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BSc (Honours) Mathematics and Statistics

Gain extensive knowledge of probability and statistics. Combine this with pure mathematics or applied mathematics. This degree will equip you with problem-solving and decision-making tools. You’ll experience using statistical software and practise conducting and communicating statistical investigations. You’ll develop your understanding of time series analysis, multivariate data analysis, regression analysis, and hypothesis testing. You’ll also explore classical and Bayesian statistics. A mathematics and statistics degree let you access to professional training or entry-level roles in various career areas, such as data analysis, finance, teaching, and statistics.

Key features of the course

  • Accredited by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) and the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) – see Careers.
  • Build expertise in analytical approaches, classical and Bayesian statistics, and the underpinning mathematical theory.
  • Focus on either pure or applied mathematics to fit your needs and interests.
  • Practise conducting and communicating statistical investigations and using professional software.
  • Start at a point that suits your level of mathematical knowledge.
  • Move to a different mathematics degree, if your aspirations change, even after you’ve started.

Course Summary

+Shortlist Course

Degree

Degree

  • Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree.
  • Internationally respected, universally understood.
  • An essential requirement for many high-level jobs.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts.
  • Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
Course code
Q36
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
360
How long it takes
Part time – 6–7  years
Full time – 3–4  years
Time limit – 16 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • You’ll normally start Stage 1 with a 30-credit introductory module followed by three further 30-credit modules in pure and applied mathematics and statistics.
  • Next, in Stage 2, you’ll study two 30-credit statistics modules, and a 60-credit module in either applied mathematics or pure mathematics.
  • Finally, in Stage 3, you’ll study three 30-credit statistics modules and complete your degree with a 30-credit mathematics module.

Prepare for OU study with an Access module

We offer two starting points depending on how confident you are or how long it’s been since you last studied. Choose to dive straight in at Stage 1, or if you’d prefer some extra preparation, you can get started with an optional Access module. See Entry requirements for more details.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

Mathematics is a linear subject – it’s important to have a good understanding of the basics before moving on to more advanced topics. You’ll normally begin with an introduction to key mathematical concepts, ideal if you haven’t studied mathematics to an advanced level; or haven’t studied for some time and need to refresh your skills and knowledge. If you’re confident studying mathematics at university level, you can skip the first module and, instead, choose from a selection of other modules to complete Stage 1. For advice on where to start, see Entry requirements.

Stage 1 is the same in many of our mathematics and statistics qualifications. So, you could change qualification at this point if you want to.

Stages 2 and 3 (240 credits)

You’ll deepen your understanding of statistics and combine it with either applied mathematics or pure mathematics.

Statistics with applied mathematics

ModulesCredits
Stage 2 (120 credits)
You'll study all three of the following:
Analysing data (M248)30
Practical modern statistics (M249)30
Mathematical methods, models and modelling (MST210)60
Stage 3 (120 credits)
You'll study all three of the following:
Applications of probability (M343)30
Applied statistical modelling (M348)30
Mathematical statistics (M347)30
You'll also choose one from:
Complex analysis (M337)30
Computational applied mathematics (MST374) – planned for Oct 202330
Deterministic and stochastic dynamics (MS327)30
Graphs, games and designs (MST368) – planned for Oct 202330
Mathematical methods and fluid mechanics (MST326)30
Learning and doing algebra (ME322)30
Learning and doing geometry (ME321)30
Mathematical thinking in schools (ME620)30

Statistics with pure mathematics

ModulesCredits
Stage 2 (120 credits)
You'll study all three of the following:
Analysing data (M248)30
Practical modern statistics (M249)30
Pure mathematics (M208)60
Stage 3 (120 credits)
You'll study all three of the following:
Applications of probability (M343)30
Applied statistical modelling (M348)30
Mathematical statistics (M347)30
You'll also choose one from:
Complex analysis (M337)30
Computational applied mathematics (MST374) – planned for Oct 202330
Deterministic and stochastic dynamics (MS327)30
Graphs, games and designs (MST368) – planned for Oct 202330
Learning and doing algebra (ME322)30
Learning and doing geometry (ME321)30
Mathematical thinking in schools (ME620)30

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 15 March 2022.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BSc (Honours) Mathematics and Statistics uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • printed material
  • online material, including websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities
  • using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
  • using and producing diagrams and screenshots
  • small amounts of practical work and other activities, such as group work with other students on some modules, writing short reports or preparing presentations
  • using specialist software
  • face-to-face tutorials/day schools and/or online tutorials
  • continuous and end-of-module assessment in the form of short and long answer questions, and in most cases an examination
  • using feedback: continuous assessment involves receiving detailed feedback on your work from your tutor and using this feedback to improve your performance
  • engagement with learning and assessment within a pre-determined schedule or timetable – time management will be needed during your studies and the University will help you to develop these skills throughout your qualification.

