Mathematics and Computer Science BSc

Undergraduate degree course Mathematics and Computer Science BSc GG14:

One of the longest established of disciplines, and underpinning many others, mathematics is the language of science and engineering and an intellectual field in its own right. It speaks without barriers across time. It is a discipline that is forever opening up to us, revealing new and fascinating truths and ideas, and helping to expand upon our knowledge in all directions.

At the School of Mathematics in Birmingham we are internationally renowned for our world-leading research and research-led teaching and are committed to providing a challenging, first rate, education to all of our students in a friendly and supportive environment. Consistently ranked amongst the top UK Mathematics centres, we excel at developing our students' thought processes, helping them to become more analytical and able to rapidly identify and solve problems.

A warm welcome is extended to you to come and join us, so that we can help you to expand upon your knowledge and understanding of the world through the exquisite language of mathematics.

 

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Professor Paul Flavell

Professor Paul Flavell

Head of School

“Study Mathematics here at Birmingham and you will acquire a broad range of skills, such as logical thinking and problem solving. These will help you in your academic life and as you progress in your future career. At Birmingham, you will be taught by academics who are global experts in their fields. You will benefit from their varied research interests, which will influence the programmes they teach. ”

A Joint Honours degree programme involves the study of two subjects to Honours degree level. If you study a subject in a Joint Honours programme, you work at exactly the same level and to the same academic standard as students taking that subject in a Single Honours programme. Joint Honours students are simply required to choose fewer topics from the range of options available in each half of the programme.

A degree in Mathematics and Computer Science will allow you to develop many of the skills you would gain from the corresponding Single Honours programmes, with the advantage of studying both of these closely related subjects.

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.

The BSc degree gives you a choice of modules in both Mathematics and Computer Science, with a chance to do project work in either subject. It may be possible to switch from the BSc to the MSci at the end of year 2, depending on your performance in years 1 and 2. 

First year

The first two years are carefully designed to allow you as much choice as possible in your final year. In the first year you study core calculus and algebra. On this programme you take modules in either applied mathematics or in discrete mathematics and statistics. In Computer Science you study the foundations of computer science together with program design and programming techniques.

Second year

You take modules in advanced calculus and algebra, management mathematics, algorithms, data structures and logic. Your interests will develop towards either software engineering or the more mathematical themes that involve computation.

Third year

The third year offers you a choice of modules with the possibility of specialising in either Mathematics or Computer Science. Project modules, particularly in Computer Science, are encouraged.

Generic skills-training, focusing on transferable skills and employability, is embedded throughout the course from the outset, and will ensure that you are equipped with the ICT, presentation, team-working and problem–solving skills which will enhance your employability on graduation. Project and programming work in particular help to develop these skills.

BSc or MSci?  The first two years of this BSc course are interchangeable with, and identical to, our MSci programme (GI11), which means you can delay your final choice of degree (BSc or MSci) until the end of Year 2.  MSci study is dependent upon performance so you will need to successfully complete Year 2 with a high 2ii to transfer on to the MSci programme. Students who miss the entry criteria for the MSci but who meet the BSc entry criteria will automatically be considered for entry onto the BSc.

Other options

Related links

Why study this course

Studying any mathematics course at Birmingham will expand your knowledge and understanding of the world, helping you to become a sought-after graduate wherever there is a call for logical thinking and statistical or strategic knowledge.

At Birmingham, we provide a first-rate education that involves a range of learning environments, developing many skills to prepare you for future employment or further study. The School of Mathematics was one of only two maths departments in the country to be awarded full marks in the last national Assessment of Quality in Education.

The Mathematics Learning Resource Centre here provides an excellent environment for undergraduates to work independently, in groups, or with help from postgraduate students.

All undergraduates are taught in small weekly tutorial groups that facilitate close academic collaboration between staff and students, as well as fostering an atmosphere of scholarship among the student body. Tutor groups are in addition to the standard larger lecture format teaching and problem classes, as well as computer labs. Care is taken to make sure support is given to students in many forms, from drop-in sessions, to one-to-one meetings with lecturers during their office hours.

