Pure Mathematics MMath (Hons) 2018 entry

The MMath (Hons) in Pure 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.

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

The MMath allows you to combine undergraduate and postgraduate study into a single five-year programme, graduating with a Masters degree.

Students can also take Mathematics as a standard four-year BSc degree.

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UCAS code

G110

Course type

Master in Mathematics (Integrated Masters degree)

Course duration

Five years full time

  • Start date: 10 September 2018
  • End date: 30 June 2023

If you started this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 Pure Mathematics MMath page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Typical entry requirements

The following are likely grades considered for an offer. St Andrews considers all aspects of every application, including context, equivalent qualifications and the personal statement, and offers may be higher or lower than the grades stated here.

SQA Highers

AAAB, including A in Mathematics and an A or B grade in one of the following:

  • Biology or Human Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing Science or equivalent
  • Geography
  • Physics
  • Psychology.
GCE A-Levels A*AA, including A* in Mathematics.
IB points 36, including HL6 in Mathematics.

Well-qualified school leavers may be able to apply for admission directly into the second year of this course, and others may be interested in the Fast Track degree route. Find out more about direct entry to second year and Fast Track for Mathematics.

International applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Find out more about international entry requirements.

How to apply

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

Yes, applicants are expected to have studied Mathematics at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, IB or equivalent. 

Faculty entry requirements

You must also meet the Faculty of Science minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.

Other qualifications

Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty. 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 webpage.

Find out more about Faculty of Science entry requirements.

Timetables

St Andrews students must meet with their advisor at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.

Course information

The MMath (Hons) in Pure Mathematics is a five-year Integrated Masters course run by the School of Mathematics and Statistics. The course offers advanced study of Pure Mathematics at postgraduate level during your final year, allowing you to graduate with a Masters degree.

In the first two years, you will develop and reinforce your basic mathematical skills and refresh familiar material (e.g. 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. In the second year, students only take Mathematics modules. Find out more about more about how academic years are organised.

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

  • group theory
  • fractal geometry
  • measure and ergodic theory
  • Galois theory.

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

Well-qualified school leavers may be able to apply for admission directly into the second year of this course, and others may be interested in the Fast Track degree route. Find out more about direct entry to second year and Fast Track for Mathematics

Students can also take Mathematics as a standard four-year BSc degree.

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 webpage.

Find out more about studying Management at St Andrews.

Modules

In the first year of your degree you will take the required modules in Mathematics alongside modules in at least one other subject. Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system. 

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 ideas, methods and techniques required for applying mathematics in the physical sciences or for further study in mathematics.

First year students interested in Mathematics can also choose modules in Statistics, and in Pure and Applied Mathematics. Find a full list of first year Mathematics modules in the module catalogue.

Students will take the following compulsory modules in their second year:

  • Linear Mathematics: builds on existing knowledge of matrices and systems of linear equations.
  • Analysis: introduces key concepts of real analysis: limit, continuity and differentiation.
  • Multivariate Calculus: extends basic calculus in a single variable to the setting of real functions of several variables.
  • Combinatorics and Probability: covers combinatorics and finite sets and also the study of probability.
  • Abstract Algebra: explores the key concepts of modern abstract algebra: groups, rings and fields.
  • Vector Calculus: examines the fundamental techniques that are used throughout the mathematical modelling of problems arising in the physical world such as grad, div and curl.
  • Mathematical Modelling: investigates the translation of physical problems into mathematics.
  • Statistical Inference: introduces mathematical models of randomness.

If you decide to take Pure Mathematics in your final three years, you choose from a wide variety of advanced options, including modules in complex analysis, combinatorics, symbolic computation, functional analysis and sampling theory.

Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered in previous years:

  • Fractal Geometry
  • Graph Theory
  • Rings and Fields
  • Number Theory
  • Functional Analysis

In fifth year, you will be able to take Masters-level modules. In the past, these have included:

  • Advanced Combinatorics
  • Semigroups
  • Galois Theory
  • Measure and Probability Theory
  • Lie Algebras

In your final year, students also undertake an advanced project in Pure Mathematics on a topic of their choice. You will be required to investigate the topic in some depth, submit a report and give a presentation.


The sub-honours modules listed here are the compulsory modules that students must take 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 currently available can be found in the module catalogue.

Teaching

Teaching format

In first year, teaching for each module centres on a daily lecture (100 to 250 students) and a weekly small group tutorial (8 to 12 students) where students undertake exercises and discuss each week’s topics. In addition, computer labs (25 to 60 students) are held once a week for each module to assist with both computing and problem-solving skills.

In second year, each module typically comprises five lectures (100 to 250 students), one tutorial (8 to 12 students), one computer lab (25 to 60 students), and one examples class (25 to 60 students) per fortnight.

You will develop increasing independence and initiative as you progress through your degree programme so that by third, fourth and fifth 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:

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

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of Mathematics. Postgraduate research 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.

In addition to your studies in the School of Mathematics and Statistics, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

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 webpage.

Assessment

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 provides feedback on every assessment, with a view to improving your performance in future, and aims to provide feedback within three weeks.

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. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please visit the common reporting scale webpage.

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.

Undergraduates

Spring visiting days

Our spring visiting days will be announced shortly.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2018 entry

Scotland and EU

Tuition fees for Scottish and EU applicants have yet to be set for 2018 entry.

Rest of the UK £9,250
Overseas £21,290

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

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

Accommodation fees

Accommodation fees for 2018 are yet to be set. Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation in 2017-2018.

Funding and scholarships

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

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

Your future

Careers

The demand for mathematically able graduates exceeds the supply and the career prospects for graduates in Mathematics from St Andrews are excellent. Clear logical thinking, deductive reasoning, confidence in data handling, and IT skills are attributes that are highly prized by employers.

Around one-third of Mathematics graduates go on to pursue postgraduate qualifications either in the UK or abroad, and develop research careers. Others gain employment in a variety of sectors including:

  • accountancy
  • actuarial profession
  • civil service
  • computing
  • intelligence (private sector)
  • investment banking and investment management
  • management consultancy
  • political risk analysis
  • technical and investigative science.

Each summer the School of Mathematics takes on interns for a few weeks (typically six to eight weeks), in pure, applied and statistics research areas. Interns are each assigned to a supervisor in the School and work with them to gain an understanding of what it’s like to do research, in order to see whether a PhD is a suitable next step. Internships are competitive and cannot be guaranteed.

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.

Study abroad

The University is delighted to offer undergraduates a number of exciting opportunities to apply to spend a semester or year abroad as part of a St Andrews degree programme. St Andrews is partnered with large and small institutions, ancient and young, across the globe. What unites all of our programmes is the quality of the academic provision, ensuring that participation in a St Andrews Study abroad programme opens the door to a new and valuable academic experience at another world-class institution. Study Abroad for credit is permitted on existing University-approved programmes only.

Student life

From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Students of Mathematics may be interested in joining the Mathematics Society (SUMS), a society dedicated to bringing people together who are interested in maths. They hold regular socials and informative talks from guest speakers.

The School of Mathematics and Statistics is currently split between two sites – the Mathematical Institute on the North Haugh and the Scott Lang Building at the Observatory. Most of the Mathematics staff and research students can be found at the Mathematical Institute. 

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.

Contact

School of Mathematics and Statistics

University of St Andrews
Mathematical Institute
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9SS

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3774
Email: maths@st-andrews.ac.uk 

Mathematics and Statistics website