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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. This MSc course enables you to delve deeply into particular aspects of pure and applied mathematics, through a wide choice of modules in fascinating areas such as fractal geometry, coding theory and analytic theory. You’ll complete your MSc with a piece of independent study, exploring the history of modern geometry, advances in approximation theory, variational methods applied to eigenvalue problems, or algebraic graph theory and culminating in a dissertation on the topic of your choice.

Key features of the course
• Ideal for mathematically inclined scientists and engineers as well as mathematicians
• Extends your knowledge and refines your abilities to process information accurately, and critically analyse and communicate complex ideas
• Develops an enhanced skill set that will put you at an advantage in careers as diverse as mathematics, education, computer science, economics, engineering and finance.
• The most popular MSc in mathematics in the UK.

Entry requirements

You should normally have a minimum of a 2.2 honours degree in mathematics or a 2.1 honours degree in a subject with a high mathematical content. Whatever your background, you should assess your suitability for this MSc in Mathematics course by completing our diagnostic quiz.

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

Duration

Minimum 2 years.

Most students study this qualification in six years at the rate of one module per year. The minimum time to complete is two years. There is no maximum time limit for completing this qualification but we cannot guarantee that the same selection of modules will continue to be available. Not every module is presented each year.

Number of credits

180 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
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.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.

Further enquiries

Tel: (01) 678 5399
Fax: (01) 678 5442
Email: ireland@open.ac.uk

Subjects taught

Suggested routes to the degree

You can take a number of different routes towards your qualification. The routes illustrated below are routes many students are using, or have already successfully followed.

Please bear in mind that other routes are available – see the full module list for all options.

Suggested route 1
You can take a number of different routes towards your qualification. The route illustrated below is a route many students are using, or have already successfully followed. Please bear in mind that other routes are available – see the full module list for all options.

•Calculus of variations and advanced calculus (M820) - 30 credits
•Nonlinear ordinary differential equations (M821) - 30 credits

You can now claim the Certificate.
•Applied complex variables (M828) - 30 credits
•Approximation theory (M832) - 30 credits

You can now claim the Diploma.
•Advanced mathematical methods (M833) - 30 credits
•Dissertation in mathematics (M840) - 30 credits

You can now claim the Taught Masters.

If this route doesn't appeal to you, see the full module list for this qualification.

Suggested route 2
You can take a number of different routes towards your qualification. The route illustrated below is a route many students are using, or have already successfully followed. Please bear in mind that other routes are available – see the full module list for all options.

•Analytic number theory I (M823) - 30 credits
•Analytic number theory II (M829) - 30 credits

You can now claim the Certificate.
•Applied complex variables (M828) - 30 credits
•Fractal geometry (M835) - 30 credits

You can now claim the Diploma.
•Coding theory (M836) - 30 credits
•Dissertation in mathematics (M840) - 30 credits

You can now claim the Taught Masters.

If this route doesn't appeal to you, see the full module list for this qualification.

Modules
The modules in this qualification are categorised as entry, intermediate and dissertation. Some modules are not available for study every year, as indicated below:

Entry:
Calculus of variations and advanced calculus (M820)
Analytic number theory I (M823)

Intermediate:
Nonlinear ordinary differential equations (M821)
Applied complex variables (M828) - next available in October 2017 and following alternate years
Analytic number theory II (M829) - next available in October 2018 and following alternate years
Approximation theory (M832) - next available in October 2018 and following alternate years
Advanced mathematical methods (M833) - next available in October 2017 and following alternate years
Fractal geometry (M835) - next available in October 2017 and following alternate years
Coding theory (M836) - next available in October 2018 and following alternate years

Dissertation: Dissertation in mathematics (M840).

Module study order:
•You must normally pass at least one entry level module before studying an intermediate module.
•You must pass Analytic number theory I (M823) before studying Analytic number theory II (M829).
•You must normally pass four modules before studying the Dissertation in mathematics (M840).
•Some topics for the dissertation have prerequisite modules.

Otherwise within each category modules may be studied in any order, and you may register for a module while studying a pre-requisite for that module (i.e. before you know whether you have passed the pre-requisite module or not).

To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

150 credits from this list:

Optional modules

Credits Next start
Advanced mathematical methods (M833) 30 07 Oct 2017
Analytic number theory I (M823) 30 07 Oct 2017
Analytic number theory II (M829) 30 No current presentation
Applied complex variables (M828) 30 07 Oct 2017
Approximation theory (M832) 30 No current presentation
Calculus of variations and advanced calculus (M820) 30 07 Oct 2017
Coding theory (M836) 30 No current presentation
Fractal geometry (M835) 30 07 Oct 2017
Nonlinear ordinary differential equations (M821) 30 07 Oct 2017

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules M431, M822, M824, M826, M827, M830, M841, M860, M861

Plus

Compulsory module

Credits Next start

Dissertation in mathematics (M840) 30 07 Oct 2017

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Comment

On completion
On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded an MSc in Mathematics and entitling you to use the letters MSc (Maths) (Open) after your name. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.

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