Entry requirements

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, and are able to read and write to a good standard of English. Ideally, you’ll also have some basic knowledge of computing.

You do need experience in mathematics – you should have a working knowledge of all of the following topics:

  • arithmetic of whole numbers, decimals and fractions (including negative numbers, powers and roots)
  • algebraic manipulation, such as multiplying out brackets, factorising simple expressions, solving linear and quadratic equations, manipulating algebraic fractions and manipulating powers of variables
  • percentages, ratio and proportion
  • simple inequalities
  • exponential functions, logarithms and the rules for manipulating them.

Check you’re ready for Essential mathematics 1 (MST124) with our self-assessed quiz.

Having tried the quiz, if you don’t feel ready for MST124, you can study an additional module to give you the mathematical knowledge and skills you need. Contact us to find out more.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.

1The compulsory Stage 3 module, Applied statistical modelling (M348), starts for the first time in October 2022. If you start this qualification in October 2019, you will be able to study Stages 1 and 2 full time; however, you'll be able to study Stage 3 only part time. You can study Stage 3 full time from October 2022.

Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Preparing for study with an Access module

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! The OU offers Access modules designed to introduce the subject area, build your confidence and prepare you for further study, and you may be eligible to study an Access module for free! You'll get:

  • a personal tutor providing regular feedback with one to one telephone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback.
For this qualification we recommend:

Science, technology and maths Access module

What you will study

This multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the sciences, technology and mathematics, and would like to develop both your subject knowledge and your study skills. The subjects included are science, engineering and design, environment, mathematics, and computing and IT.

View full details of Science, technology and maths Access module

Your next step

Email us at access-support@open.ac.uk to discuss your study options, and help you decide on the best starting point for you.

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If, like most OU students, you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £3,096*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £6,192*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £18,576*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2021. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a computer, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If your income is not more than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.


Skills for career development

The ability to analyse complex data sets is a much sought after skill in the modern workplace. The degree will equip you with knowledge of data analysis and modelling from statistics, applied mathematics and computer science. In addition, you’ll develop important transferable skills such as communication, time management and problem solving.

Career relevance

Data scientists are highly sought after in virtually all work places. The use of data science in social media, online commerce and government has revolutionised the digital economy, with employers across both the public and private sectors now recruiting data scientists to identify and solve complex business problems. Data scientists are at the heart of supporting strategic and operational decision making. They are needed in all areas of employment including business intelligence, management, biology, economics, education, engineering, environment studies, finance, government, logistics, medicine, meteorology, market research, sport and multinational businesses.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime, if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):

  • applied mathematician
  • business analyst
  • business manager
  • chief data officer
  • computer scientist
  • data analyst
  • data architect
  • data engineer
  • data scientist
  • information manager
  • machine learning application developer
  • marketing and commerce practitioner
  • statistician

Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 13/08/2020
Credit transfer: apply by 17/12/2020
Credit transfer: apply by 11/02/2021

Request your Mathematics and Statistics prospectus

Our prospectuses help you choose your course, understand what it's like to be an OU student and register for study.

Request prospectus

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