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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
Mathematics and statistics underpin processes that keep society functioning. Clinical trials analysing life-threatening illnesses, supermarkets managing their product buying and distribution, and insurance companies assessing their exposure to risks all use sophisticated statistical models.
You'll build the analytical abilities you need to make sense of the vast amount of data available to organisations so they can make faster, smarter decisions. You'll discover how to apply mathematical models to the study of biology and infectious diseases, and model operational research solutions to areas such as planning, scheduling, forecasting and supply chain management.
At the end of the course, you'll have taken the first steps towards becoming a Chartered Mathematician, and be set for a career in industries such as government research, finance, healthcare and marketing.
- Develop your knowledge of fundamental topics such as mathematical models, statistical theory and methods, operational research and quantitative supply chain management.
- Choose specialist modules that match your interests and career ambitions, such as mathematics for finance, astrophysics, cosmology, financial derivative pricing and decision modelling.
- Learn to use industry-standard mathematical, statistical and operational research software.
- Apply your skills on optional work placements in the community, such as assisting math teachers in local schools.
- Learn how statistical methods are being used in the fast-growing machine learning discipline, with applications such as predicting the development of dialects in the UK
- 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.
This course is accredited by the Institution of Mathematics and Its Applications (IMA).
Amber Burton, got her dream job as a Graduate Engineer in data science and software development
"Before I started my course I had no idea how maths related to computer science. But I am so glad this is such a big part of Maths at Portsmouth because it really does reflect the skills that are needed in industry today [and] helped me to get my dream job."
BSc (Hons) Mathematics with Statistics degree entry requirements
- 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.
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.
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.
Facilities and specialist software
Careers and opportunities
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. The statistics skills you develop will also be in demand – the UK Government has listed statisticians working in bio-informatics and informatics on their 'skills shortage list'.
You'll graduate with the skills and understanding to work in many related areas, including:
- mathematical modelling
- government research
- retail management
- the police and armed services
Our graduates have worked for companies such as:
- Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research
- Eddie Stobart Logistics
- Lloyds Banking
- Babcock International Group
- Office for National Statistics
- Tata Consultancy Services
What jobs can you do with a mathematics with statistics degree?
Our graduates now work in roles including:
- data scientist
- trainee accountant
- business analyst
- medical statistician
Other graduates have continued their studies at postgraduate level and set up successful businesses with help and support from the University.
Placement year (optional)
Taking an optional placement year gives you the experience you need to increase your chances of landing your perfect role after graduation. You could work in a paid role in a professional organisation (our students earn an average salary of £19,000 during their placements) or set up your own business, giving you the chance to grow your professional network and enhance your CV.
We'll give you all the support you need to find a placement that prepares you for your career, and we'll continue to mentor you throughout your placement.
Previous students have taken placement roles such as:
- logistics intern
- data analyst
- business intern
They've completed placements at organisations including:
- Office for National Statistics
- Rolls Royce
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.
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.
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.
Core modules in this year include:
- Calculus I – 20 credits
- Computational Mathematics – 20 credits
- Linear Algebra – 20 credits
- Mathematical Foundations – 20 credits
- Mathematical Models – 20 credits
- Statistical Theory and Methods I – 20 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Applications of Mathematics and Graduate Skills – 20 credits
- Calculus II – 20 credits
- Statistical Theory and Methods II – 20 credits
Optional modules in this year include:
- Algebraic Structures and Discrete Mathematics – 20 credits
- Mathematics for Finance – 20 credits
- Mechanics and Dynamics – 20 credits
- Modern Foreign Language (Institution-wide Language Programme) – 20 credits
- Numerical Analysis – 20 credits
- Operational Research – 20 credits
- Real and Complex Analysis – 20 credits
- Universe: Planetary Systems, Stars and Galaxies – 20 credits
Core modules in this year include:
- Statistical Learning – 20 credits
- Statistics Methods in Health Research and Social Science – 20 credits
Optional modules in this year include:
- Advanced Decision Modelling – 20 credits
- Financial Derivative Pricing – 20 credits
- Introduction to General Relativity and Cosmology – 20 credits
- Modern Astrophysics 1 – 20 credits
- Nonlinear Dynamics – 20 credits
- Partial Differential Equations and Their Applications – 20 credits
- Project – 20 credits
- Quantitative Supply Chain Management – 20 credits
- Stochastic Processes – 20 credits
- Undergraduate Ambassador – 20 credits
After your second or third year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.
Previous students have been on placement with household names, including:
- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
- Transport for London
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.
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.
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.
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.
The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- written coursework
- multiple-choice tests
- mini projects
- a major piece of supervised independent work
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
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 postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your Master's.
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.
They can help with:
- improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
- understanding and using assignment feedback
- managing your time and workload
- revision and exam techniques
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
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.
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.
Costs and funding
- 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 – £18,800 per year (subject to annual increase)
Funding your studies
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.
Additional course costs
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 and memory sticks.
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 – £925 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £925 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £1,800 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 – GG13
- our institution code – P80
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.