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.

Key facts

UCAS CodeG991
Duration3 years
AccreditationsInstitute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA)
Typical places availableThe School typically has approx 170 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives approx 700 applications.
Scholarships and bursaries
Typical A level offerAAB including an A in Maths or A*BB/A*AC including an A in Maths
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above), excluding Mathematics.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer34 points including at least 6 in Maths at Higher Level
Other qualificationsWe 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

Academic School
Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Jonathan Thompson , Admissions Tutor

    Welsh medium provisionThis course offers elements that are taught through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

    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.

    Year one

    In the first year, you can choose to study only mathematics modules or you may choose a 10 credit module from another discipline.

    Module titleModule codeCredits
    Elementary Differential EquationsMA100110 credits
    GeometryMA100410 credits
    Vectors and MatricesMA100710 credits
    Introduction to Probability TheoryMA150010 credits
    Foundations of Mathematics IMA100520 credits
    Statistical InferenceMA150110 credits
    Foundations of Mathematics IIMA100620 credits
    Computing for MathematicsMA100320 credits

    Year two

    There are more optional mathematics modules in Year Two, currently 40 credits of optional modules are studied.

    Module titleModule codeCredits
    Series and TransformsMA200410 credits
    Operational ResearchMA026120 credits
    Calculus of Several VariablesMA200110 credits
    Matrix AlgebraMA200210 credits
    Foundations of Probability and StatisticsMA250020 credits
    Complex AnalysisMA200310 credits

