Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

MMath Applied Mathematics

UCAS code: G121

Duration: 5 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Mathematics

College: Science and Engineering

Study abroad

Introducing MMath Applied Mathematics

The MMath consists of a challenging five-year programme taking you to masters-level work. It is designed for those who want to study in greater depth, and who intend to use advanced mathematical and computational techniques in their careers.

This programme covers a broad spectrum of mathematical topics, from abstract methods to numerical computation, and emphasises their application to real-world problems. The modular structure enables you to specialise in areas of particular interest such as mathematical biology, or scientific computing.

Within the MMath Applied Mathematics programme, you will study courses in other subjects in Years 1 and 2 in addition to mathematics. These other subjects may be in related areas such as physics or informatics or from the wide and varied range offered across the University such as philosophy, economics or languages.

Accelerated Programme

It is also possible for well-prepared applicants to follow an accelerated programme via second year entry. On the accelerated programme, your studies will be focused on mathematics, rather than studying a broad range of subjects.

Alongside your Year 2 mathematics courses, you will be supported with extra accelerated courses covering the key ideas in algebra, calculus and proofs from Year 1 of the programme.

It is possible to change between the BSc and MMath programmes up until the beginning of Year 4, subject to strong academic performance.

Year 1

You will take three compulsory courses:

  • Introduction to Linear Algebra
  • Calculus and its Applications
  • Proofs and Problem Solving

These are common to all our mathematics programmes and will take up half of your timetable.

They will allow you to build on your knowledge of pure mathematics and will introduce you to the more rigorous ways of mathematical thinking required at university level.

The remainder of your timetable will mostly be made up of subjects other than mathematics. We do, however, have additional mathematics courses available which are optional for students to take, such as Introduction to Data Science. Here you will learn to collect and explore data, before using models and predictions in order to make rigorous conclusions.

Some students will also take our online course, Fundamentals of Algebra and Calculus. This introductory course provides extra preparation in key topics from more advanced high school-level mathematics.

You will receive support from the MathsBase, our popular walk-in help centre, and from our Mathematics Student Support Team. Year 1 students will also have the option of taking part in the peer-assisted learning scheme, MathPALs.

Year 2

You will spend between half and two thirds of your time on mathematics.

You will take the following compulsory courses:

  • Fundamentals of Pure Mathematics
  • Several Variable Calculus and Differential Equations
  • Statistics, Computing and Numerics
  • Facets of Mathematics and Probability

These courses will extend your knowledge of calculus, probability and analysis, introduce you to the abstract ideas of group theory, and cover topics in statistics and applied mathematics.

Most of the mathematics courses are compulsory at this stage of the degree to allow you to develop as a well-rounded mathematician. This also keeps a wide range of options available to you in the following years.

The rest of your time will be made up of a combination of optional mathematics courses or subjects other than mathematics.

Second Year Entry: For students taking the accelerated programme, you will study Accelerated Algebra and Calculus, and Accelerated Proofs and Problem Solving. These courses cover the compulsory material from Year 1, and you will study these alongside your compulsory Year 2 mathematics courses. As a result you will have a very little time left to study other subjects. Students usually have space for one course from another subject.

From this year onwards you can use the MathsHub, our student-run facility in the James Clerk Maxwell Building which is both a social centre and a work space.

Year 3

From this point of the degree onwards, you will focus on the main subjects of your programme.

You will study five compulsory mathematics courses:

  • Honours Algebra
  • Honours Analysis
  • Honours Complex Variables
  • Numerical Ordinary Differential Equations and Applications
  • Numerical Linear Algebra

These courses will provide an excellent grounding in advanced applied mathematics, and will prepare you for the options available later in your programme. Each of these Honours courses contains a skills component, enabling you to develop valuable employability skills such as programming, group work and presentation skills through the curriculum.

The rest of your timetable will consist of other courses from the School of Mathematics. This is the point of the degree where you will begin to specialise and narrow your mathematical focus. Current optional courses include Financial Mathematics, Introduction to Number Theory and Statistical Computing.

Year 4

As a Year 4 student, you will complete a research project in an area of applied mathematics.

