for Maths Course Page

Mathematics BSc (Hons)

Develop core skills in mathematical sciences including algebra, calculus, statistics and modelling. Shape your studies to your career goals.

University of Portsmouth Connected Degree - 3 year course with 4th year placement

Key information

UCAS code:

G100 (BSc)

Typical offer:

112-120 UCAS points from 2 or 3 A levels

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

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Mathematics has shaped societies for thousands of years – from the Ancient Babylonians to today's increasingly sophisticated technology. Continue the tradition of unpicking complex mathematical problems and apply your methods to scenarios such as monitoring the spread of disease, predicting the route of a cloud of ash from a volcano or forecasting climate change.

Study core mathematical topics including calculus, algebra, matrices, modelling and differential equations. Then shape your degree to your ambitions and interests in following years, by choosing optional modules in pure and applied maths such as abstract algebra, financial modelling, operational research and cosmology.

When you graduate, you’ll be in high demand, especially in the expanding technology, data and machine learning industries.

Course highlights

  • Study in a welcoming and supportive environment, with student satisfaction in the top 10 nationally and a daily drop-in Maths Café
  • Delve into topics including dynamical systems, partial differential equations, health research and group theory
  • Learn from expert researchers such as Dr Jamie Foster, whose mathematical modelling is used to design electric car batteries 
  • Develop coding skills in programming languages including Python, and learn to use industry-standard mathematical, statistical and operational research software.
  • Apply your skills on optional work placements in companies such as IBM and DSTL, or choose a module assisting maths teachers in local schools
  • Investigate theories alongside the University's mathematicians — 95% of our research in Mathematics was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent and we're ranked top among modern UK universities for overall performance and research environment


of graduates in work or further study 15 months after this course

(HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19)


This course is accredited by the Institution of Mathematics and Its Applications (IMA). 

Maths at Portsmouth — number 8 in the UK for student satisfaction, and the top modern university in the country for research quality

National Student Survey (NSS) 2023 and Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

Read more about our excellent maths research

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

BSc (Hons) Mathematics entry requirements

Typical offers

  • UCAS points - 112-120 points from 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including 40 points from Mathematics. (calculate your UCAS points)
  • A levels - BBB-BBC
  • International Baccalaureate - 29

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept at UCAS.

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

If you don't meet the entry requirements, you may be able to join this course after you successfully complete a foundation year.

Alumni profile: Tessa Wildsmith, Mathematics teacher

Find out about Tessa's life and success after University

Tessa Wildsmith graduated from Portsmouth with a mathematics degree, a Master's in maths, and a PGCE teaching qualification. She now teaches maths in a high school.

Find out more about Tessa's early love for algebra and how she's showing teenagers how beautiful maths can be. 

My name is Tessa Wildsmith and I'm a teacher for both key stage four and key stage five for mathematics.

My dad did mathematics and he showed a love of it throughout my childhood. He introduced me to algebra when I was way too young. That has gone on throughout my life and him inspiring me to be better and to go on to see how beautiful maths can be. So his enthusiasm and love for it just inspired me, really.

When applying to university, I did have a look at some of the local universities. You're looking at somewhere that not only are you going to fit in but also is going to stretch you academically. Portsmouth did both.

The other thing, obviously, is the location. Being right by the sea means that if you have free time, it's lovely just to be able to go and sit by the sea front, collect your thoughts, have a think about your day or how you're going to go about your next assignment. It calms you so much to have that environment.

At the University of Portsmouth, I studied an undergraduate in mathematics and then went on to study a masters of research, which also looked into mathematics. The lecturers there were really welcoming, obviously knowledgeable as well, but they had a real love and passion of each of their individual subjects. To see the things that seem very abstract actually have a very real life application was incredible.

Following my masters, I went on to do the PGCE also at the University of Portsmouth. I just wanted to go into teaching because I've seen a bit of research, I've done a bit of research with my masters and then after that, I realised that I always thought about teaching. During university as well, I was often tutoring other fellow students and helping them with it and that satisfaction you get from seeing lightbulb moments with people, especially with maths, because it seems something that for some people is very unattainable.

To unlock a passion in students, you just need to show them why you love it. You know some of the things you teach them, even if they don't apply in real world concepts later on, they will still remember. They actually will remember as a satisfying thing or something that brought them some joy. But the thing that motivates me most is the students, because when you go into a room and they're excited for your lesson or they're excited to see you or they're excited to learn, that's going to drive you constantly because that isn't something that dissipates.

My time at university definitely did change me. It did build my confidence a lot. It created the enthusiasm that I have now because of seeing people who inspired me more so. If someone is thinking of going to university, I would definitely say if your passionate about something, go. I don't think there's any drawbacks to opening up your mind to new concepts, ever. 

