Mathematics MA (Honours) 2024 entry

The MA (Hons) in Mathematics will teach you to understand complex patterns and structures, and develop the tools with which to analyse them. Whether these patterns relate to physical or biological phenomena or the structure of mathematics itself, the primary aim is to describe, categorise, and understand the processes involved. 

Mathematics students will acquire the analytical techniques, clear logical thinking and deductive reasoning necessary to explore some of these fascinating areas of research. 

UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
End date
September 2028
Four years full time
School of Mathematics and Statistics
“You gain a deep understanding of the objects that you are studying. Studying maths has made me change the way I approach problems and allowed me to think in a more analytical way – noticing things that I would have missed previously.”
photo of Gleb in front of Mathematics and Statistics
- Cambriidgeshire, England

Entry requirements

The University offers different entry requirements, depending on your background. Find out more about Standard and Minimum entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.

For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject-specific entry requirements as outlined on their pages.

  • Standard entry grades:
    AAAAB, including A in Mathematics.
    Minimum entry grades:
    AABB, including A in Mathematics.
  • Standard entry grades:
    A*A*A, including A* in Mathematics.
    Minimum entry grades:
    A*AB, including A* in Mathematics.
  • Standard entry grades:
    38 (HL 6,6,6), including HL6 in Mathematics.
    Minimum entry grades:
    36 (HL 6,5,5), including HL6 in Mathematics.

General entry requirements

All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.

  • SQA National 5 (B) in English and one SQA National 5 (B) from the following:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing science
    • Geography
    • Lifeskills Mathematics (A grade)
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology.
  • GCSE (5) in English language or English literature, and one GCSE (5) from the following:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing Science
    • Geography
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology.

Other qualifications

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes. Please see our entry requirements for more information.

More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

Yes, applicants are expected to have studied Mathematics at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, or equivalent.  Typical successful applicants will have studied Mathematics at SQA Advanced Higher, Further Mathematics as GCE A-level, or equivalent.

Alternative study options

Students interested in this course may also be interested in the following:


For those interested in studying Mathematics alongside science subjects, the BSc in Mathematics may be of interest instead. The BSc and MA degree programmes are mathematically identical.

Study abroad

Mathematics students can apply to participate in the University-wide St Andrews Abroad programme. For information about study abroad options, please see the study abroad site.

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability. Find out more about approved English language tests and scores for this course.

Course details

The MA (Hons) in Mathematics is a four-year course run by the School of Mathematics and Statistics.

In the first two years, you will develop and reinforce your basic mathematical skills and refresh familiar material (for example, complex numbers, matrices, vectors, differential equations) in preparation for more specialist study at Honours level. 

Alongside Mathematics, in the first year of your studies you will be required to study up to two additional subjects. From second year onwards, you may choose to study mathematics exclusively, or you may carry on at least one of these additional subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about how academic years are organised.

At Honours level, students may select modules from a range of options on advanced and specialist specific topics. Specialist subject areas may include: 

  • fluid dynamics 
  • group theory 
  • history of mathematics 
  • mathematical biology 
  • pure analysis 
  • statistical ecology 
  • statistical inference. 

Final-year students must also complete a project on a topic chosen in consultation with teaching staff at the School of Mathematics and Statistics. 

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure web page.


In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in Mathematics alongside modules in at least one other subject. 

Typically, you will take a total of three or four modules per semester during your first two years, and four modules per semester during your third and fourth year (known as Honours).

For your convenience, here is a list over 80 Mathematics and Statistics modules offered - some are available annually, some biannually. See also the details below.

Students will take between one and three first-year modules in mathematics. There is one core compulsory module, 'Mathematics', that can be studied in either semester. 

  • Mathematics: introduces the ideas and techniques required for further study of mathematics or applications to other sciences. 

Students who do not possess at least a B at Advanced Higher or A-Level Mathematics will need to take 'Introductory Mathematics' in their first semester before taking the compulsory 'Mathematics' module. This option is popular for students on different degree routes who wish to study Mathematics. 

