Mathematics with a Professional Placement Year (BSc)

Entry year

2018/19 2019/20

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 illustration

The BSc in Mathematics with Professional Placement has an essential core of pure mathematics linked with modules from applied mathematics, statistics, computing, finance and operational research. The course is flexible, allowing you to specialise as you progress or to maintain a broad range of modules from the major branches of mathematics.

This particular version of the degree allows you to spend your third year in paid work as a mathematician and/or statistician at an organisation in the UK or Europe. You will have support to apply for a placement and they can be undertaken with a wide range of providers across industry and government including many in the professional and financial services, the pharmaceutical industry and organisations such as the Office for National Statistics. It should be noted that responsibility for securing placements rests with the student.

Distinctive features

Studying Mathematics at Cardiff:

  • offers a sound basis of knowledge, understanding and skills in the main areas of mathematics
  • encourages an understanding of abstract mathematical concepts, logical argument and deductive reasoning
  • gives you the opportunity to study some applications of mathematics, and to develop problem-solving skills using mathematical and statistical techniques
  • has an emphasis on independent learning
  • provides you with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience on a salaried Industrial placement year

Key facts

UCAS CodeG105
Next intakeSeptember 2018
Duration4 years
ModeFull time with sandwich year
Studying in WelshUp to 36% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information
Contact

Entry requirements

Typical A level offerAAA / A*AB to include an A grade in Mathematics’
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerThe Welsh Baccalaureate is acceptable in lieu of one A level grade. 
Typical International Baccalaureate offer36 points including 6 in HL Maths or 666 in 3 HL's including Maths
Alternative qualificationsAlternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Mathematics admissions criteria pages.
English Language requirementsIf you are an overseas applicant and your first language is not English, please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our accepted qualifications.
Other requirementsYou will require GCSE English or Welsh Language at grade C or grade 4. Alternatively, IGCSE English First Language or English Second Language will be considered at grade C.

In each year of the Programme, you will take Modules to the value of 120 credits. The first two years are spent studying Mathematics. The third year is spent on industrial placement and you return to complete your degree in year four

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2018/19 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2018. You are advised to check the final module descriptions when they are available to ensure that the programme meets your needs.

Year one

You will take 120 credits in Mathematics. Most modules are compulsory but there is an element of choice allowing you to select between modules in Statistics, Mechanics and Finance. The modules in Mathematics cover the foundational areas of Calculus, Algebra, Analysis, Computing and Probability.

You’ll be required to pass all first year modules and achieve an average of at least 50% to proceed to the application stage. 

Module titleModule codeCredits
Elementary Differential EquationsMA100110 credits
GeometryMA100410 credits
Foundations of Mathematics IMA100520 credits
Foundations of Mathematics IIMA100620 credits
Linear Algebra IMA100810 credits
Introduction to Probability TheoryMA150010 credits
Computing for MathematicsMA170110 credits
Fundamental skills for University and BeyondMA190010 credits

Year two

Core modules in year two continue to build foundational knowledge in the areas of Calculus, Algebra and Analysis. There is a greater choice of optional modules, including pure and applied mathematics, statistics and finance. Additionally the subject of operational research is introduced. The modules you select will inform the choices available to you in year four.

You are required to pass a minimum of 100 credits to progress to the placement year.

The responsibility for securing a placement rests with the student and a placement cannot be guaranteed. If you are unable to obtain a placement, you will be transferred to the three year BSc Mathematics degree.

You are free to transfer to the BSc Mathematics degree scheme if you decide not to take the Placement year. Much of Year One is common to all of our degree schemes so transfer to another Maths degree is normally possible. 

Module titleModule codeCredits
Complex AnalysisMA200310 credits
Series and TransformsMA200410 credits
Real AnalysisMA200610 credits
Linear Algebra IIMA200820 credits
Multivariable and Vector CalculusMA201020 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Algorithms and Data StructuresCM230320 credits
Modelling with Differential EquationsMA023210 credits
Operational ResearchMA026120 credits
Introduction to Number Theory IMA201110 credits
GroupsMA201310 credits
Vibrations and WavesMA230310 credits
Foundations of Probability and StatisticsMA250020 credits
Numerical AnalysisMA270110 credits
Finance II: Investment ManagementMA280010 credits
Problem SolvingMA290010 credits

Year three: Sandwich year

Year three is spent in salaried employment, working as a mathematician and/or statistician at an organisation in the United Kingdom or Europe.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Industrial TrainingMA9999120 credits

Year four

The modules available in the final year are closely aligned to the research interests of the School. There are no compulsory modules and your options are wide-ranging. As well as taught modules you can choose a 10-credit or 20-credit project, giving you the opportunity to develop communication and presentational skills and to learn how to apply your mathematical skills to an investigation of your choice.

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.

How will I be taught?

Teaching is carried out through lectures, small-group tutorials and examples classes. Mathematics is a hierarchical discipline so the structure of the course is systematic, building on fundamental understanding. Increased independent learning is encouraged throughout the course.

In all years the classes are used to discuss theoretical concepts and essential mathematical techniques. You are encouraged to undertake additional reading outside of timetabled classes and reflect upon assessments and feedback.

