailored to the needs of those looking for wide options and excellent career opportunities.
Statistics to many people means numbers; collecting them and organising them. The field of modern statistics involves much more. It is the source of techniques developed to help managers and researchers to draw reliable conclusions from observations that contain variation.
Operational Research techniques, sometimes called Management Science, provide quantitative decision-making methods complementary to statistical analysis, such as the control of queues and of stock, and quality control.
The modules you choose in Years One and Two will inform the choices available to you later. You will study 120 credits of modules in each year.
Our programmes have a large degree of commonality in Year One and if you wish to change to another programme within the School this can be discussed with your personal tutor and may be subject to your academic performance.
|Entry point||September 2016|
|Studying in Welsh||This course offers elements that are taught through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.|
|Accreditations||Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA)|
|Typical places available||The School typically has approx 170 places available.|
|Typical applications received||The School typically receives approx 700 applications.|
|Typical A level offer||AAB including an A in Maths or A*BB/A*AC including an A in Maths|
|Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offer||WBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above), excluding Mathematics.|
|Typical International Baccalaureate offer||34 points including at least 6 in Maths at Higher Level|
|Other qualifications||We also welcome applications from students from overseas and from students who have equivalent qualifications, such as BTEC, GNVQ, ACCESS, etc. Applicants with such qualifications should contact the admissions tutor, Dr Jonathan Thompson or administrator Caroline Frame, for more information.|
Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
|QAA subject benchmark|
Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research
Dr Jonathan Thompson, Admissions Tutor
Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published by May 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.
The BSc in Mathematics, Operational Research and Statistics has a core of pure mathematics but a wide range of modules in statistics, operational research, computing and applied mathematics.
In the first year, you can choose to study only mathematics modules or you may choose a 10 credit module from another discipline.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Elementary Differential Equations||MA1001||10 credits|
|Introduction to Probability Theory||MA1500||10 credits|
|Foundations of Mathematics I||MA1005||20 credits|
|Vectors and Matrices||MA1007||10 credits|
|Statistical Inference||MA1501||10 credits|
|Foundations of Mathematics II||MA1006||20 credits|
|Computing for Mathematics||MA1003||20 credits|
There are more optional mathematics modules in Year Two, currently 40 credits of optional modules are studied.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Linear Algebra||MA0212||10 credits|
|Modelling with Differential Equations||MA0232||10 credits|
|Visual Basic Programming For OR||MA0276||10 credits|
|Numerical Analysis II||MA2700||10 credits|
|Analysis III||MA0221||10 credits|
|Elementary Number Theory II||MA0216||10 credits|
|Ordinary Differential Equations||MA2005||10 credits|
|Programming and Statistics||MA2501||10 credits|
In Year Three, there are no core modules. Instead you choose 120 credits that are of most interest to you. You may select a 10 or 20 credit project in place of some traditional taught modules.
The School strives to ensure that its students react enthusiastically to their courses and thoroughly enjoy their learning experience. The School offers a range of research-led teaching and learning opportunities which develop essential mathematical and employability skills. Teaching is carried out through lectures, tutorials and examples classes. To aid the transition to University, there are tutorial sessions that promote peer interaction and discussion.
Increased independent learning is encouraged throughout the programme.
In all years the classes are used to discuss both theoretical concepts and essential mathematical techniques. You are encouraged to undertake additional reading outside of timetabled classes and fully engage with and reflect upon the assessments that take place. Many modules include written examinations that take place at the end of the Autumn or Spring Semester, with some also having an element of continuous assessment. This may include problem solving exercises, written reports, computer programs, oral presentation etc.
Feedback on progress is typically provided through a combination of discussion in class, written comments on submitted work and review of outline solutions to problems. You are encouraged to discuss any queries related to specific modules with individual lecturers.
The degree award will be based on 30% from your Year Two studies and 70% from Year Three.
You will be allocated a Personal Tutor to offer pastoral advice, guidance and support. You are encouraged to utilise personal tutors to reflect upon your academic and personal development. To aid this process, an extensive online Personal Development Planning module is available to all students via Learning Central (Cardiff University's Virtual Learning Environment). Although Personal Tutors do not have a formal role in the teaching process, most tutors are very happy to provide academic help when possible. Module information and related resources are also made available via Learning Central.
The Mathematics degree programmes at Cardiff will equip you with specialist numerical skills and develop your capacity for logical and analytical thought. These are qualities which are in demand across a broad range of stimulating and rewarding careers.
In addition to the formal teaching on the programme the School of Mathematics also has significant engagement with the Careers Service and Employers. This includes a Careers Management Skills Programme, numerous company presentations held in the School, presentations by students returning from industry, and a range of sponsored prizes awarded for academic achievement.
Please see the Key Information Sets for our latest employability statistics.
Employers of our students include the financial services sector, and organisations such as the Office of National Statistics and the Meteorological Office.
- Finance Manager
- Risk Analyst
The School of Mathematics admits around 180 students every year to its undergraduate degree programmes.
