BSc (Hons) Mathematics for Finance and Management - University of Portsmouth
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BSc (Hons)

Mathematics for Finance and Management

UCAS codeG161

full time3yrs

placement option1yr

The mathematics of high finance and big business

Course Overview

Why take this course?

Are you fascinated by mathematics? Do you also have an interest in business? If so, this course is ideal for you.

You’ll cover the mathematics of high finance and big business – from the mathematical analysis and modelling used to track investments, to the mathematics that managers need to make their budgets work harder.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Have access to ultra-modern computing facilities, and use specialist mathematical and statistical computing packages
  • Opt to do a year in industry to gain meaningful work experience and build up your employability skills
  • Take the opportunity to assist in a local school as a final-year option

What opportunities might it lead to?

Problem-solving is a key element to a successful business and mathematicians are welcomed in industry, business and commerce for their analytical ability and systematic, logical approach to unravelling complex issues.

Employment prospects are excellent, with most of our graduates securing well-paid posts within commerce, finance, investment analysis, accountancy, actuarial science or management.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • statistics
  • finance
  • mathematical modelling
  • teaching
  • working in government research agencies
  • marketing

This programme will meet the educational requirements of the Chartered Mathematician designation, awarded by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, when it is followed by subsequent training and experience in employment to obtain equivalent competences to those specified by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for taught masters degrees.


Pippa Cooke, BSc (Hons) Mathematics student 2013

The course is really interesting and the lecturers are fantastic - I completed a unit based on mathematical ciphers, which was a lot of fun.

Pippa Cooke, BSc (Hons) Mathematics student 2013


Mathematics and Physics

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • The practical problem-solving approach based on real-world issues
  • Approachable lecturers who are doing current research
  • Relevant work placements to help build employability skills

Browse all courses in Mathematics and Physics

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Structure & Teaching

Year one

In your first year you’ll cover a broad mix of mathematics, mathematical modelling and statistics.

Core units you will study in this year include:

  • Mathematical Modelling
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Fundamental Calculus
  • Introduction to Statistical Theory and Methods
  • Linear Algebra
  • Mathematical Foundations
  • Mathematical Models 

Year two

In the second year you will continue to develop skills in core mathematics along with the more specialised themes of mathematics for finance together with financial management and accounting for business.

Core units you will study in this year include:

  • Financial Management for Non-Accountants
  • Intermediate Calculus (Multivariable and Linear Differential Equations)
  • Operational Research
  • Mathematics for Finance
  • Mathematics for Graduates and Employment

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Applied mathematics
  • Operational Research
  • Algebraic Structures and Discrete Mathematics
  • Real and Complex Analysis
  • Statistical Theory and Methods 2
  • Universe: Planetary Systems, Stars and Galaxies


Year three*

As well as your final year project, you will have a choice from a range of options on pure and applied mathematical topics.

Core units you will study in this year include:

  • Financial Derivative Pricing and Planning
  • Scheduling
  • Supply Chain Management

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Advanced Financial Management
  • Operational Research
  • Applied Statistics
  • History and Philosophy of Mathematics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Relativity


*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement).

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.


Our friendly and supportive staff will show you how fascinating, yet practical, maths can be. You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory and project work, with individual help always available should you need it.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 35% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 65% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 24% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 76% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 23% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 77% studying independently and 0% on work placement


We assess you throughout the course to ensure that your knowledge and skills are developing. Here’s how:

  • examinations
  • written coursework
  • multiple-choice tests
  • presentations
  • mini projects
  • a major piece of supervised independent work

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 65% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 35% by coursework
  • Year two students: 55% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 38% by coursework
  • Year three students: 62% by written exams, 2% by practical exams and 36% by coursework

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Facilities & Features

Specialist Software

Access our modern computing laboratories equipped with a wide range of powerful hardware and software, including multimedia applications. After the necessary training, you will be able to use the computer algebra package MAPLE and the numerical methods and matrix algebra package MATLAB. These are just a few of the programs that will facilitate your learning and bring the subject to life.

Maths Café

Drop in any time and get one-to-one help with that tricky maths or stats problem. With handouts on key topics to take away and computer-aided learning packages, we can get the problem solved and help you improve your numeracy skills.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

You will find that a mathematics degree is very well respected in many areas of employment. Though you may expect the course to open doors in the more traditional areas such as statistics, finance and mathematical modelling, our graduates have in fact pursued careers in such diverse areas as the police, the armed services, marketing and retail management.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • trainee accountant
  • financial coordinator
  • oil trader
  • business analyst
  • invoice validator
  • teacher

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunities

Taking a placement year in industry could be one of the best decisions you make as more often than not, it leads to further opportunities after graduation. SPEC, our Student Placement and Employability Centre, not only helps you to arrange your placement but acts as a source of information and guidance throughout the recruitment process and beyond. We help on everything related to employability skills as well as assisting you in gaining other types of work experience.

Types of placement roles that could be relevant to this course include:

  • Quality Management Assistant
  • Assistant Financial Analyst

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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