Facilities and specialist software

University of Portsmouth students sat in the Maths Cafe

Maths Café

No problem is too small or too tough for our Maths Café tutors, who are on hand every day during term-time to help you if you get stuck or need something explained.

Learn more about the Maths Café

 Close up of a building, with solar photovoltaic panels covering it

Future Technology Centre, Technology Enhanced Active Learning Space

Develop teamwork and communication skills to prepare you for your graduate job and make yourself more employable, while getting to know your classmates in an informal and friendly environment.

CCI Facilities; June 2019

Computer labs and specialist mathematics software

Learn several specialist programming, symbolic and data handling languages such as Python, Mathematica and R – and work with industry standard tools for building machine learning models, such as scikit-learn, pytorch and tensorflow.

Careers and opportunities

Mathematics is more than just number crunching.

A degree in mathematics shows that you have the ability to think analytically and conveys an intellectual maturity that many employers look for when they hire staff.

The demand for mathematics graduates is increasing too. The Council for the Mathematical Sciences predicts more than 7 million people in the UK will need mathematical science skills in 2030 – an increase of 900,000 compared to 2009, in particular in the fast-growing machine learning and space sectors.

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have worked for companies such as:

  • NATS (National Air Traffic Services)
  • TSB
  • JP Morgan
  • NHS
  • BAE
  • HSBC
  • Portsmouth Grammar School

What jobs can you do with a mathematics degree?

Our graduates now work in roles including:

  • research analyst
  • service reliability engineer
  • accountant
  • mathematics teacher
  • credit risk analyst
  • data scientist
  • graduate scientific research engineer
Female student at computer

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

Placements (optional)

After your second or third year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in industry.

A placement year gives you an advantage over other graduates who may understand theory but won't have the experience of applying their learning to a working environment. We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations, and you’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

You could also choose to set up your own business, or take a voluntary placement.

Potential roles

Previous students have taken placement roles such as:

  • innovation and infrastructure specialist
  • counter terrorism and security
  • student research analyst

Potential destinations

They've completed placements at organisations including:

  • IBM
  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
  • British Telecom


Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme

In year 3, you can do a 5-day (or 10 half-day) placement in a local school or college, acting as a role-model for Primary to A Level students interested in pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

Develop your confidence in communicating your knowledge of mathematics and your understanding of teaching methods and adapting to individual student needs.

The course mentors were always really supportive. I loved the lecture style lessons and I was so lucky to be able to complete the Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme in Year 3... Studying pure maths has allowed me to be a subject specialist within my department, meaning not only can I teach KS3 and KS4, but also KS5.

Lydia Baker, BSc Mathematics alumna

BSc Hons Mathematics


What you'll study

Core modules

Analyzing function behavior through limits, derivatives and integrals, you'll use differential calculus, integral calculus for area computations, determine series convergence, and apply infinite series to differentiation/integration.

You'll develop career-building skills in applying these modern software packages to current mathematical problems, learning to implement algorithms, break problems into coded steps, visualise data, and further skills needed by companies employing mathematics and physics graduates.

You'll solve problems and prove theorems using matrices, vectors, linear transformations, vector spaces and detailed eigen theory.

You'll develop proof techniques through examples, discussing when different proof types are useful. As you hone your ability to speak in logic, the 'language' used to prove mathematical statements, you'll also work with mathematical concepts like sets, functions, ciphers and complex numbers.

You'll learn to formulate problems algebraically, create graphical solutions to linear problems, and interpret ordinary differential equations (ODEs). You'll also demonstrate that some problems are too complicated for these methods, and create approximate solutions using numeric techniques.

You'll apply statistical theory and data analysis techniques used in business, testing hypotheses and performing regression modelling with Minitab software.

Core modules

You'll model an issue drawn from live, open-ended problems, identify and implement practical methods to analyse and solve your chosen problem, then produce reports to communicate your analysis professionally. You'll also work with careers guidance to relate your skills and interests to opportunities, and recognise how to best present yourself in effective applications and interviews.

Determining vector calculus gradients, divergences and curls, you will evaluate line, surface and volume integrals, apply integral theorems, find Fourier series, solve differential equations analytically and interpret solutions.

You'll look at sequences and series, construct proofs and counter-examples, and look at the differentiation and integration of real and complex functions. You'll emerge from this module able to define and apply theorems, illustrate complex mappings, understand properties of standard complex functions, and use techniques like evaluating derivatives/integrals to solve problems.

Optional modules

In this module, you'll study the methods used to build supervised and unsupervised machine learning models. Combining traditional pen-and-paper mathematics with powerful computational methods, you'll train machine learning models to fit parameters, learn patterns, and make predictions.

