Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification, but it is very important that you are well prepared to study mathematics at this level.

Study skills for this qualification

Before you register for this qualification, it is essential to check that you have the appropriate mathematical skills.

Take a look at our Maths Help study resources to brush up your mathematical skills in preparation for our Are you ready? quiz.

If you can answer most of the questions, or could do them with a quick reminder (because the topic is familiar to you but you can’t quite remember the details), then you are ready.

If you achieved a very high score, our intensive start may be an option for you. First complete our intensive start Are you ready? quiz to check if you have the necessary experience and confidence with mathematics.

If you would like more advice and guidance about where to start, please visit our MathsChoices website.

General study skills

Anyone can study with The Open University, but if it's a while since you did any academic work it's worth checking that your time management, computing and English skills are up to speed. Visit Can I do it? to find out more.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time completing up to 60 credits a year.
  • This will normally mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Read about how some of our students have fitted OU study into their lives, then find out if you have enough time to study by completing our time planner.

Help! I'm not sure I'm ready!

Study for free

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don't worry! You can get started with an Access module – fascinating courses designed to introduce subject areas, build your confidence and prepare you for further study.

The credit gained from the Access module will be in addition to the other credit required for the qualification.

For this qualification, we recommend:

Science, technology and maths Access module

What you will study

This fascinating, 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

Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you. Or come and meet us at an event near you.

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

How much will it cost?

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 £2,786*.
  • Our current fee is £5,572* – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your qualification starts from £16,716* based on our current fees.

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2017. 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 laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you register.

An OU qualification will always help you stand out from the crowd, now and in the future – whether you’re just starting out, developing your career, or changing direction entirely.

Skills for career development

Mathematics lies at the heart of many activities, from everyday tasks, problem solving and decision making to economics and the advancement of science and technology. Mathematical knowledge is much sought after by a wide variety of employers, as shown by the Government’s initiative to increase participation in the strategically important STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

By studying this degree course you’ll be equipped with the skills and knowledge required for jobs in fields such as education, engineering, business, finance and accountancy. It is widely accepted that a degree in mathematics particularly enhances the following  transferable and much sought-after skills:

  • communicating mathematical ideas clearly and succinctly
  • understanding complex mathematical texts
  • working with abstract concepts
  • thinking logically
  • expressing problems in mathematical language
  • constructing logical arguments
  • working on open-ended problems
  • finding solutions to problems
  • interpreting mathematical results in real-world terms
  • using relevant professional software.

Career relevance

There are some careers for which a degree in mathematics and/or statistics is specified. These include teaching, statistical work (including actuarial work), operational research and development, and some areas of computing.

Other career areas directly related to mathematics include:

  • engineering
  • accountancy
  • banking
  • bioinformatics
  • insurance
  • tax
  • investments
  • stockbroking/trading
  • retail
  • economics
  • market research
  • pensions
  • quantitative analysis/risk analysis.


This qualification will contribute to you gaining all grades of membership of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), from Student Membership to Chartered Mathematician.

IMA logo

Other careers

Mathematics graduates are employed in all areas of the public and private sectors, business and commerce, large and small firms, and in positions of responsibility that lead to management. Mathematics graduates gain skills and knowledge in demand in fields such as finance, accountancy, education, engineering, science, defence, the pharmaceuticals industry and business. There are also opportunities for self-employment – as a financial adviser, for example.

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline – some may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.

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):

  • aeronautical engineer
  • lecturer
  • investment analyst
  • meteorologist
  • secondary school teacher
  • statistician
  • actuary
  • chartered accountant
  • corporate investment banker
  • financial risk analyst
  • operational researcher
  • systems developer
  • management consultant
  • auditor
  • pensions administrator.

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, PlanIT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland.


When you register on an Open University course, you’ll get all sorts of ideas and materials to help you prepare for study.

But if you can’t wait until then, here are some tantalising and fascinating videos to give you an idea of the quality of our learning programmes and a flavour of the OU’s unique style of teaching.


The practical application of fractals

Exploiting fractals for commercial purposes.

Achilles and the Tortoise

Ancient mathematical trickery proves that a mighty hero cannot overtake a tortoise.

Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 01/12/2016

Request a prospectus

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

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