Mathematics and statistics play an important role in almost every area of life and are at the heart of advances in science and technology. This degree will equip you with indispensable problem-solving and decision-making tools. You’ll gain a good knowledge of probability and statistics, with options to focus on modern pure mathematics or applied mathematics, mathematical methods and modelling – together with experience of using relevant software packages.
Key features of the course
- Builds expertise in analytical approaches, classical and Bayesian statistics, underpinning mathematical theory and the use of professional software
- Provides experience in conducting and communicating statistical investigations
- Offers a choice of two start points to suit your level of mathematical knowledge
- Applicable to a wide range of careers, from data analysis to bioinformatics
- Contributes to membership of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) and helps you to apply for the professional award of Graduate Statistician conferred by The Royal Statistical Society (RSS)
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 two 30-credit statistics modules, then focus on either applied mathematics or pure mathematics.
- Finally, in Stage 3, you’ll study 90 credits of statistics modules, and complete your degree with a 30-credit module that complements your focus at Stage 2.
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 and Statistics 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, 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.
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 and statistics lie at the heart of many activities, from everyday problem solving and decision making to the formulation of economic policy 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 and/or statistics particularly enhances the following transferable and much sought-after skills:
- communicating mathematical and statistical ideas clearly and succinctly
- understanding complex mathematical and statistical texts
- working with abstract concepts
- thinking logically
- expressing problems in mathematical and statistical language
- constructing logical arguments
- working on open-ended problems
- finding solutions to problems
- interpreting mathematical results and statistical analysis in real-world terms
- conducting statistical investigations and analyses
- using the relevant professional software.
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 and statistics include
- market research
- quantitative analysis/risk analysis.
Graduates achieving a 2.2 or better for this qualification are eligible for the professional award of Graduate Statistician conferred by The Royal Statistical Society (RSS). Five years of professional statistical training and experience following graduation would normally qualify you for the top professional grade of Chartered Statistician.
This qualification will also contribute to you gaining all grades of membership of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), from Student Membership to Chartered Mathematician.
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Last updated September 20, 2018