You'll formulate and solve linear and non-linear programming models, applying your skills to operational research problems, and prepare for advanced modelling studies in simulation, forecasting and other forms of planning.

You'll construct group theory proofs and show counterexamples. explore modular arithmetic and Euclidean division, and build your toolkit for your final year studies in modern algebra.

You'll apply creative mathematical and programming methods to model and analyse financial problems. Through simulations of finance scenarios, you'll examine and address practical questions in advanced market dynamics.

First, you'll master analytical mechanics using Lagrangian and Hamiltonian techniques, reducing complex systems into simpler, symmetric forms. Then you'll analyse chaotic dynamics with differential and difference equations. When you complete the module, you'll have developed lasting intuition and problem-solving agility, with a versatile toolkit of theory and techniques essential for any physics career.

In this module, you'll learn to formulate and communicate problems in statistical terms, study estimation and sampling, and interpret the results of advanced models and experiments.

You'll investigate planetary motion, stars and galaxies through concepts including celestial coordinates, physical laws and gravity. As you model stellar properties and evolution, from atmospheres to remnants like black holes, you'll bring your analysis alive through interactive software, topical news and observing sessions.

Core modules

You'll study heat, wave and Laplace equations, with applications in science.

Optional modules

Adapting to the school environment, you'll explore STEM themes with classes from Key Stage 3 to Sixth Form, before reflecting critically on teaching practices. Through this mentorship of mathematics and physics teachers, you'll get direct experience of STEM education, break down stereotypes of mathematics, and prove your ability to communicate difficult concepts.

You'll study multiple types of options to understand their payoffs, and how to construct portfolios with different investment strategies. You'll also derive the famous Black-Scholes equation for pricing options in different contexts, explore exotic options, and calculate risk exposure in a hedging process.

In this module, you'll analyse 4-dimensional spacetime from Special Relativity, gaining skills in tensor algebra and calculus. You'll derive and apply Einstein's equations yourself, modeling black holes or gravitational waves, as you develop your skills in independent thinking, curiosity, and clear communication.

As you work through key concepts, such as nuclear processes, relativity and cosmology, you'll evaluate observational issues like the quest for dark matter. On completion, you'll have the critical thinking and intellectual curiosity to solve real problems modelling cosmic structures.

In this module, you'll use perturbation theory and relevant software, such as MATLAB, to examine equilibria, bifurcation and integrability. You'll build on your understanding from previous modules, such as calculus and computational management, and learn to apply them to problems that exceed the limits of linear systems theory.

Gaining solid knowledge for a career in supply chain management or further study, you'll synthesize new and existing ideas to generate creative solutions to supply chain problems.

Learning about strengths and weaknesses of population sampling and study designs, you will be introduced to appropriate statistical analysis tools including multivariate techniques and modeling data in SPSS. You'll formulate common epidemiological statistics, construct life tables, design clinical trials, and employ multivariate methods, all using tools designed for applied statisticians in health research.

You'll plan your project, gather and synthesize literature, and write a dissertation to present your independent discoveries. You'll then evaluate your own work, and learn to present and discuss your conclusions in writing and through oral presentations.

Through industry case studies, you'll formulate and implement linear, integer programming models for planning and risk analysis. Using industry-standard software, you'll evaluate solutions and communicate data-driven insights tailored for stakeholders. When you complete the module, you'll be able to demonstrate versatile skills in synthesising information, assessing trade-offs and driving impact through evidence-based advice.

Using freely available modern datasets, you'll learn to select and apply appropriate statistical techniques, using methods such as principal components and clustering. You'll also demonstrate your ability to apply statistical learning techniques in programming languages like R or Python.

You'll learn to model uncertainty in a systematic, mathematical way, ready to apply your subject knowledge across the complexities of social, technological and natural domains.

After your second or third year, you can do an optional study abroad or work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Changes to course content

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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Study Mathematics at the University of Portsmouth

Meet your staff, facilities and equipment

Get an introduction to mathematics at Portsmouth from Professor Daniel Thomas, Head of the School of Mathematics and Physics, and colleagues. Explore our facilities and equipment, and discover more about your prospects as a maths graduate.

Daniel Thomas: What excites me most about university education is that it is right at the interface between research and teaching. Newly acquired skills and knowledge get passed on to the next generation directly, to you. 

The University of Portsmouth is providing mathematics staff and students just with the right space in the right environment to do exactly that. 

Our research, as well as our teaching, are concentrated in this building in the Lion Gate Building. 

We will now move on to our lecture theatre where Dr. Marianna Cerasuolo will tell us more about the facilities we have in this building. 

Marianna Cerasuolo: In the first year, all of our students take compulsory modules in core subjects which are necessary to become very good mathematicians. In the second and third year, they have a wide variety of options they can choose. 