The School of Mathematics typically receives 700 applications
QAA subject benchmark
|QAA subject benchmark|
Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research
Overview and aims of this course/programme
The BSc in Mathematics, Operational Research and Statistics aims to:
- Provide a broad and balanced education in the most important areas of mathematics, statistics and operational research
- Produce graduates with the intellectual and employability skills appropriate both for further study and for a range of working environments
- Provide opportunities for students to fulfil their academic potential, acquire research and transferable skills, maximise their career potential and achieve personal growth
- Provide students with a sound basis of knowledge, understanding and skills in the main areas of mathematics, statistics and operational research
- Develop in students an understanding of and facility with abstract mathematical concepts, logical argument and deductive reasoning
- Provide opportunities for students to study a range of applications of mathematics and statistics, and to develop problem-solving and modelling skills in a variety of areas of mathematics, statistics and operational research
The Programme combines the fields of statistics and operational research with a range of complementary mathematics topics; some of these provide support for the more practical topics in operational research and statistics. The course strikes a balance between the theoretical and the practical.
What should I know about year five?
Students are expected to:
- Attend all timetabled classes
- Engage with all forms of summative and formative in-course assessment to allow self-reflection on progress towards the learning outcomes
- Engage in at least one hour independent study in addition to every taught hour of study. Increasing independence of learning is expected as the programme progresses
- Adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study.
How is this course/programme structured?
In each of the three years, candidates take 120 credits, with individual modules consisting of 10 or 20 credits.
In Year 1 the majority of modules are core (compulsory) and include essential mathematical topics such as Calculus, Algebra and Analysis. Further options are also available in Mechanics, Statistics and Number Theory.
Year 2 likewise consists of 80 credits of core modules, with a broader range of optional modules available in pure and applied mathematics, statistics and operational research.
The modules in Year 3 are closely aligned to the research interests of the School. There are no core modules in Year 3, allowing students to focus on topics of particular interest. A project may replace 10 or 20 credits of traditional taught modules in Year 3, providing the opportunity to develop communication and presentational skills, and to learn how to apply your mathematical skills to an investigation of your choice.
What should I know about year four?
No specific equipment required.
What should I know about year three?
Students will develop a range of discipline-specific and generic skills throughout the programme of study. These will include:
- The ability to communicate mathematics in written and oral form
- Group working, time management and presentational skills
- Computing, IT, information retrieval and handling skills
- The ability to apply logical and analytic thinking to problems in other disciplines
- Learning skills including independent learning
What should I know about the preliminary year?
The teaching on the programme is predominantly lecture-based. In all years lectures are supported by examples classes (laboratory classes where appropriate). These are typically lecturer-led where additional problems are discussed, oral feedback given and model solutions made available for further reflection. In Year One fortnightly tutorial sessions are provided. These sessions give students the opportunity to discuss problems with their peers in a smaller, group environment and also receive feedback on exercise problems.
What should I know about year one?
Summative assessment is primarily by means of unseen written examinations, often in combination with an in-course assessment element. All Year One modules include a component of in-course assessment. In Years Two and Three the balance varies according to the nature of the module. The summative assessment for students who undertake a research project in Year Three takes the form of a written report, and its oral examination.
Formative assessment is primarily by means of problem exercises, with other means where appropriate.
Feedback is provided on all forms of assessment.
Written feedback and outline solutions on in-course assessment provides students with the opportunity to regularly reflect on their progress. Further feedback is provided in examples classes and tutorials (in Year 1) which allow for problems to be reviewed in more detail and potential solutions to be discussed.
Written question by question feedback is also provided for all examinations.
All students are allocated a Personal Tutor for the duration of the Programme, from whom they can expect to receive pastoral advice, guidance and support. Students are encouraged to utilise Personal Tutors to reflect upon their academic and personal development, as well as future employment opportunities. To aid this process, an extensive online Personal Development Planning module is available to all students via Learning Central (Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment).
Although Personal Tutors do not have a formal role in the teaching process most tutors are very happy to provide academic help when possible and students are encouraged to approach them at any time. In addition, students are encouraged to discuss any queries related to specific modules with individual lecturers. Course information and related resources are also made available to students via Learning Central.
Further learning support is also available via the University wide Maths Support Service. This provides relaxed and informal daily drop-in sessions where students are encouraged to discuss any elements of their studies with a tutor on a one-to-one or small group basis.
Graduates from this Programme will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of core mathematics including calculus, algebra, analysis and complex variable theory
- Understand the principles and some of the techniques of proof
- Demonstrate knowledge of theory and techniques of probability, statistics and operational research, and techniques of mathematical and statistical modelling
- Demonstrate knowledge of theory methods and applications in chosen areas of specialisation
- Apply the skills needed in mathematical reasoning and manipulation
- Identify and apply appropriate methods for the solution of problems in mathematics, statistics and operational research
- Apply analysis and evaluation skills
- Perform mathematical calculations with attention to precision and logic
- Formulate and solve mathematical and statistical problems
- Apply the principles, theory and methods of statistical modelling in application areas
- Apply the principles, theory and methods of operational research
- Use appropriate computer packages
How will I be taught?
Further information on modules, teaching methods and research activities can be found on the School of Mathematics website.
Dr Jonathan Thompson, Admissions Tutor
Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.
Get information and advice about making an application, find out when the key dates are and learn more about our admissions criteria.How to apply