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Mathematics with a Professional Placement Year (MMath)

Entry year


This version of the MMath degree features an employability-enhancing third year working in a paid mathematician and/or statistician role.

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Course overview

The MMath with a Professional Placement Year is a great choice if you would like to gain a deeper understanding of mathematics while gaining real-world experience in a paid mathematician or statistician role. This course expands on the BSc to prepare you for high-level entry into relevant professions. It’s also a solid base for pursuing a research career. 

This course is the same as the four-year BSc with a Professional Placement Year with an additional fifth year of study where you will complete a major piece of project work, such as:

  • a survey of an existing area of mathematical theory not covered in taught modules
  • an introductory research project
  • the development of a piece of mathematical software

Not only will you explore a research topic of your choice, but you will also develop the crucial professional skills that graduate employers are looking for. You will show that you are at the forefront of the discipline through extensive coverage of topics such as Mathematical Analysis, Mathematical Physics, and Fluid Dynamics.

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 to 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. It might help you make those all-important decisions about your future.

Our current students are taking advantage of our strong industry links and completing exciting placements in organisations such as:

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

Distinctive features

Specialist knowledge - Alongside learning a broad range of advanced mathematical techniques, you will gain specialist knowledge and skills through extensive coverage of topics beyond the scope of the BSc degree.

Project-based year - You will complete a substantial mathematical project at an advanced level in a research area of your choice.

Professional Placement Year - Spend your third year in paid work as a mathematician and/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).

Student satisfaction - Join a small and friendly community voted top among all Russell Group Universities in the main category of Overall Satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2018.

Support facilities - You will have a personal tutor who is able 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.

UCAS codeG112
Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration5 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

AAA-AAB including Grade A in Maths. Please note that General Studies is 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 points or 666 in 3 Higher Level subjects, to include 6 in Higher level Maths or 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 pwynt neu 666 mewn 3 phwnc Lefel Uwch, I gynnwys 6 mewn mathemateg lefel uwch neu 6 mewn dadansoddiadau dadansoddi. 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.

GCSE

Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.

TOEFL iBT

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

PTE Academic

At least 62 overall 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)

Tuition feeDeposit
£9,000None

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 (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
£21,950None

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.

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

You will need to support your own living costs during the placement year.  This includes rent, transport and food, There is no financial support available for this from the University but costs should be offset by the salary provided by the placement provider.  Students undertaking a year abroad may have to pay for a suitable visa and/or health insurance.

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 years four and five. 

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

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 Mechanics or Finance. The modules in Mathematics cover the foundational areas of Calculus, Algebra, Analysis, Computing, Statistics and Probability.

You’ll be required to pass all first year modules to be able to continue on the Professional Placement degree scheme.

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

There is a core of modules in Year Two that continue to build foundational knowledge in the areas of Calculus, Algebra and Analysis. There is a greater choice of optional modules in Year Two, 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 Years Four and Five.

You are required to achieve at least a 55% average to continue your studies onto Year Three of the MMath with Professional Placement scheme. Students who fail to achieve the 55% average will be transferred onto the BSc Mathematics with Professional Placement degree scheme.

To undertake a placement there is no additional requirement other than you must have passed at least 100 credits in Year Two before commencing a Placement.

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. The responsibility for securing a placement rests with the student and a placement cannot be guaranteed. If a student does not obtain a placement, they will be transferred to the four year MMath Mathematics degree i.e. without placement.

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
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

Year three is spent in salaried employment, working as a mathematician at an organisation in the UK or Europe.

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.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Industrial TrainingMA9999120 credits

Year four

The modules in year four are closely aligned to the research interests of the School. 120 credits of optional module are chosen. There are a broad range of modules available, enabling you to focus on areas of particular interest. There is a compulsory module in Functional and Fourier Analysis and your options are wide-ranging.

Year five

In year five the course develops research training and enhanced mathematical skills. There is also a major piece of project work, in which you will apply the knowledge and skills learnt in the first four years of the degree to tackle some practical or theoretical problems. There are a range of optional modules available in Pure and Applied Mathematics as well as some options in Statistics and Operational Research.

This gives you the opportunity to develop presentation and communication skills, in addition to applying your mathematical skills to a research topic of your choice

Module titleModule codeCredits
MMath ProjectMA490040 credits
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?

Core knowledge is taught through a mixture of lectures, exercise classes, small-group tutorials and guided study. 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 two years cover 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.

In year five, more student participation is expected as some lectures take the form of seminars.

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’s Director of Learning and Teaching of the School of Mathematics can advise you on academic issues, and each year of study has a year co-ordinator able to advise on administrative issues.

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 and 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.

You will be prepared for your work placement in the following way. In Year 1, you will take part in our already established Career Management Skills programme. In Year 2, a programme of skills development sessions (organised in conjunction with the Skills Development Service, which is part of the Students’ Union) will allow you to more formally enhance your professional skills prior to your placement year.

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.

The grade of your final degree will be based on 10% from your Year Two studies, 10% from your Year Three placement, 30% from Year Four and 50% from Year Five.

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 allows you to demonstrate:

  • Experience of applying mathematical concepts in a commercial environment
  • Awareness of professional and ethical responsibilities
  • Work-related skills, knowledge and experience

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
  • Plan and conduct a piece of novel research

The Placement year additionally allows you to demonstrate:

  • Ability to think and write critically.

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 software or other appropriate techniques to solve real-world problems
  • An ability to operate professionally in the workplace

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 ability to conduct independent research

The Placement Year allows you to demonstrate:

  • Enhanced ability to critically reflect, lead and problem solve
  • Work experience in a Maths related job
  • Employability skills and the ability to show initiative

Careers and placements

Career prospects

You can use your MMath 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 a PhD in mathematics, 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 is 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.

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.

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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