Modules

Year 1 

Compulsory modules:

Module Title Credits 
LC Mechanics   10  
LC Real Analysis & the Calculus   30  
LC Vectors, Geometry & Linear Algebra   20  
Data Structures and Algorithms   10  
Elements of Functional Computing   10  
Software Workshop 1   40  

Year 2 

Compulsory modules:

Module Title Credits 
Linear Algebra   10  
Professional Computing   10  
Probability and Statistics   10  
Multivariable & Vector Analysis   20  
Team Project   20  
Introductory Databases   10  
Algebra & Combinatorics 1
  20  

Optional Modules
Choose 10 credits from the following example optional modules:

Module Title Credits 
LI Computer Systems and Architecture    10  
Models of Computation     10  
Graphics    10  

Year 3 

Students must take a project module in Mathematics or Computer Science.
Choose 60 credits from the example optional modules listed below. Availability is subject to timetabling and prerequisites.

Module Title Credits 
LH Differential Equations   20  
Nonlinear Programming I and Heuristic Optimisation   20  
Applied Statistics   20  
Combinatorics and Communication Theory   20  
Computability and Logic   20  
Graph Theory   20  
LH Group Theory    20  
Integer Programming and Combinatorial Optimisation   20  
LH Algebra & Combinatorics 2   20  
LH Applied Nonlinear Dynamical Systems   10  
LH Continuum Mechanics   20  
LH Linear Algebra & Linear Programming   20  
LH Mathematics in Industry   10  
LH Methods in Partial Differential Equations   20  
LH Metric Spaces and Topology   20  
LH Perturbation Theory and Asymptotics   10  
LH Research Skills in Mathematics   20  
LH Statistical Methods in Economics   20  
LH Statistics   20  
LM Topics in Applied Mathematics A   10  
LM Topics in Applied Mathematics B   10  
Mathematical Finance   20  
Number Theory   20  
Numerical Methods & Programming   10  
Real & Complex Analysis   20  
Statistical Inference   20  

Choose 60 credits from the example optional modules listed below. Availability is subject to timetabling and prerequisites.

Module Title Credits 
Operating Systems   20  
Compilers and Languages   10  
Machine Learning   10  
Distributed and Parallel Computing   10  
Human Computer Interaction   10  
Individual Study 1   10  
Intelligent Data Analysis   10  
Computer Science Project   40  
Computer-Aided Verification   10  
Networks   20  
Teaching Computer Science in Schools   10  
Advanced Aspects of Nature-Inspired Search and Optimisation   20  
Nature-Inspired Search and Optimisation   10  
Neural Computation   10  

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 2018. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2018/19 are as follows:
£9,250 (UK/EU)
£16,320 (International)
Funding opportunities are available.

For UK/EU students beginning their studies in September 2018, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250.Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Mathematics Scholarships

Please view scholarships and awards offered by the School of Mathematics .

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
AAA including Mathematics or AAB with an A in Mathematics and grade 2 in any STEP paper.
Required subjects and grades:
A level Mathematics or Further Mathematics; Computing A level is not required but some experience of programming would be advantageous.

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

Additional information:

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 6,6,6 at Higher Level, including 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.

International students:

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.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com.
Learn more about applying.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

You will be taught by a mixture of professors, doctors and postgraduates, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience.You can find out more about the members of staff in the School of Mathematics where you can read about their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest.

 

Collaborative Teaching Laboratory

The Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL), planned to open in 2018/19, will become a hub for science & engineering teaching, with multifunctional labs suitable for subject-specific and cross-disciplinary teaching and team working.

What you can expect

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

In addition as a whole, not per module:

  • first year: there are then 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: there are 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: there are 5 hours of examples classes for every 10 credits of module.

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

How will I be taught?

As a Birmingham student, you are joining the academic elite and have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts in the field of mathematics. Throughout your studies, you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner, thriving on challenge and opportunities to think for yourself. Less formal, more independent study is a vital part of becoming a successful mathematician. So 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.

