BSc in Mathematics (Honours)

The Open University

Program Description

BSc in Mathematics (Honours)

The Open University

Mathematics is indispensable to modern life. It enables us to predict the growth of markets, model airflow in a jet engine, calculate accurate drug doses and create 3D computer graphics. This degree will take your understanding of the concepts and theories of mathematics – and how they are applied in the real world – to a graduate level, and enhance your career prospects in a huge array of fields.

Key features of the course

  • Covers a selection of exciting topics in pure and applied mathematics, and optionally statistics and physics, with a wide range of opportunities to develop experience with mathematical methods and software
  • Offers a choice of two start points to suit your level of mathematical knowledge
  • Develops problem-solving and analytical skills that are highly sought after by employers
  • Applicable to a wide range of careers, from engineering to accountancy
  • Contributes to membership of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA)

Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • You’ll start Stage 1 with an introductory 30-credit module followed by three 30-credit modules that offer a broad introduction to topics in pure and applied mathematics, and statistics.
  • Next, in Stage 2, you’ll study a 60-credit pure mathematics module and follow this with 60 credits from a choice of applied mathematics and statistics modules.
  • Finally, in Stage 3, you’ll study a further 120 credits from a range of advanced modules.


We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BSc (Honours) Mathematics uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
  • using and producing diagrams and/or screenshots
  • studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • in some modules undertaking small amounts of practical work and other activities valued by employers, such as working in a group with other students, writing short reports or preparing presentations
  • using specialist mathematical or statistical software.

All qualifications require you to complete learning and assessment activities within a required timescale and according to pre-determined deadlines. You will, therefore, need to manage your time effectively during your studies and the University will help you to develop this skill throughout your degree. Information on assessment will be available to you at the start of each module.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increase as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification, but it’s very important you’re well prepared to study mathematics at this level. You must be comfortable with the following topics:

  • arithmetic of numbers, including negative numbers and fractions;
  • scientific notation for numbers (sometimes known as a standard form);
  • powers of numbers including square roots;
  • using your scientific calculator effectively for the above topics, and for working with brackets and π;
  • using simple word formulas;
  • drawing and interpreting simple charts and graphs.

Skills for career development

Mathematics lies at the heart of many activities, from everyday tasks, problem-solving and decision making to economics and the advancement of science and technology. Mathematical knowledge is much sought after by a wide variety of employers, as shown by the Government’s initiative to increase participation in the strategically important STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

By studying this degree course you’ll be equipped with the skills and knowledge required for jobs in fields such as education, engineering, business, finance and accountancy. It is widely accepted that a degree in mathematics particularly enhances the following transferable and much sought-after skills:

  • communicating mathematical ideas clearly and succinctly
  • understanding complex mathematical texts
  • working with abstract concepts
  • thinking logically
  • expressing problems in mathematical language
  • constructing logical arguments
  • working on open-ended problems
  • finding solutions to problems
  • interpreting mathematical results in real-world terms
  • using the relevant professional software.

Career relevance

There are some careers for which a degree in mathematics and/or statistics is specified. These include teaching, statistical work (including actuarial work), operational research and development, and some areas of computing.

Other career areas directly related to mathematics include:

  • accountancy
  • banking
  • bioinformatics
  • economics
  • engineering
  • insurance
  • investments
  • market research
  • pensions
  • quantitative analysis/risk analysis
  • retail
  • stockbroking/trading
  • tax.


This qualification will contribute to you gaining all grades of membership of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), from Student Membership to Chartered Mathematician.

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University

Last updated January 19, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
3 - 16 years
Part time
Full time