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Mathematics (MSc) 2020 entry

This MSc prepares students with a background in pure or applied mathematics for a PhD or a career in the private sector. A wide range of topics are covered including group theory, mathematical computing, combinatorics, fluid dynamics, solar theory, mathematical biology, and measure and ergodic theory.

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Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Science (MSc)

Course dates

  • Start date: 7 September 2020
  • End date: 30 September 2021

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

One year full time

Entry requirements

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

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Tuition fees

UK and EU: £9,450
Overseas: £19,400

Application deadline

Wednesday 12 August 2020. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV
  • personal statement (optional)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

Course information

The MSc in Mathematics consists of two semesters of taught courses run by the School of Mathematics and Statistics, followed by a dissertation undertaken over the summer months. This programme is particularly suited for those seeking a career in academic mathematical research or a mathematics-related career in the private sector.


  • A wide range of advanced mathematical module choices are offered.
  • Students have the possibility of enrolling into an independent study module.
  • A 'Professional Skills for Mathematical Scientists' module is also offered.
  • Regular colloquia are held, given by experts from within and out with the School.
  • The dissertations are a great opportunity to experience mathematical research. 

Teaching format

Most modules for the MSc in Mathematics are traditional semester-long lecture courses with end-of-semester exams, but some modules have a large element of continuous assessment. Class sizes range from 10 to 60 students, depending on the module.

The School of Mathematics and Statistics is well equipped with computing facilities (including a large parallel computing cluster) and an on-site library.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.


For an MSc in Mathematics, students take at least 90 credits worth of 5000-level postgraduate Mathematics and Statistics modules. The remaining 30 credits can be taken from the School's 3000-level and 4000-level undergraduate modules. At least 90 credits of the total of 120 credits of the taught part should be Pure Mathematics or Applied Mathematics modules.

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2019–2020 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2020 entry.

Here is a sample of optional modules that may be offered.

  • Asymptotic Methods
  • Bayesian Inference
  • Classical Mechanics
  • Classical Statistical Inference
  • Computing in Mathematics
  • Computing in Statistics
  • Design of Experiments
  • Dynamical Systems
  • Financial Mathematics
  • Finite Mathematics
  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Fractal Geometry
  • Functional Analysis
  • Groups
  • Linear and Nonlinear Waves
  • Mathematical Biology 1
  • Markov Chains and Processes
  • Number Theory
  • Population Genetics
  • Quantitative Risk Management
  • Real and Abstract Analysis
  • Solar Theory
  • Topics in the History of Mathematics
  • Topology

Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University's position on curriculum development).

Here is a sample of optional modules that may be offered.

  • Advanced Analytical Techniques
  • Advanced Combinatorics
  • Advanced Computational Techniques
  • Advanced Data Analysis
  • Applied Statistical Modelling using GLMs
  • Advanced Solar Theory
  • Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems
  • Galois Theory
  • Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
  • Hyperbolic Geometry
  • Independent Study Module 
  • Introductory Data Analysis
  • Knowledge Discovery and Datamining 
  • Mathematical Biology 2
  • Mathematical Oncology
  • Measure and Probability Theory
  • Medical Statistics
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Professional Skills for Mathematical Scientists 
  • Semigroups 
  • Software for Data Analysis
  • Topics in Groups

Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University's position on curriculum development).

During the final part the course, from June to mid-August, students complete a dissertation to be submitted by the end of August. Dissertations are supervised by members of academic staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the progress of the dissertation.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MSc.

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2020 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

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Virtual events

Join our Admissions team for one of our upcoming virtual events. During these events, you can find out more about studying at St Andrews and what it will do for your future.


Conferences and events

There are a number of different seminars held each week in the School of Mathematics and Statistics. These include:

Pure Mathematics

Applied Mathematics



Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews. 

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships

After the MSc

Research degrees

The MSc in Mathematics prepares students for further postgraduate studies in mathematical research, and many graduates of the programme continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere.

The School of Mathematics and Statistics has active research groups in:

  • Pure Mathematics (Analysis Group, Algebra and Combinatorics Group)
  • Applied Mathematics (Vortex Dynamics Group, Solar and Magnetospheric Theory Group, Mathematical Biology Group)
  • Statistics (Statistical Ecology Group, Statistical Inference Group).

PhD in Mathematics and Statistics


MSc in Mathematics graduates hold positions at leading universities or companies in areas as diverse as business administration, computer science and modelling, fisheries laboratories and pure mathematics.

Recent graduates at Masters and Doctoral level have found employment in:

  • large consulting firms and major financial institutions including Scottish and Southern Energy, RBS, Capital One, American Express, Goldman Sachs and Tesco Bank
  • the computer industry
  • government agencies including GCHQ
  • wildlife and conservation managers including the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.


School of Mathematics and Statistics 
University of St Andrews
Mathematical Institute 
North Haugh 
St Andrews 
KY16 9SS 

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2344  

Mathematics and Statistics website


Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online (PDF, 84 KB).

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