Open University in Ireland


Postgraduate Certificate in Mathematics
This flexible course will be of interest to mathematically inclined scientists and engineers as well as to mathematicians. It offers a wide choice of modules enabling you to tailor your studies to your particular area of interest, and is applicable to work in industry, business and commerce – as well as providing a firm foundation for additional study at masters and doctorate level.

Key features of the course
• Develops your problem-solving and decision-making capabilities
• A wide choice of modules enables you to tailor the course to your needs
• Helps you stand out in a crowded jobs market.

This certificate is the first stage of a study programme that progresses to a postgraduate diploma and finally a masters degree. You can step off at any point, or study the whole programme.

Subjects taught

To gain this qualification, you need 60 credits as follows:
30–60 credits from:
Entry-level modules
• Calculus of variations and advanced calculus (M820) 30
Next start: 01 Oct 2022
• Analytic number theory I (M823) 30
Next start: 01 Oct 2022

0–60* credits from:
Intermediate-level modules
• Advanced mathematical methods (M833) 30
Next start: No current presentation
• Analytic number theory II (M829)** 30
Next start: 01 Oct 2022
• Approximation theory (M832) 30
Next start: 01 Oct 2022 FINAL
• Coding theory (M836) 30
Next start: No current presentation
• Fractal geometry (M835) 30
Next start: No current presentation
• Galois theory (M838) 30
Next start: 01 Oct 2022
• Nonlinear ordinary differential equations (M821) 30
Next start: 01 Oct 2022

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules M431, M822, M824, M826, M827, M828, M830 and M841

*Only under exceptional circumstances may you study 60 credits at intermediate level, i.e. without first studying an entry-level module.

**If you choose Analytic number theory II (M829), you must take Analytic number theory I (M823) first.

You should note that the University's unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 20 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Entry requirements

You should normally have a minimum of either:
• a 2:2 honours degree in mathematics or
• a 2:1 honours degree in a subject with a high mathematical content.

If you don't have such a qualification, your application will still be considered, but you may be asked to complete an entry test. Non-graduates will not normally be admitted.

Whatever your background, you should assess your suitability by completing our diagnostic quiz.

If you're new to postgraduate study in mathematics, start with a single module: either the applied mathematics module Calculus of variations and advanced calculus (M820) or the pure mathematics module Analytic number theory I (M823).


Minimum - 1 year.

How long it takes
• Most students complete this qualification in two years, at the rate of one module per year.
• The minimum time you may complete this qualification in is one year.
• There's no time limit for completing this qualification, but we can't guarantee the same selection of modules will continue to be available.
• Some modules start only once every two years.

Post Course Info

Career relevance
Mathematics is at the heart of advances in science, engineering and technology, as well as being an indispensable problem-solving and decision-making tool in many other areas of life. It is no surprise therefore that mathematics postgraduates can be found throughout industry, business and commerce, in the public and private sectors. Employers value the intellectual rigour and reasoning skills that mathematics students can acquire, their familiarity with numerical and symbolic thinking and the analytic approach to problem-solving which is their hallmark.

There are a variety of reasons for studying mathematics at postgraduate level. You may want a postgraduate qualification in order to distinguish yourself from an increasingly large graduate population. You may find that your undergraduate mathematical knowledge is becoming insufficient for your career requirements, especially if you are hoping to specialise in one of the more mathematical areas, which are becoming more sought after by employers. Or you may want to move on to a PhD in Mathematics. The extent of opportunities is vast and mathematics postgraduates are equipped with skills and knowledge required for jobs in fields such as finance, education, engineering, science and business, as well as mathematics and mathematical science research.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.

More details
  • Qualification letters

    PG Cert Maths (Open)

  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Certificate at UK Level 7

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