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding.
  • Cognitive skills.
  • Practical and professional skills.
  • Key skills.

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.

It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.

For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


Classification of your degree

On successfully completing this course, we’ll award you our BSc (Honours) Mathematics and Statistics.

The class of honours (first, upper-second, lower-second or third) will depend on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

You’ll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

International recognition

If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Find out more about international recognition of Open University qualifications.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 


Compare this course

Entry requirements

There is no formal pre-requisite study, but you must have the required mathematical skills.

You have a choice of starting module depending on your current skill level: Discovering mathematics (MU123) or Essential mathematics 1 (MST124). You can find out which module is your best starting point here.

You can also check you’re ready for MU123 or MST124, and the topics they cover, at the link above.

Talk to an advisor if you’re not sure you’re ready.

How much time do I need?

This depends on your level of prior knowledge of mathematics and, in general, we recommend that you build up your pace of study slowly to ensure you gain a good understanding of the more basic topics. How many credits you can complete in a year will depend on your study situation, and this qualification is designed to enable you to vary your study intensity from year to year.

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

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

Preparing for study with an Access module

Students who start their study with an Access module are more likely to be successful when they advance to Stage 1 of their qualification. They’re specially designed to give you a gentle introduction to OU study, boost confidence in your study skills, and help you gain a broad overview of your chosen subject area.

You’ll also benefit from:

  • feedback from your tutor through regular one-to-one phone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback on your work.
The Access module we’d recommend studying in preparation for this qualification is our:

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. It’ll help develop your study skills in advance of your OU qualification, and you get to explore a number of STEM subjects including science, engineering and design, environment, mathematics, and computing and IT.

View full details of Science, technology and maths Access module

Fees and funding in England

80% of our students pay nothing upfront by financing their studies with a student loan.

In this section:
Tuition fee
What are my funding options?
Other costs to think about
Additional support

Tuition fee

BSc (Honours) Mathematics and Statistics

Years of  study

3 years 6 years

Current fee per year in England

£6,456* £3,228*

How we worked out the cost

A degree is worth 360 credits. The fee per year is based on studying 60 credits per year for 6 years. A degree is worth 360 credits. The fee per year is based on studying 120 credits per year for 3 years.

Total fee for qualification at current prices

£19,368*

You’ll fund your modules as you study them – you won’t have to pay for your whole qualification up front

That’s 1/3 less than the cost of an equivalent qualification offered at most other universities in England.

See comparison table

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2023. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.


What are my funding options?

There are several ways to fund your study, often without paying anything upfront.

Student loan

The most common way for our students to fund their study

  • A student loan is used by 80% of our students.
  • Open to everyone – it’s not means-tested and there’s no age limit.
  • You don’t pay anything upfront. Student Finance England pay your fees directly to the OU for you.
  • You won’t pay back a penny until you earn over £27,295.
  • The amount you repay is tied to how much you earn. For example, if you earn £29,000 you’ll pay just £12.79 per month.

Other options

Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA)

Repay in monthly instalments while you study.


Credit/debit card or bank transfer

Pay before each module starts. You can also combine card or bank transfer payments with other payment methods.


Employer sponsorship

More than 1 in 10 OU students are sponsored by their employer.


Enhanced Learning Credits (ELCs)

If you’re a serving member of the British Armed Forces (or you’ve recently left), you may be eligible to use ELCs to cover up to 100% of your course fees.

Which funding options could I be eligible for?



Other costs to think about

Your course fees cover your tuition, assessment and study materials, but there are still a few additional costs that can come with studying. If you’re income is less than £25,000 or you receive a qualifying benefit, you could get help with some of these costs after you start studying.

  • You’ll need a computer and internet access for online resources and tutorials.
  • You may need to pay for travel to face to face tutorials if you choose to attend these during your course.
  • This qualification has option modules that include learning events (like field schools, laboratory schools and residential schools). For these schools, you have to pay an additional charge. You must also pay for your travel to and from the venue.

