Mathematics and Computer Science MSci

Start date
September
Duration
4 years
UCAS code
GI11
Course Type
Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:
£9,250 (UK/EU)
£18,420 (International)
Further information

On our Mathematics and Computer Science MSci programme you will be able to shape your degree to suit your career aspirations in exciting and rapidly developing areas. You could choose to specialise in areas such as statistics, algebra, robotics and machine learning and take on a significant project.

Our world-leading experts will help you build your knowledge and skills in subjects that have a huge impact on our lives. In small group tutorials we will encourage you to think critically and independently, helping you become a successful mathematician or computer scientist. The analytical and problem-solving skills you will learn will help you stand out in a highly competitive job market.

Whether you decide to delve into the world of statistics, or explore the exciting developments in robotics and AI, this MSci Mathematics and Computer Science programme will help you learn to apply analytical, statistical, computational and programming skills to formulate and tackle problems. We will support you to think logically, independently and imaginatively, equipping you to make the most of the opportunities ahead.

Mathematicians use computers to solve complex equations, analyse large data sets and even to prove theorems. Computer scientists use mathematics to design efficient compression algorithms, to understand the semantics of programming languages and for the theory behind internet security systems.

In this Joint Honours programme you will work at exactly the same level as students taking the Single Honours programme. In your first year, we will help you to make the step up to university level study. We will give you a sound mathematical basis in a range of subjects and you will study the foundations of computer science together with programme design and programming techniques. The second year will introduce you to more advanced areas, allowing you to develop particular interests. The choice of modules in the third year is very broad and then, in the fourth year, you will specialise and undertake a significant project so you can explore your interests in greater depth. Normally students choose whether to remain on the MSci, or switch to the three year BSc, at the end of their second year.

Why study Mathematics and Computer Science MSci at Birmingham?

  • Expand your knowledge and understanding of two subjects and enhance your choice of careers
  • Choice of modules allows you to specialise in areas that interest you
  • You will take a fourth year MSci dissertation which is a research project contributing to a third of your final year mark. Here you will carry out independent research on an area of mathematics of your choosing. You will have an academic member of staff assigned to you as a project supervisor who you will meet with on a weekly basis to support your work. This project is a fantastic opportunity to explore an area in more detail and is excellent preparation for further study and research
  • A rich diversity of research interests among staff provides exciting opportunities for project work and fourth year modules
  • Weekly small group tutorials mean you can work closely with academic staff and other students
  • You will be supported in your study with with opportunities to discuss problems with lecturers, drop-in study sessions and peer-led support classes
  • Use of the Mathematics Learning Resource Centre provides you with a learning environment where you can work independently, in groups, or with help from postgraduate students
Mathematics undergraduate programmes brochure (pdf 1.8 MB)

Throughout my time studying mathematics, I not only learnt to differentiate, integrate, optimise and calculate but also learn many core skills which have been factors to deliver in my graduate role. On a day to day basis I use the analytic skills, as well as enthusiasm to learn and to ask questions, which I developed whilst studying at Birmingham. The School of Mathematics was always supportive in helping me to achieve the best that I could.

Hannah McGarty, MSci Mathematics

Modules

Year 1 

The first two years are carefully designed to allow you as much choice as possible in your final year. In Computer Science you study the foundations of computer science together with program design and programming techniques.

  • Real Analysis - 20 credits
  • Data Structures and Algorithms - 20 credits
  • Object Oriented Programming - 20 credits
  • Vectors, Geometry & Linear Algebra - 20 credits
  • Mechanics - 10 credits
  • Probability and Statistics - 10 credits
  • Logic and Computation - 20 credits

Year 2 

Core modules

  • Algebra & Combinatorics 1 - 20 credits
  • Functional Programming - 20 credits
  • Systems Programming in C/C++ - 20 credits
  • Real and Complex Analysis - 20 credits
  • Security and Networks - 20 credits

Optional modules

Choose 20 credits of options. Example optional modules:

  • Differential Equations - 20 credits
  • Statistics - 20 credits

Year 3 

This year offers you a choice of modules with the possibility of specialising in either Mathematics or Computer Science. 

Core module

  • Either Project in Computer Science (40 credits) or Research Skills in Mathematics (20 credits)
  • Linear Algebra and Linear Programming (20 credits)

Optional modules

Choose 60-80 credits (dependent on core module choice), with a minimum of 40 credits in total from each of Mathematics and Computer Science.