The first two years are focussed on providing a foundational understanding.  The final year covers a range of contemporary subject material, reflecting research interests in the School. Throughout the delivery of the programme, wherever possible, recent research results are used to illustrate and illuminate the subject.

In year one there are regular small-group tutorial sessions in all mathematics modules. Exercises are an integral part of all lecture-based modules, and these allow you to apply your knowledge and improve your problem-solving skills. Extra exercise or examples classes are currently held in all mathematics modules. In these a lecturer will discuss additional problems with you, give general oral feedback and model solutions for further reflection.

How will I be supported?

At the start of each year you will be given a guide to module aims, learning outcomes, methods of assessment, module syllabuses, and reading lists. You will be allocated a personal tutor, a member of the academic staff who will provide pastoral support and academic advice during your course.

All lecturing staff can be contacted by email and have either an ‘open door’ policy for students with specific queries about course material, or a system to book meeting times. The School Office can answer most administrative queries.

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.

While on placement, you will be visited a minimum of two times by Academic staff and Professional Services staff. There are named points of contact should you have any questions or problems.

How will I be assessed?

Many modules have written examinations at the end of the autumn or spring Semesters, with some also having an element of continuous assessment. This may include problem-solving exercises, written reports, computer programs and oral presentations.  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 Professional Placement year is assessed via a combination of a report, a poster and an oral presentation. You are required to reflect upon and provide evidence for your progress in the areas of Professional Standards, Communication and Information Management, Leadership, Professional Development, Working with Others, and Managing Customer Relations. You submit monthly formative journal entries for which feedback will be provided, thereby monitoring your progress.

Feedback:

Written feedback and outline solutions on in-course assessment give you an opportunity to reflect on your progress. Further feedback is provided in examples classes and tutorials (in Year One) to review problems in more detail and discuss potential solutions. You should discuss any queries related to specific modules with individual lecturers. There are a number of further feedback mechanisms in place to support your study; please see “How will I be supported?” below.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will be able to do as a result of your study at Cardiff University. They will help you to understand what is expected of you. 

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below:

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • An analytical approach to problem solving
  • An understanding of the ideas of proof, calculus, algebra, analysis and applied mathematics
  • An enhanced understanding of abstract mathematical concepts, logical arguments and deductive reasoning
  • Mathematical reasoning and manipulation

The Placement additionally:

  • Provides experience of applying mathematical concepts in an industrial environment
  • Makes you aware of professional and ethical responsibilities
  • Commitment to professional standards

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to formulate and solve mathematical models
  • The skills of using analytical and logical thinking to draw conclusions based on quantitative information.
  • Communication skills and the ability to communicate mathematical knowledge and understanding

The Placement year additionally allows you to demonstrate:

  • Self-reflection and motivation
  • Leadership
  • Self-direction in solving unseen problems

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Use of a number of modern software packages
  • Proficiency in performing experiments in laboratory classes, demonstrating analytical and investigative skills
  • The ability to assimilate and communicate detailed mathematical arguments
  • Report writing skills, the ability to write coherently and clearly and to give presentations.

The Placement Year allows you to demonstrate:

  • Use of software in an industrial setting

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Logical reasoning
  • Independent thinking
  • Critical thinking
  • The ability to apply mathematical skills to solve problems
  • Use of information technology and library resources
  • Time and workload management
  • Working with others
  • Self management and organisational skills.

The Placement Year allows you to demonstrate:

  • Work experience in a Maths related job

Specialist numerical skills and logical and analytical thought are qualities in demand across a range of stimulating and rewarding careers. Employers of graduates from the School of Mathematics include the financial services sector and organisations such as the Office of National Statistics and the Meteorological Office.

Potential careers include finance, risk analyst, statistician, and teacher.  Work placements are often the first step to a successful graduate career as employers value the practical experience gained on placement.

The School of Mathematics also has a Careers Management Skills Programme, company presentations held in the School, presentations by students returning from industry and a range of sponsored prizes awarded for academic achievement.

Jobs

  • Finance manager
  • Lecturer
  • Risk analyst
  • Statistician

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,000None

The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in the second and subsequent years of a course as permitted by law or Welsh Government policy. Where applicable we will notify you of any change in tuition fee by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which the fee will increase.

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£19,950None

Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes and Medical and Dental courses. Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Costs for sandwich years

During a sandwich year (e.g. year in industry, placement year or year abroad) a lower fee will apply. Full details can be found on our fees pages.

Accomodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

There will be no interviews. Selection is based entirely on A level (or equivalent) performance. Contextual applicants will be guaranteed an offer and will be subject to additional consideration. All applicants will be invited to attend an Open day when they will visit the School of Mathematics. Offers will be made to all applicants who have the potential to satisfy the offer.

A one year work placement is available on this programme,  to be taken after you have completed year two.

You will have support to apply for placements that appeal to you from a wide range of industrial partners. Placements are available in Cardiff, across the UK and also internationally and most have competitive salaries.

 Recent placement providers have included: CGI, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Goldman Sachs, Ministry of Defence, National Air Traffic Service and Walt Disney.

 When you are on placement, your work will be directly supervised by your placement provider. You will be working on real problems and using mathematics to produce results. You will also have close contact with our placement coordinators so they can discuss your progress and ensure you get the most out of the year. This will include visits as well as regular email contact.

 We will support you in preparing for your work placement through a range of skills development programmes. 

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