Mathematics (BSc) - 2014 entry
Mathematics is not only an amazingly interesting and important subject with many applications in the modern world, but a degree in mathematics is one of the most sought-after qualifications by key employers, for example in business and the financial industry.
Why study Maths?
Mathematics underpins almost all of modern science and technology, and its applications in society range from economics and statistics to finance and IT. At school the emphasis tends to be on manipulation – moving symbols around the page – but university maths is primarily about the construction of elaborate, beautiful bodies of certain knowledge, about patterns, numbers, geometry and many other abstract concepts, and how to apply those concepts in practical problem solving. The high demand for mathematicians reflects the special transferable skills developed during three or more years studying mathematics at university – namely, clear and logical thinking, analytical and problem-solving ability, and the skills involved in communicating complex ideas and information.
Whether you wish to build the foundation for a rewarding career using some of its applications, or simply enjoy the elegance of a mathematical argument and the challenge of problem solving, a degree in Mathematics could be for you.
Why study at York?
York’s three-year mathematics programme provides not only the generic skills highly sought after by employers but also the mathematical knowledge specifically required for certain careers.
The first year provides a solid foundation in pure mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics. This allows you, from the second year onwards, the opportunity to study the areas that most interest you from a wide choice of modules, from Group Theory to Classical Mechanics, from Financial Mathematics to Medical Statistics.
In your final year, you spend one third of your time producing a substantial project in an area of your choice.
About 40 mathematicians are engaged in teaching, and are also active in developing the subject through leading international and interdisciplinary research. Our research includes all areas of mathematics – pure, applied and statistics (including mathematical physics, fluid dynamics, mathematical biology and mathematical finance). Thus we are able to offer a wide range of final year options and projects, which encourage individual creativity and are taught and supervised by enthusiastic lecturers involved in the latest developments of their subject.
At York we place particular emphasis on small group teaching and a friendly atmosphere. Our comprehensive tutorial system gives extensive support to first year students.
Transferable skills are developed during the entire degree programme, from the first year tutorials all the way through to the final year project, supported by supervisory meetings. Tutorials encourage logical and analytical thinking, and help develop your ability to read books and papers critically, and to write clearly and concisely. The final year project training sessions promote skills such as report writing and designing posters. All of these skills are in great demand by employers.
You take two 30 credit modules that run during the entire teaching year:
In addition, in the Autumn Term you take
And in the Spring/Summer terms you take
Altogether you obtain a total of 120 credits in Mathematics. These modules are designed to give you a firm foundation across all areas of mathematics, and provide a platform for specialisation later in the degree.
You take two 20 credit compulsory modules:
You may replace up to 20 credits of optional modules with elective modules from other Departments.
The main focus of your final year is your individual project (BA/BSc final-year project MAT00004H (40 credits)), which makes up one third of your final year.
The remaining 80 credits are chosen from our current list of module options, which cover a wide range of Mathematical disciplines. You may replace up to 20 credits of optional modules with elective modules from other Departments.
For most modules, lectures are the main mode of teaching. In the first year there may be around 200 students in a lecture. The crucial factor in any university programme is the small group teaching in support of these.
In your first year, your meet your supervisor once a week for a small group tutorial, where there are between 8 and 10 students. In these sessions you discuss the core modules – usually this means reviewing any lecture material that is puzzling, discussing solutions to assignments, and developing your skills in understanding, creating and presenting mathematical arguments. In addition, the tutorials are used to teach transferable skills, increasing your employability on graduation.
Non-core modules are supported by additional weekly small classes known as seminars, which typically have around 15 – 20 students.
Seminars continue through the second year, while in third year the lecture programmes are mostly in smaller groups and each has a weekly seminar or problem class.
Some modules have practical computer classes.
All modules have extensive material provided on Moodle, our VLE. This may include lecture notes, solutions to assignments, past exam papers, and links to further reading. In addition, each module has its own discussion forum, allowing students to ask questions about the module content.
Around 20% of your time will be spent in scheduled teaching. University maths is full of new concepts and requires more time spent assimilating these - more 'thinking time' - than school maths. Therefore an important part of studying mathematics is independent study and practising problem sheets. Of course, if you have any difficulties, lecturers are always available for informal consultation, and we maintain an atmosphere of approachability amongst our staff.
The majority of the first two years are assessed by examinations, complemented by weekly or fortnightly homework so that you and the lecturers can assess your progress as you proceed through each module. This allows you to practise the maths and gain valuable feedback before the formal assessment takes place. In the 3rd year you undertake an individual project, which is assessed as a mixture of final report, poster presentation and short written assignments. The project accounts for a third of your final year, with the rest being mostly assessed by examination.
What kind of feedback will I get?
Lecturers provide feedback in a variety of forms, according to the needs of the specific module. It may consist of written feedback on work that you have handed in, in-class discussion of common problems on a particular assignment, model answers, or online responses to questions posted on the module discussion board.
Adjustments for students with disabilities
We do our best to accommodate reasonable adjustments for students with disabilities wherever possible. This may include extra time, rest breaks, or provision of a transcriber, amongst other things. These adjustments would be preceded by a formal assessment of needs. Further information can be found on the Disability Services website.
Mathematics graduates are in great demand by a wide range of employers, who value the skills developed over the course of the degree. The ability to communicate and solve complex problems and critically analyse information in a logical way are all much sought after from organisations in both the public and private sectors. While a number of mathematics graduates choose to pursue careers in research and teaching, over 70% of our most recent graduates have gone on to a range of careers including:
Six months after graduation, 91% of University of York Maths graduates are employed or in further study. More information can be found at the University's careers pages where you can also see profiles of recent Maths graduates.
All applications must be made through UCAS. Applicants not offering any form of Further Maths may be invited to an interview. All applicants who are offered a place will be invited to a visit day between November and April. Here you will have an opportunity to meet our staff and students, including a one-to-one conversation with a member of academic staff. This is an ideal opportunity to visit the campus, find out more information about studying mathematics, and ask any questions you may have. If you are interested in visiting York before applying, the University runs a number of Open Days throughout the year.
The department accepts all (including vocational) A-level subjects, with the exception of Modern Foreign Languages taken by native speakers.
Applicants not offering any form of Further Maths may be invited to an interview.
Cambridge Pre-U: Pass with D3 in three Principal Subjects, including Mathematics.
International Baccalaureate: 36 points overall, including HL6 in Mathematics
Scottish Highers: AAAAA including Mathematics
Irish Leaving Certificate: AAAAAB including A1 in Mathematics
European Baccalaureate: 85% average overall, including 85% in Mathematics
English Language Qualifications
IELTS with 6.5 overall, and 6.0 in all units.
TOEFL (iBT) with 87, with a minimum of 21 in each component
GCSE English Language with grade C
We welcome applications from suitably qualified 'mature' applicants (those aged 21 or over). Mathematics is not an easy subject to take up later in life, but it can be a rewarding one. However, if you want to read mathematics at York, then you will need to have studied mathematics at A-level or equivalent standard in the fairly recent past, because the first year courses all start from the presumption that you have this knowledge. This does not mean that we will necessarily insist on any particular formal qualifications as long as we are convinced that you are in a position to benefit from the course here. We normally interview all mature applicants before making a formal offer.
General York Admissions Information
Department of Mathematics, University of York, Heslington, York, UK. YO10 5DD