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Mathematics with a Professional Placement Year (BSc)

Entry year


This four-year degree features an employability-enhancing third year working in a paid mathematician or statistician role at an organisation of your choice.

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Course overview

Gain valuable hands-on experience and develop your professional skills whilst delving deeper into the fascinating world of mathematics.

A mathematics qualification is well-respected by employers. The numerical, logical thinking and problem-solving skills that you’ll develop will enable you to tackle a wide variety of roles.

This four-year version of the degree includes a year of paid work in a mathematician and/or statistician role during year three. You will return to Cardiff following the successful completion of your work placement at the start of the autumn semester ready for your final year of studies.

In a competitive graduate job market, a placement can help you gain extra skills and experience to make you stand out from the crowd. It could help you secure a permanent role after you graduate, as well as providing real-world context to support your studies. If you're not sure what career path to follow, it's a great opportunity to explore your options and might even help you make those all-important decisions about your future.

Our strong links with industry give you a wide range of placement providers to choose from. Our students have completed exciting placements at organisations including:

  • HM Revenue & Customs
  • The Ministry of Defence
  • NHS Wales
  • Nationwide
  • BAE Systems
  • IBM
  • Disney

Distinctive features

Professional Placement Year - Spend your third year in paid work as a mathematician or statistician where you can gain valuable work experience and develop your professional skills. We have strong links with industry and a dedicated placements team to help you find a placement and support you during your time there.

Professional award consideration - If you complete the professional training period, you can be considered for the City and Guilds Senior Licentiateship Award (LCGI).

Support facilities - Your personal tutor who is there to offer advice, in confidence, on both academic and non-academic matters. You will also have access to weekly tutorials, supervised computer laboratories, and daily drop-in sessions for one-to-one support.

UCAS codeG105
Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration4 years
ModeFull time with sandwich year

"I spent 6 months studying and working in France and Switzerland at CERN. I cycled to work every day looking at Mont Blanc, it was amazing"             Rhys, Final Year

Entry requirements

AAB-ABB including Grade A in Maths. Please note that General Studies are not accepted for entry.  

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

DD in any BTEC plus A in Maths at A-level. 

36-34 points or 666-665 in 3 Higher Level subjects, to include 6 in Higher Level Maths Analysis and Approaches. Higher Level Maths Applications and Interpretations will be considered on a case-by-case basis but is not accepted as standard for entry. 36-34 pwynt neu 666-665 mewn 3 phwnc Lefel Uwch, I gynnwys 6 mewn Dadansoddiad a Dulliau Mathemateg Lefel Uwch. Bydd Ceisiadau a Dehongliadau Mathemateg Lefel Uwch yn cael eu hystyried fesul achos, ni fyddwn yn derbyn hyn fel safon mynediad.

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Mathematics admissions criteria pages.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-score.

TOEFL iBT

At least 90 with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

62 with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

Selection

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 and offers will be made to applicants who have the potential to satisfy the offer.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page 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.

Additional costs

Accommodation

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

Course structure

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 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

In Year One your core modules will cover the foundation areas of Calculus, Algebra, Analysis, Computing, and Probability. You're also able to choose optional modules in Statistics, Mechanics, and Finance.

Much of Year One is common to all of our degree schemes so transfer to another Mathematics degree is normally possible.

You are 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
Module titleModule codeCredits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Classical MechanicsMA130110 credits
Statistical InferenceMA150110 credits
Finance I: Financial Markets and Corporate Financial ManagementMA180110 credits

Year two

In Year Two your core modules continue to build foundation knowledge in the areas of Calculus, Algebra, and Analysis. There is a greater choice of optional modules, including Pure and Applied Mathematics, Statistics, Finance, and Operational Research.

The modules you select will inform the choices available to you in Year Four.

You are free to transfer to the BSc Mathematics degree scheme if you decide not to take the Professional Placement Year.

We will provide help and support to help you find a placement in preparation for year three, however, the responsibility for securing a role rests with you. If you are unable to obtain a placement in Year Two, you will be transferred to the three-year BSc Mathematics degree.

You are required to pass a minimum of 100 credits to progress to the Professional Placement Year.

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
Module titleModule codeCredits
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
Mathematical Investigations with PythonMA276010 credits
Finance II: Investment ManagementMA280010 credits
Problem SolvingMA290010 credits

Year three: Sandwich year

In Year Three you will commence salaried employment, working as a Mathematician or Statistician at an organisation in the UK or Europe.

If you complete the professional training period you can be considered for the City and Guilds Senior Licentiateship Award (LCGI).

You will have support to apply for a placement, which can be undertaken with a wide range of providers across industry and government including many in the financial services, the pharmaceutical industry, and organisations such as the Office for National Statistics.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Industrial TrainingMA9999120 credits

Year four

In Year Four there are no compulsory modules and your options are wide-ranging.

You have the flexibility to specialise in a particular area of mathematics, or retain a broad set of interests and explore several different areas.

As well as taught modules, you can also choose to undertake an individual 10-credit or 20-credit project giving you the opportunity to develop important transferable skills – communication, presentation and time management - and apply your mathematical knowledge 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.

Learning and assessment

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
Mathematics lecture room with students
Mathematics lecture room with students

Careers and placements

Career prospects

You can use your BSc in Mathematics with a Professional Placement Year as a pathway to the workforce where you may meet our alumni working in traditional pursuits such as teaching, actuarial work, and accountancy through to IT, pharmaceutical research, engineering and more. Or, you might choose to widen your career options to include a range of related fields by completing postgraduate studies in the sciences, computing or engineering.

In 2017/18, 89% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation. Some of our previous students are now working at the Office of National Statistics and the Meteorological Office.

Maths Careers Support

In the spring semester of your first year, there are a range of masterclasses available to you to help support your future career prospects. The classes cover work experience, CV and covering letters, application forms, interview techniques, and an introduction to LinkedIn.

We have a regularly-updated student jobs board featuring a range of volunteering, internship, placement, and graduate opportunities. Plus, we organise a full programme of student and employer presentations every year with employers, such as Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, PwC, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Sainsburys, Network Rail, GSK, Office of National Statistics, Welsh Government, the MOD, Welsh Water, and the Met Office.

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

Placements

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. 

Studying in Welsh

Up to 36% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

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Saturday 26 October

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