  • Introductory Mathematics: designed for students who do not meet the entry requirements for the first-year 'Mathematics' module. Provides a secure base in elementary calculus. 

First-year students can, in addition, take one or both of the optional modules in Pure and Applied Mathematics as well the module 'Statistics in Practice':  

Mathematics and Statistics 1000-level modules

Students will take between four and eight modules from the following selection depending on their chosen degree path. 

  • Abstract Algebra: explores the key concepts of modern abstract algebra: groups, rings and fields. 
  • Analysis: introduces key concepts of real analysis: limit, continuity and differentiation. 
  • Combinatorics and Probability: introduces counting techniques for finite structures and the behaviour of random variables. 
  • Linear Mathematics: introduces the theory of vector spaces, linear independence, linear transformations and diagonalisation. 
  • Mathematical Modelling: investigates the translation of physical problems into mathematics. 
  • Multivariate Calculus: extends the techniques of calculus in a single variable to the setting of real functions of several variables. 
  • Statistical Inference: introduces techniques for drawing inferences about population characteristics from observed data. 
  • Vector Calculus: introduces the theory of scalar and vector fields and associated techniques for the modelling of problems arising in the physical world. 

Mathematics and Statistics 2000-level modules

In the third and fourth years, you choose from a wide variety of advanced options. Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered in previous years: 

  • Bayesian Inference 
  • Classical Mechanics 
  • Fractal Geometry 
  • Groups 
  • Linear and Nonlinear Waves 
  • Real and Abstract Analysis 
  • Sampling Theory 
  • Solar Theory 

In your third and fourth (Honours) years, you will choose from a range of 3000-level, 4000-level and (optionally) 5000-level modules.

Here are the modules offered during the current session and in previous years: 

In your final year, you also undertake a project on a topic chosen in consultation with the teaching staff at the School of Mathematics and Statistics. You will be required to investigate the topic, submit a report and give a presentation. 

The compulsory modules listed here must be taken in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.


In first year, teaching for each module centres on a daily lecture ( around 100 to 300 students). Each fortnight, you will have one small group tutorial (8 to 12 students) and one examples class (25 to 60 students) where students undertake exercises and discuss each week’s topics.

In second year, each module typically comprises five lectures (around 100 to 300 students), one tutorial (8 to 12 students), and one examples class (25 to 60 students) per fortnight. Half of the modules also feature computer lab sessions (25 to 60 students). 

You will develop increasing independence and initiative as you progress through your degree programme so that by third and fourth year the average teaching load drops to around ten hours of lectures and four tutorials per week, supplemented by private study. 

When not attending lectures, tutorials and computer labs, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve: 

  • preparing coursework assignments
  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing for examinations.

Progress is monitored through tutorial assignments, and sub-honours modules are assessed by a balanced combination of coursework and written exams. At Honours level, modules may be assessed by written examination alone or a combination of written examination and coursework. 

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand. 

The School aims to provide feedback on every assessment within three weeks to help you improve on future assessments. 

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale.

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of mathematics. Postgraduate students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of tutorials, examples classes and computing classes under the supervision of the module leader. 

Find contact information for all  Mathematics staff on the School of Mathematics and Statistics website. 

The University’s Student Services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long-term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page.



England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Channel Islands, Isle of Man

EU and overseas

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Joint Honours degrees

You can also take Mathematics as part of a joint Honours degree in which you will take core modules of your chosen subjects.