Additional support

You may be eligible for:

  • help with study-related costs like travel to tutorials, set books, and internet access
  • a free introductory Access module to build your confidence and skills
  • funding to study an OU qualification for free from our Carers’ Scholarships Fund if you are, or have recently been, an unpaid carer
  • a Carers’ Bursary towards study-related costs if you provide unpaid care to a friend or family member
  • a Care Experienced Bursary of £250 towards study-related costs if you’ve previously been, or are currently, in care
  • a Sanctuary Scholarship to study an OU qualification for free if you’ve been displaced from your homeland for political, economic, ethnic, environmental, or human rights pressures
  • funding from our Scholarship for Black Students to study an OU qualification for free if you identify as being from a Black background

If you have a disability

  • The Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is a government grant to cover study support costs if you have a disability. It’s not means-tested, and there’s no age limit. Visit our Supporting students with disabilities page to find out more.
  • If your disability is a result of being injured in, or due to, military service, you could be eligible for our Disabled Veterans’ Scholarship Fund.

Need more information?

Talk through your funding options with one of our advisors

Contact us

How will I study this course?

With our unique approach to distance learning, you can study from home, work, or on the move.

You’ll have some assessment deadlines to meet, but otherwise you’ll be free to study at the times that suit you, fitting your learning around work, family, and social life.

For each of your modules, you’ll use either just online resources or a mix of online and printed materials.

Each module you study will have a module website, with:

  • a week-by-week study planner, giving you a step-by-step guide through your studies
  • course materials such as reading, videos, recordings, and self-assessed activities
  • module forums for discussions and collaborative activities with other students
  • details of each assignment and their due dates
  • a tutorial booking system, online tutorial rooms, and your tutor’s contact details
  • online versions of some printed module materials and resources.

If you have additional needs, we can also provide most module materials in alternative formats. Find out more about materials on our accessibility webpage.


Tutor support

You’ll have a tutor for each module, who will introduce themselves before the module begins.

Throughout the module, they will:

  • mark your assignments and give feedback to help you improve
  • guide you to learning resources
  • support you, whether with general study skills or help with a specific topic.

Tutorials

Tutorials throughout the course could be online, face-to-face or a mixture of the two, and they’re always optional.

Online tutorials are live presentations with module tutors in dedicated online tutorial rooms, and are sometimes recorded.


Assessment

Our assessments are all designed to reinforce your learning and help you show your understanding of the topics. The mix of assessment methods will vary between modules.

Computer-Marked Assignments

  • Usually a series of online, multiple-choice questions.

Tutor-Marked Assignments

  • You’ll have a number of these throughout each module, each with a submission deadline.
  • They can be made up of essays, questions, experiments or something else to test your understanding of what you have learned.
  • Your tutor will mark and return them to you with detailed feedback.

End-of-Module Assessments

  • The final, marked piece of work on most modules.
  • Modules with an end of module assessment won’t usually have an exam.

Exams

  • Some modules end with an exam. You’ll be given time to revise and prepare.
  • You’ll be given your exam date at least 5 months in advance.
  • Most exams take place remotely, and you will complete them at home or at an alternative location.
  • If a module requires you to take a face-to-face exam, this will be made clear in the module description, and you will be required to take your exam in person at one of our exam centres.

Progressing to a point where I felt more comfortable writing my assignments, and having my scores reflecting that, made me quite happy because it showed the hard work was being rewarded.

Patrick ‘Ricky’ Skene, BSc (Hons) Sport, Fitness and Coaching

Other support and resources

Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to our subject-specific Student Support Teams.

They’ll help you with any general questions about your study and updates to your OU account.

To help with your studies, you’ll also have access to:

  • our online library, with high-quality online resources to support your study
  • other university libraries in the UK and Ireland
  • the online Help Centre, which has general information about OU study and support, along with study skills advice
  • free Microsoft Office 365 software
  • IT and computing support from our Computing Helpdesk.

Find out more about student support and being a part of the OU community.

Skills for career development

Mathematics and statistics lie at the heart of many activities, from everyday problem solving and decision making to the formulation of economic policy 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 and finance or where they can be applied, for example, in science, social science, engineering and technology. It's widely accepted that a degree in mathematics and/or statistics particularly enhances the following transferable and much sought-after skills:

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

Career relevance

Mathematics and statistics 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 and statistics graduates gain skills and knowledge in demand in fields such as finance, accountancy, education, engineering, science, defence, the pharmaceuticals industry and business.

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 and statistics include

  • accountancy
  • banking
  • bioinformatics
  • data sciences
  • economics
  • financial services
  • insurance
  • investments
  • market research
  • quantitative analysis/risk analysis
  • retail
  • stockbroking/trading.

Accreditation

Graduates achieving a 2.2 or better for this qualification are eligible for the professional award of Graduate Statistician conferred by The Royal Statistical Society (RSS). Five years of professional statistical training and experience following graduation, would normally qualify you for the top professional grade of Chartered Statistician.

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

RSS logo IMA logo

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):

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

Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 08/12/2022

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