Personal Tutor: At the start of your degree, you will be assigned a Personal Tutor who will remain with you throughout your studies until graduation, to help you in three important areas: supporting your academic progress, developing transferable skills and dealing with any welfare issues. You will meet your personal tutor at least once a semester to review your academic progress and discuss how to develop your transferable skills.  Your personal tutor will also be able to advise on particular areas where you need additional support. During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into University. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support.

Delivery of the course
From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

Mathematics programmes are modular and divided between two teaching terms. Examinations take place in the summer term of each year. Learning takes place in several forms and settings. Our formal teaching comprises:

Lectures: Delivered in a variety of styles by enthusiastic staff, lectures form the major source of information for most modules.

Tutorials: Every week in your first year and every two weeks in your second year, you have small group meetings with your tutor. Here you will get to solve mathematical problems and discuss material introduced in lectures.

Examples classes: These focus on working through mathematical problems issued by the lecturer. Through examples classes, you will be able to check your learning and reflect on particular examples with the aid of experienced mathematicians. Examples classes are usually run by a lecturer with the help of one or more graduate students.

Supervisions: For some modules, instead of examples classes, we run smaller supervisions of 10 to 15 students where one lecturer goes through students' solutions to problems with the group.

Computer labs: Some modules are supported by computer labs using computer algebra packages to solve problems, programming languages to model mathematical situations or computer assessment systems to test your learning.

Web-based learning: All of our modules are linked to iVLE - a virtual learning environment that gives you access to lecture notes, additional learning units, self-tests and supplementary interactive information to support your learning.

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. Initially, you may find these ways of working challenging but there is a comprehensive support system assisting and encouraging you to settle in.

Assessment methods

Assessment varies across modules and can include:

  • Examinations - usually taken at the end of the year 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 four weeks, so that you can learn from, and build on, what you have done. You will be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future.

The Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survy 2015/16 shows that 94% of our graduates are in employment or further study six months after graduation.

Preparation for your career is one of the first things you should be considering when you start university. When you graduate from one of our mathematics programmes, you can expect to be able to pursue careers in any one of the major blue chip companies in sectors as diverse as finance and computing or in government, teaching or the NHS. Many of our students continue their studies to graduate level, taking masters programmes or PhDs. Wherever the application of logical thinking and statistical or strategic knowledge is called for, being one of our graduates will give you a head start.

Our degrees will help you to develop key skills such as analytic thinking, problem solving, independent research, report writing and the use of technical language. These skills are all highly sought after by employers.

You will have access to a wealth of professional careers advice, Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering specialised expert advice and mentoring, as well as guidance to help you to secure exclusive work-experience opportunities and global internships, all of which will help you to stand out from the competition. And once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs, interview practice and job applications will further help to give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed, award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises you extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

You can also take advantage of:

  • 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.

Some of our industrial relationships include:

  • Actica Consulting
  • Apple
  • BMI
  • BMW
  • Carillion
  • Emerson Process Management
  • General Electric
  • Goodrich Actuation
  • Masternaut
  • Renishaw
  • RM Education
  • Rockpool Digital
  • Sidessa
  • Thermofisher Scientific

Your Birmingham degree is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

Internships

The graduate employment market is competitive, many employers require evidence of employability or being ready for the world of work.

Internships represent a great way for you to gain experience of the workplace. They also offer employers the opportunity of clarifying what they are looking for and perhaps even assessing interns for future employment. We offer our students the opportunity of internship placements during their time at Birmingham.
The video below talks to students, staff and employers about their internship experience:


University Careers Network

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

Visit the careers section of the University website for further information.

Birmingham has transformed into one of Europe's most exciting cities. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Clubs and societies

The Guild has over 200 Societies, community volunteering groups and associations for you to join; they cover every topic and activity that you can think of - there really is something for everyone.

The Mathematics Society is one of the largest student societies on campus and organise social, sports activities and a series of career-orientated events.

Accommodation

Coming to Birmingham might be your first time living away from home. Our student accommodation will allow you to enjoy your new-found independence in safe, welcoming and sociable surroundings.

The City of Birmingham

One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and culture, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work.

Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.