Course name UCAS code
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Biology and MathematicsCG11
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Chemistry and MathematicsFG11
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Computer Science and MathematicsGG14
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Economics and MathematicsGLC1
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Financial Economics and MathematicsL114
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Geography and MathematicsGF18
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Mathematics and PhilosophyGV14
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Mathematics and PhysicsFG31
Bachelor of Science (Honours) Mathematics and PsychologyGC18
Master in Physics (Honours) Mathematics and Theoretical PhysicsFGH1
Master of Arts (Honours) Ancient History and MathematicsGVC1
Master of Arts (Honours) Arabic and MathematicsGT16
Master of Arts (Honours) Arabic and Mathematics (With Integrated Year Abroad)TV78
Master of Arts (Honours) Art History and MathematicsGV13
Master of Arts (Honours) Biblical Studies and MathematicsVG61
Master of Arts (Honours) Classical Studies and MathematicsQG81
Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and MathematicsGL11
Master of Arts (Honours) English and MathematicsQ3G1
Master of Arts (Honours) Financial Economics and MathematicsL113
Master of Arts (Honours) German and MathematicsR2G1
Master of Arts (Honours) German and Mathematics (With Integrated Year Abroad)GR21
Master of Arts (Honours) Hebrew and MathematicsGQ14
Master of Arts (Honours) International Relations and MathematicsLG21
Master of Arts (Honours) Italian and MathematicsGR13
Master of Arts (Honours) Italian and Mathematics (With Integrated Year Abroad)RG31
Master of Arts (Honours) Latin and MathematicsGQ16
Master of Arts (Honours) Mathematics and Medieval HistoryGV11
Master of Arts (Honours) Mathematics and Modern HistoryGVD1
Master of Arts (Honours) Mathematics and PhilosophyGV15
Master of Arts (Honours) Mathematics and PsychologyCG81
Master of Arts (Honours) Mathematics and RussianGR17
Master of Arts (Honours) Mathematics and Russian (With Integrated Year Abroad)RG71
Master of Arts (Honours) Mathematics and Scottish HistoryGV12
Master of Arts (Honours) Mathematics and SpanishGR14
Master of Arts (Honours) Mathematics and Spanish (With Integrated Year Abroad)GRC4
Master of Arts (Honours) Mathematics and Theological StudiesGV16

Joint degrees taken with Arabic, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish are also available 'With Integrated Year Abroad'.

Alternative joint degree options are available for the BSc in Mathematics

"With" degrees

You can take Mathematics as part of a "with" Honours degree in which the majority of the course deals with the first name subject. St Andrews offers the following "with" degrees in Mathematics:

  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) Mathematics with Geography - UCAS code G1F8
  • Master in Chemistry (Honours) Chemistry with Mathematics - UCAS code F1G1
  • Master of Arts (Honours) Mathematics with Russian (With Integrated Year Abroad) - UCAS code G1R9
  • Master of Arts (Honours) Mathematics with Russian - UCAS code G1RT
  • Master of Arts (Honours) Mathematics with Spanish (With Integrated Year Abroad) - UCAS code G1RX
  • Master of Arts (Honours) Mathematics with Spanish - UCAS code G1RL

"With" degrees taken with Russian or Spanish are also available 'With Integrated Year Abroad'.

Alternative "with" degree options are available for the BSc in Mathematics.


Demand for mathematically trained graduates vastly outstrips the supply, and hence career prospects are excellent in a variety of fields. 

Recruiters seek numerate graduates who are literate, think logically, write and present well, and can work with relevant technology – St Andrews degrees develop all of these skills. 

A mathematics degree is recognised as a substantial achievement in a demanding discipline. 

Around 30% of St Andrews graduates continue on to postgraduate study, either in mathematics or related disciplines such as computer science, finance, or physics. 

The majority of the remaining graduates gain employment in areas such as: 

  • technology firms or computer consultancies
  • financial services organisations (for example, Goldman Sachs, KPMG, and PwC) 
  • industry
  • insurance companies
  • merchant banks
  • the civil service
  • teaching.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

What to do next

Online information events

Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.

Undergraduate visiting days

We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online or in-person visiting days.

Contact us

+44 (0)1334 46 3744
School of Mathematics and Statistics
Mathematical Institute
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9SS

School of Mathematics and Statistics website

Discover Uni

Discover Uni provides official statistics about higher education courses taken from national surveys and data collected from universities and colleges about all their students. You can use this data to compare information for different degree programmes to help you make a decision about what and where to study.