In particular, they can decide either to stay on straight mathematics, so what we call the BSc Mathematics, or to take different, more specialised paths. For example, mathematics for finance and management or mathematics with statistics. 

We have also other types of options like astrophysics or cosmology and general relativity, or they can decide to do operational research and logistics. Actually, we have a very strong research group who works on this particular subject. 

So since the first year, our students learn that mathematics in its entirety has lots of real life applications. They also learn to work together as a team, and that makes them very valuable for companies once they finish their degree with us. 

Daniel Thomas: The nice thing about our school is that the staff offices are right next to the lecture theatre and the computer lab. We have an open door policy because we want to support your learning the best we can. You can pop in our staff office any time during the day and ask our staff about the lectures or about the course material, any questions about mathematics that you may have. 

We will now move on to our computer lab where Dr. James Burridge, reader in statistical physics, will tell you about the facilities we have. 

James Burridge: In my research, I use tools of probability, physics, and machine learning to build models of language, and to understand what we can learn about people from the way they speak. My models use many different kinds of data, including detailed geographical information, large scale linguistic surveys and audio. 

Using big data to model the real world, identifying patterns and making predictions are commercially valuable skills. Some people say they are driving a fourth industrial revolution. Here at Portsmouth, we will teach you the mathematics of modelling and prediction, which can be applied to problems in biology, health care and a whole range of commercial applications. 

Using computer labs like this one, we will teach you state of the art machine learning techniques to solve real world problems. These can include recognising emotions from speech data, predicting and classifying images and modelling behaviour. 

Daniel Thomas: The Technology Learning Centre at the ground floor of Lion Gate Building is a perfect space for students to study, to learn, to meet or just to hang out. We also use the space to offer our daily tutorials, the maths cafe, where our mathematics staff are providing tutorials to our mathematics students, where you can ask any questions about mathematics. 

We look forward to welcoming you at the University of Portsmouth to discover the beauty of mathematics with us. 


On this course, you'll be taught in:

  • Lectures, including active participation in which you'll try out the material being taught in the lecture
  • Tutorials and special exercise classes to practise your learning
  • Online teaching videos and resources
  • Independent study

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a web connection.

Teaching profiles


Dr Jamie Foster, Reader in Applied and Industrial Mathematics

Jamie specialises in developing mathematical models of real world problems, especially where mathematics meets practical problems in industry, for example, electric batteries and solar cells. He has even developed a mathematical model for the perfect coffee, his interview on the topic is on the BBC website.

You will see Jamie in the first year Mathematical Models module, where he will introduce you to describing the real world with mathematics.

Dr Maria Pickett

Dr Maria Pickett, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics

Maria has been lecturing mathematics at the University of Portsmouth for over 10 years, and her research is in a special class of differential equation known as "singularly perturbed". 

You will see Maria in the first year Linear Algebra module, which develops the theory of vectors and matrices and gives us a new and powerful way to think about systems of simultaneous equations. Linear Algebra has very many applications, for example in Data Science and Machine Learning.

Teachers are always willing to help and make the best effort to be in contact with you. Be it via email or even in person. There's even the Maths Café which provides help every day.

Jonson Chan, MMath Mathematics student

How you're assessed

You'll be assessed through written and practical exams, coursework and in-class tests. While most modules have an exam element, no module is wholly based on a single exam result. 

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark, and use feedback from your practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Mark Howarth, BSc (Hons) Mathematics graduate

 I have had a really positive relationship with my project leader, Dr Maria Pickett. She has helped me tremendously over the last couple of years and has offered me lots of individual support.

Mark Howarth, BSc (Hons) Mathematics graduate

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Mathematics degree. You’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, practical classes and workshops for about 19 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. Optional field trips may involve evening and weekend teaching or events. There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting you

You'll get about 18 hours per week face-to-face contact time, plus support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study in one-on-one and group sessions.

They can help you:

  • master the mathematics skills you need to excel on your course
  • understand engineering principles and how to apply them in any engineering discipline
  • solve computing problems relevant to your course
  • develop your knowledge of computer programming concepts and methods relevant to your course
  • understand and use assignment feedback

All our labs and practical spaces are staffed by qualified laboratory support staff. They’ll support you in scheduled lab sessions and can give you one-to-one help when you do practical research projects.

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

The Maths Cafe offers advice and assistance with mathematical skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your mathematics skills at a workshop or use our online resources.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £17,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

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

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.

If you take a placement year or study abroad year, tuition fees for that year are as follows:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £1,385 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £2,875  a year (subject to annual increase)


How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – G100
  • our institution code – P80

Apply now through UCAS


If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in our international students section

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.