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Mathematics Operational Research and Statistics with a Professional Placement (BSc)

Entry year


This four-year degree features an employability-enhancing third year working in a paid role, providing the ideal preparation for a career in operational research and statistics.

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Course overview

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

Operational Research, or Management Science, uses advanced statistical and analytical techniques to help organisations and individuals make decisions efficiently. Working in this field you might be:

  • determining manpower and resources allocation
  • finding sequences in a supply and procurement chain
  • developing customer profiles and segments

This course will equip you with the skills, methods and ways of thinking you need to become a confident statistical analyst. You will be able to tackle complex organisational problems using methods such as data collection, statistical modelling and simulation.

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 students have completed exciting placements at organisations including:

  • HM Revenue & Customs
  • NHS Wales
  • The Office of National Statistics
  • IBM

Distinctive features

High student satisfaction -  An impressive 100% of students on this course were satisfied with their overall experience according to the National Student Survey 2019.

Specialist knowledge - Alongside learning a broad range of mathematical techniques, you will gain the in-depth knowledge and skills required to secure a role in the statistics and operational research industries.

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

Accreditations

UCAS codeG990
Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration4 years
ModeFull time with sandwich year
Typical places availableThe School typically has approx 170 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives approx 700 applications.

"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 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.

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

This is a four year full-time degree with year three spent working in industry. The course includes a carefully chosen balance of core modules and optional modules. Modules are worth 10 or 20 credits and you need to earn 120 credits a year. The modules you choose in years one and two will inform the choices available to you later.

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 Pure and Applied Mathematics. You're also able to choose between modules in Financial Mathematics, Statistics, Computing, and Operational Research. The Operational Research and Statistics modules will introduce you to Classical Mechanics and Corporate Financial Management.

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
Statistical InferenceMA150110 credits
Computing for MathematicsMA170110 credits
Fundamental skills for University and BeyondMA190010 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Classical MechanicsMA130110 credits
Finance I: Financial Markets and Corporate Financial ManagementMA180110 credits

Year two

In Year Two your core modules continue to broaden your knowledge in areas like Statistics and Operational Research. There is a greater choice of specialist financial modules.

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

You are free to transfer to the BSc Financial 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 Financial Mathematics degree.

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

Module titleModule codeCredits
Operational ResearchMA026120 credits
Complex AnalysisMA200310 credits
Series and TransformsMA200410 credits
Linear Algebra IIMA200820 credits
Multivariable and Vector CalculusMA201020 credits
Foundations of Probability and StatisticsMA250020 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Modelling with Differential EquationsMA023210 credits
Real AnalysisMA200610 credits
GroupsMA201310 credits
Programming and StatisticsMA250110 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. 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.

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

29%

Guided independent study

71%

Placements

0%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

27%

Guided independent study

73%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

0%

Guided independent study

0%

Placements

100%

Year 4

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

26%

Guided independent study

74%

Placements

0%

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 immediately.

During your placement in year three you will work under the day-to-day direction of a supervisor who is a member of the organisation providing the placement. If you are in the UK, university staff will visit you (typically two-three times during the year), to check how the placement is progressing.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles. Opportunities for you to reflect on your abilities and performance are available through the Learning Central ‘Personal Development Planning’ module.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, excellent libraries and resource centres.

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.

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 grade of your final degree will be based on 20% from your year two studies, 10% from the year three placement and 70% from year four.

You are expected to write a reflectively about your industrial placement and about the skills you have developed, and to present a poster on your professional training experience. Industrial supervisors will also be asked to assess your performance during the placement.

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.

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams

90%

Practical exams

5%

Coursework

5%

Year 2

Written exams

89%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

11%

Year 3

Written exams

0%

Practical exams

10%

Coursework

90%

Year 4

Written exams

96%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

4%

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both discipline specific and important employability skills. You will:

  • develop your communication skills and ability to communicate mathematics in written and oral form
  • develop good self-management and organisational skills
  • enhance your computing, IT, information retrieval and handling skills
  • develop your ability to apply logical and analytic thinking to problems in other disciplines
  • demonstrate group working, time management and presentational skills
  • show a commitment to lifelong learning through engaging in a process of personal development planning

Careers and placements

Career prospects

You can use your BSc in Mathematics Operational Research and Statistics with a Professional Placement Year as a pathway to the workforce where you may meet our alumni working in a variety of fields such as data science, operational research, internet technology, medicine, banking, logistics, risk management, and marketing. 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 had gone on to work for companies including 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

The option of spending year three in industry extends the BSc degree to four years. If you decide not to do a placement abroad, you will have two options.  You can change to a three year BSc Mathematics programme, or a degree programme that includes a Year Abroad.  A year of studying abroad will keep the duration of your BSc degree at four years.  This option will be dependent on your academic performance and when you decide to change 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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