Mathematics modules:
  • Graph Theory
  • Combinatorics and Communication Theory
  • Mathematical Finance
  • Number Theory
  • Algebra and Combinatorics 2
  • Differential Equations
  • Real and Complex Analysis
  • Statistics
Computer Science modules:
  • Advanced Networking
  • Computer Graphics
  • Computer Vision and Imaging
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Security of Real-World Systems
  • Theoretical Foundations for Security

Year 4

The final year allows you to choose either a Project in Mathematics or a Software Project in Computer Science,

Core module

  • Project in Mathematics OR Software Project in Computer Science - 40 credits

Optional modules

Choose 80 credits with a minimum of 20 credits from each of Mathematics and Computer Science. Example modules:

Mathematics modules:
  • Perturbation Theory and Asymptotics - 10 credits
  • Number Theory - 20 credits
  • Graph Theory - 20 credits
  • Combinatorics and Communication Theory - 20 credits
  • Nonlinear Programming I - 10 credits
  • Heuristic Optimisation - 10 credits
  • Multicriteria Decision Making - 10 credits
  • Nonlinear Programming II - 10 credits
  • Combinatorical Optimisation - 10 credits
  • Further Mathematical Finance - 10 credits
  • Integer Programming - 10 credits
  • Group Theory and Galois Theory A & B - 20 credits
  • Applied Statistics - 20 credits
  • Medical Statistics - 20 credits
  • Linear Analysis - 20 credits
  • Conic Optimisation - 10 credits
  • Game Theory - 10 credits
  • Statistical Methods in Finance and Economics - 20 credits
  • Numerical Methods II - 10 credits
  • Numerical Linear Algebra with Applications - 10 credits
  • Mathematical Biology II - 10 credits
  • Advanced Topics in Combinatorics - 10 credits
  • Mathematical Biology - 10 credits
  • Modelling with Partial Differential Equations - 10 credits
  • Continuum Mechanics - 20 credits
  • Applied Nonlinear Dynamical Systems - 10 credits
  • Methods in Partial Differential Equation - 20 credits
Computer Science modules:
  • Compilers and Languages (Extended) - 10 credits
  • Individual Study 2 - 10 credits
  • Cryptography - 10 credits
  • Networks (Extended) - 20 credits
  • Operating Systems (Extended) - 20 credits
  • Principles of Programming Languages (Extended) - 10 credits
  • Computer-Aided Verification (Extended) - 10 credits
  • Nature-Inspired Search and Optimisation - 10 credits
  • Teaching Computer Science in Schools (Extended) - 20 credits
  • Neural Computation (Extended) - 20 credits
  • Distributed and Parallel Computing (Extended) - 20 credits

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2020. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to core modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Fees

Annual tuition fees 2020/21

  • £9,250 - UK/EU
  • £18,420 - International

Visit our  tuition fees page for more information.

Scholarships

At Birmingham we ensure that fears about finance do not constrain prospective students from considering university and that excellence is rewarded.

 

Tuition fees for placement years (where applicable)

There is a reduced tuition fee for the academic year spent in industry or whilst studying abroad (where available). Fee information and further clarification is available on the University fees and funding page.

 

For students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

How To Apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code GI11.

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

View advice on how to apply for undergraduate courses.

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
A*AA

Our standard offer is A*AA including an A in Mathematics or Further Mathematics. For students taking other qualifications we may make alternate offers. For instance we do not require the STEP examinations but if you are taking a STEP paper and achieve a grade 2 or better we will reduce your offer to AAA including an A in Mathematics or Further Mathematics.

For students taking an EPQ and achieving a grade A we will reduce your offer to AAA including an A in Mathematics or Further Mathematics.

The University makes contextual offers for students from widening participation backgrounds. We also participate in the Access to Birmingham (A2B) and Inspired@Birmingham schemes for attending one of partner institutions in the West Midlands.

General Studies is not accepted, but a grade A may be considered if you fail to meet your offer.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

7,6,6 at Higher Level, including 6 in Mathematics, with a minimum of 32 points overall.

BTEC

Only considered when combined with other qualifications.

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements. We are happy to discuss your individual offer with you.

Foundation Year

Are you a UK/EU student and would like to study for one of our degrees but lack the entry qualifications we require? If you are not studying A Level Mathematics you can consider a Foundation Year programme which can lead to entry onto one of our courses.

International Students

We accept a range of international qualifications, please contact the admissions tutor for more information.

  

Standard English language requirements apply, learn more about international entry requirements.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

Our academic staff will guide and challenge you through your studies. You will benefit from the rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience here at Birmingham. Find out more about our  staff and their areas of interest.

How you will learn

You will learn from world-leading experts who will encourage you to become an independent thinker, a vital part of becoming a successful mathematician.

We will assign you a personal tutor who will support your academic progress, help you develop transferable skills and handle any welfare concerns. In your first two years you will have a weekly meeting with your personal tutor in small groups of around 6-7 students. You will also meet once a term on an individual basis. In your third year you will meet with your tutor once a term although they will still be available for you to meet with more regularly if you require.