As this is a specialised mathematics programme, you will be required to take mostly applied mathematics courses in the later years. Our course selection is influenced by our varied research interests in the School and as a result we offer a large selection of courses in applied mathematics, statistics, operational research, financial mathematics, mathematical biology and mathematical education. You will be able to follow a programme that suits your particular interests and career aspirations.

Current courses include:

  • Stochastic Modelling
  • Mathematical Biology
  • Financial Risk Theory
  • Analytical Decision Making with Games

Year 5

During this year you will complete a substantial project in applied mathematics at masters level, which will account for a third of your final year.

You will continue to take applied mathematics courses at masters level.

You will also take courses in Numerical Partial Differential Equations, and Mathematics in Action, a course which will give you hands-on experience of the practical uses of mathematics and empower you to apply your mathematical knowledge to real-world problems.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2020/21)

Our facilities

In Year 1, mathematics classes typically take place in the University's Central Area. In subsequent years, mathematics teaching will take place at the King's Buildings campus, often in the James Clerk Maxwell Building where the School of Mathematics is located. Please note that your outside subjects in Years 1 and 2 may be taught on different campuses to your mathematics teaching, and you may need to travel between campuses.

In addition to the University's extensive libraries and computer facilities, you will have access to the School of Mathematics’ facilities across two campuses: MathsBase in the Central Area and MathsHub at King’s Buildings.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad through exchange programmes during Year 4 of the programme. Students from the School of Mathematics have recently completed placements in Vienna, California, Sydney and Seoul.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

You will be taught mainly through lectures. In Year 1, mathematics lectures are usually interactive; lecturers use online voting systems and encourage small group discussion to improve your understanding of core material. Lectures in later years follow a more 'traditional' lecturing style, but do occasionally incorporate the voting system.

Lectures are also supported by workshops, our small-group teaching sessions. These sessions are to give you an opportunity to practise applying the concepts learnt in lectures, and develop your understanding further. You will work with 5-6 other students, and a tutor will be on hand to answer questions and support you.

We encourage students to work collaboratively outside of lectures also as well, and provide spaces such as the MathsBase and MathsHub to enable this. Year 1 students also have the option of taking part in our peer-assisted learning scheme, MathPALs, and are also able to make use of our drop-in tutor sessions in the MathsBase.

How will I be assessed?

Most courses involve regular coursework as well as a final exam, while some will involve producing a group report or giving a presentation. Some will be assessed entirely by coursework, such as Facets of Mathematics (Year 2) or the research project (Year 5).

Our graduates have a wide range of careers open to them. You will develop logical, analytic, programming and data analysis abilities, together with the presentation and practical problem-solving skills. These are highly sought-after by employers.

Many recent graduates have been employed by large firms in the financial sector. Others have gone into fields including software engineering, logistics, education and civil service.

We regularly invite alumni back to the School to share their experiences with students and to showcase the breadth of careers available to maths graduates.

There are many opportunities within the School for you to develop your skills and enhance your CV. Share your love of mathematics by working with the wider community as a member of our Outreach Team; join our team of Student Ambassadors and enthuse prospective students; become a MathPALs leader and support Year 1 students; or apply for a project scholarship and work with a lecturer during the summer.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA - AAAB (achievement by end of S5 preferred). BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: A*AA - A*AB.
  • IB: 37 points with 666 at HL - 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: AABB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: A*AB.
  • IB: 32 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: Mathematics at A. Advanced Higher Mathematics is recommended. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: Mathematics at A*. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: Mathematics (from 2021, Mathematics: Analysis and approaches only) at 6. SL: English at 5.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

For direct entry to second year the standard requirements must be exceeded, including the following:

  • SQA Advanced Highers: AAA to include Mathematics. One further science subject is recommended.
  • A Levels: A*AA in one set of exams to include Mathematics at A* and Further Mathematics at A.
  • IB: 38 points with 766 at HL to include Mathematics at 7. Further Mathematics is recommended.
Other entry pathways

Entry to many degrees in Science & Engineering is possible via other qualifications (eg HNC/D, Access, SWAP).

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

*(Revised 27 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition.)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MMath Applied Mathematics

Additional costs

You should expect to purchase necessary textbooks for some compulsory and option course components of your programme.


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding

More information

How to apply

School: Mathematics

College: Science and Engineering