    Module titleModule codeCredits
    Julian the ApostateHS330710 credits
    Greek ValuesHS330910 credits
    Athens in the Age of Demosthenes and LykourgosHS337110 credits
    Hellenistic Art and ArchitectureHS435610 credits
    Latin Historical TextsHS334310 credits
    Latin Historical TextsHS334410 credits
    Reading Greek IHS342320 credits
    Reading Greek 2HS332420 credits
    Reading Latin 1HS342120 credits
    Reading Latin 2HS332220 credits
    Greek Historical TextsHS334510 credits
    Byzantium: The Golden Age, c. 850 - 1050HS332910 credits
    Greek Historical TextsHS334610 credits
    Conquest & Crisis: The Roman RepublicHS331630 credits
    Gender & Sexuality in Greece and RomeHS336220 credits
    The Roman ArmyHS436720 credits
    Viking-Age ScandinaviaHS238010 credits
    Complex Societies in Barbarian EuropeHS236510 credits
    Structure & Corrosion of MetalsHS235910 credits
    Neolithic Beginnings: Last Foragers and First Farmers in the Eastern MediterraneanHS242420 credits
    Viking Britain and IrelandHS231010 credits
    Neolithic/Early Bronze Age BritainHS235720 credits
    Medieval ArchaeologyHS238220 credits
    Art & Archaeology of Archaic GreeceHS238620 credits
    War, Peace and Diplomacy, c.900-c.1250HS170730 credits
    Heresy & Dissent 1000-1450HS171030 credits
    Class, Protest and Politics: South Wales 1918-39HS186830 credits
    Heresy & Dissent 1000-1450HS171030 credits
    Culture, Soc & I.D. in Wales 1847-1914HS186530 credits
    Poverty and Relief in Medieval EuropeHS171430 credits
    The British Civil Wars and Revolution, C.1638-1649HS174230 credits
    Building the Modern WorldHS174430 credits
    Being Human: Self and Society in Britain from Darwin to the Age of Mass CultureHS174830 credits
    Nations, Empire and Borderlands from 1789 to the presentHS174930 credits
    From King Coal To Cool Cymru: Society and Culture in Wales, 1939-2000HS175630 credits
    "An Empire for Liberty": Race, Space and Power in the United States, 1775-1898HS176030 credits
    India and The Raj 1857-1947HS176530 credits
    The Search for an Asian Modern: Japanese History from 1800 to the Post-War EraHS176830 credits
    The Soviet Century: Russia and the Soviet Union, 1905-1991HS177630 credits
    Into The Vortex: Britain and The First World WarHS178730 credits
    Making Empires: Britain and the World, 1541 - 1714HS179330 credits
    Medicine and Modern Society, 1750-1919HS179930 credits
    The World of the Anglo-Saxons, c.500-c.1087HS180330 credits
    Sexuality and the Social Order in Medieval EuropeHS180430 credits
    The Military Orders 1100-1320HS180530 credits
    Deviants, Rebels and Witches in Early Modern Britain and IrelandHS182830 credits
    From Bismarck To Goebbels: Biography and Modern German History, 1870-1945HS182930 credits
    Politics, Economics and Strategy: Britain's European Dilemma, 1951-1975HS183930 credits
    Race, Sex and Empire & India, 1765-1929HS185530 credits
    Glimpses of the Unfamiliar: Travellers to Japan from 1860 to the Post-War EraHS185830 credits
    Cymru a'r Rhyfel Mawr, 1880-2014HS186730 credits
    Identity and The British State: Wales, 1485-1660HS187230 credits
    Violence and Ideology in Inter-War Soviet RussiaHS188330 credits
    Europe and the Revolutionary Tradition in the Long Nineteenth CenturyHS188730 credits
    Slavery and Slave Life in North America, 1619-1865HS189030 credits
    Gender, Power and Subjectivity in Twentieth-Century BritainHS189430 credits
    The Dangerous City? Urban Society & Culture 1800-1914HS189630 credits
    Intermediate Sanskrit TextsRT122420 credits
    Islam in The Contemporary WorldRT121120 credits
    Early HinduismRT133820 credits
    Exploring GnosticismRT121820 credits
    Indian Philosophy, Indian HistoryRT122320 credits
    Understanding Muslim ScripturesRT122620 credits
    Buddhism: The First Thousand YearsRT122720 credits
    New Testament EpistlesRT320520 credits
    New Testament Greek Texts IRT320920 credits
    Reformation HistoryRT420520 credits
    The Early Church: History and MemoryRT420820 credits
    The Medieval Church in the Latin WestRT420920 credits
    Beliefs in the CrucibleRT520420 credits
    Christian 'Church' Today: Its Meaning, Life and MissionRT520520 credits
    History & Religion of Ancient IsraelRT230120 credits
    Arabic Texts IRT131020 credits
    Arabic Texts IIRT131120 credits
    Early Hindu Texts in SanskritRT132820 credits
    Gender and Sexuality: Islamic PerspectivesRT134520 credits
    The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
    Christian Spirituality, 150-1550 CERT430720 credits
    Understanding Christian WorshipRT432020 credits
    Theology On The Edge: Christian Thought in A Changing WorldRT531520 credits
    Christian Social Ethics TodayRT731720 credits
    Modern Welsh LiteratureCY373210 credits
    Wales and The Welsh LanguageCY373310 credits
    Welsh 1CY377420 credits
    Welsh 2CY377520 credits
    Welsh Culture and FolkloreCY373410 credits
    Cyflwyniad I'r GymraegCY374220 credits
    Llenyddiaeth GymraegCY374320 credits
    O Destun I DraethawdCY374420 credits
    C++ Programming ICE265220 credits
    C Programming 1CE334020 credits
    C Programming IICE334110 credits
    Shell and Perl Programming ICE501120 credits
    Introduction To Irish 1CY401110 credits
    Introduction To Irish 2CY401310 credits
    Developing Enterprise & Employability SkillsCE506710 credits
    Japanese HistoryML150110 credits
    Contemporary Japanese SocietyML250510 credits
    Linear AlgebraMA021210 credits
    GroupsMA021310 credits
    Elementary Number Theory IIMA021610 credits
    Analysis IIIMA022110 credits
    Modelling with Differential EquationsMA023210 credits
    Elementary Fluid DynamicsMA023510 credits
    Operational ResearchMA026120 credits
    Visual Basic Programming For ORMA027610 credits
    AccountancyMA029110 credits
    Calculus of Several VariablesMA200110 credits
    Matrix AlgebraMA200210 credits
    Complex AnalysisMA200310 credits
    Series and TransformsMA200410 credits
    Ordinary Differential EquationsMA200510 credits
    Mechanics IIMA230010 credits
    Vector CalculusMA230110 credits
    Foundations of Probability and StatisticsMA250020 credits
    Programming and StatisticsMA250110 credits
    Numerical Analysis IIMA270010 credits
    Yr Ystafell Newyddion 1MC261720 credits
    Yr Ystafell Newyddion 2MC261820 credits
    C ProgrammingCE514010 credits
    Java ICE333720 credits
    Gods & the Polis: Athenian FestivalsHS333010 credits
    Module titleModule codeCredits
    Linear AlgebraMA021210 credits
    Modelling with Differential EquationsMA023210 credits
    Visual Basic Programming For ORMA027610 credits
    AccountancyMA029110 credits
    Numerical Analysis IIMA270010 credits
    Analysis IIIMA022110 credits
    Elementary Number Theory IIMA021610 credits
    Ordinary Differential EquationsMA200510 credits
    Programming and StatisticsMA250110 credits
    GroupsMA021310 credits

    Year three

    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 University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

    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
    • Lecturer
    • Risk Analyst
    • Statistician


    3 Year(s)

    Next intake

    September 2016

    Places available

    Typical places available

    The School of Mathematics admits around 180 students every year to its undergraduate degree programmes.

    Applications received

    Typical applications received

    The School of Mathematics typically receives 700 applications


    QAA subject benchmark

    QAA subject benchmark

    Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research

    What are the aims of this 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 is expected of me?

    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 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.

    Will I need any specific equipment to study this Programme?

    No specific equipment required. 

    What skills will I practise and develop?

    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

    How will I be taught?

    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.

    How will I be assessed?


    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. 

    How will I be supported?

    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.

    What are the Learning Outcomes of this Programme?

    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

    Other information

    Further information on modules, teaching methods and research activities can be found on the School of Mathematics website.

    Admissions tutors

    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.