We offer all students a range of learning opportunities including:

  • Lectures to introduce subjects and ideas
  • Independent research on your MSci dissertation which is an extended research project on an area of mathematics of your choosing and which will make up a third of your final year marks. You are supported with weekly meetings from an academic supervisor whilst carrying out your project
  • Small group tutorials to solve mathematical problems and discuss material from lectures
  • Support classes to check your learning with experienced mathematicians
  • Opportunities for group work when working on the Mathematical Modelling and Problem Solving (MMPS) and Maths in Industry (MI) modules in the first and second years. You?ll be given real-world problems to solve in groups using different mathematical skills and techniques, and you?ll also be challenged to explain your solutions to an audience which includes representatives from industry, who do not have a mathematical background. These modules are highly praised by employers and help to develop skills which will be useful in the world of work
  • Computer labs using computer algebra packages to solve problems, using programming languages to model mathematical situations or computer assessment systems to test your learning
  • All modules are linked to Canvas - a virtual learning environment for lecture notes, additional learning units, self-tests and supplementary interactive information

Feedback

You receive regular feedback in all of your modules through marked work, model answers, tutorials, examples classes and supervisions. 

Less formal, more independent study is a vital part of becoming a mathematician. We encourage students to work together and have several popular study areas in and around the School where you can work with friends or individually.

Assessment 

Assessment varies across modules and can include:

  • Examinations - usually taken at the end of each semester in which the module is taught
  • Coursework - this could be continuous or at the end of the module, and is assessed in a variety of ways
  • Class tests - some lecturers set regular class tests which could be written tests, group presentations or computer-based tests providing instant feedback
  • Research projects are assessed by, for example, interim reports, a final written report and oral presentations

At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed for that particular programme of study. You will receive feedback on each assessment within 15 working days, so that you can learn from, and build on, what you have done. You will be given generic feedback on any exams that you take and can have longer conversations about your performance with your personal tutor.

Contact Hours

For each 10 credits of maths modules there are 22 hours of lectures.

In addition as a whole, not per module:

  • First year:  10 additional hours of support classes per term, 20 hours of computer labs per term, and 5 hours of personal tutorial meetings per term.
  • Second year:  5 hours of examples classes for every 10 credits of module, plus 5 hours per term of personal tutorial meetings.
  • Third year: there are 5 hours of examples classes for every 10 credits of module, (this becomes year four if you are on a placement year.)
  • Fourth year (MSci only): 5 hours of example classes for every 10 credits of module

All Maths lecturers have a minimum of 1.5 office hours per week.

All modules are divided between two teaching terms. Examinations take place in the summer term.

Our degrees in Mathematics will help you develop the knowledge and skills you need for a huge range of careers or further academic study. Where logical thinking, problem solving and statistical or strategic knowledge are required, being one of our graduates will put you ahead.

91% of our graduates are in employment or further study six months after graduation (DHLE 2016/17)

Whatever you plan to do when you graduate, we have a comprehensive support package to help you prepare including specialist careers guidance, exclusive work experience opportunities and global internships. Our  Careers Network offers support to help you identify your options, develop your skills and gain access to opportunities:

  • Frequent careers advice drop-in sessions in the School, so you can always get help and advice when you need it.
  • An annual Maths Careers Fair, where you can meet employers specifically interested in mathematics graduates.
  • Regular Careers Skills Workshops run by employers or the College employability team to guide you through your career planning and give you an advantage in the application process for graduate positions and internships.
  • A fortnightly careers e-newsletter, including vacancies suited to maths students, with application deadlines and a calendar of careers events likely to be of interest to you as a maths student.

We have a range of industrial partners who work with our students including E.ON, Caterpillar, Jaguar Land Rover, the Office for National Statistics, R&A, FDM Group, Barnett Waddingham and Malvern Instruments. 

After my second year during the summer I completed an Actuary internship with Barnett Waddingham. I found out about the opportunity by attending the Mathematics careers fair organised annually by the department, where companies both big and small who are looking to recruit University of Birmingham’s Mathematics graduates come to talk to students about the programmes they have to offer.

Whilst on this internship I completed many of the jobs a trainee Actuary would do in their first year of work, gaining an insight into this type of work and developing the skills required to pursue a career in actuarial science.

Completing the Mathematical Modelling and Problem Solving and Maths in Industry modules as part of my degree prepared me very well for my internship. The problem solving and teamwork skills developed in these modules helped me both when applying for this internship as I had lots of examples to draw upon at interview, as well as when completing the tasks on my internship, as I was able to approach difficult tasks and present my ideas with more confidence.

As a result of this internship I have been offered a trainee Actuary role after I graduate.

Hannah Smithson, Third Year, BSc Mathematics

Careers Network

We provide a wealth of opportunities to develop your career. From your first day at Birmingham to after you graduate, the Careers Network  is here to help you identify and achieve your individual career aspirations through its wide range of services.

Our dedicated careers team brings you information, advice and guidance tailored to your specific needs. Careers advisers offer one-to-one advice appointments where you can discuss your career plans and explore your options. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning  Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

Visit the Careers Network website for more details

Internships

Our multi-award-winning work experience team has dedicated internship officers to help find the right work experience for you. Make the most of these opportunities and apply for our Work Experience Bursary Scheme, the Birmingham Undergraduate Internship Programme or one of our successful mentoring schemes. 

The video below talks to students, staff and employers about their internship experience: