Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

BSc Mathematics and Business

UCAS code: GN11

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Mathematics

College: Science and Engineering

Study abroad

Introducing BSc Mathematics and Business

This programme allows you to take courses in business, management and economics alongside your mathematics courses. You will gain invaluable problem solving skills and analytical skills through mathematics courses, and learn how to apply them in a business setting.

The majority of your time will be split equally between mathematics and business courses. You may also have time to explore an additional subject area in Year 1.

Later in this programme you can choose to specialise in particular aspects of mathematics or business, examine the links between the two subjects, or study a broad range of topics.

Over the entire programme, you time will be split evenly between the two subjects.

Year 1

You will take three compulsory mathematics courses:

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

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

In them you will build on your knowledge of pure mathematics in a formal way and be introduced to the ways of mathematical thinking required at university level.

Some students will also take our online course, Fundamentals of Algebra and Calculus. This is an introductory course in university mathematics that provides extra preparation in key topics from advanced high school-level mathematics which have not been covered previously.

You will also take two compulsory business courses:

  • Global Challenges for Business
  • The Business of Edinburgh

These will prepare you for further courses from the Business School.

The rest of your time will be spent studying outside courses or optional courses from the Business School or the School of Mathematics, such as Introduction to Data Science.

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
  • 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.

Covering such a range of topics at this stage of the degree will allow you to develop as a well-rounded mathematician and allow for more options to be available to you in the following years.

The Business School offers a broad selection of courses from which you will choose the remainder of your courses for the year. Current topics include Principles of Finance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Organising for Social Change: Creating Value and Impact.

As in Year 1, any remaining time will be spent studying outside courses.

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: mathematics and business.

You will study two compulsory mathematics Honours courses, and will have the option to start to specialise within mathematics.

Our compulsory mathematics courses provide an excellent grounding in advanced 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.

Current mathematics option courses include Financial Mathematics, Introduction to Number Theory and Statistical Computing.

You will also study Strategic Management, plus a selection of courses from the Business School. Current courses cover topics such as Management Science and Operations Analytics, and Digital Business.

Year 4

As a Year 4 student, you will complete a substantial research project in either mathematics or business, which will account for a third of your final year. In addition to this, you will have a wide range of mathematics and business courses to choose from.

Our mathematics course selection is influenced by the varied research interests in the School and as a result we offer a large selection of courses in pure and 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:

  • General Topology
  • Symmetry and Geometry
  • Stochastic Modelling
  • Mathematical Education
  • Entrepreneurship in the Mathematical Sciences

You will continue to study courses from the Business School. Current examples include Managing Across Borders and Cultures, Negotiation, and Business Ethics.

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.

The Business School is located on Buccleuch Place, in the University's Central Area. Teaching for business courses will usually take place in the Central Area.

Please note that your subjects will be taught on different campuses from Year 2 onwards, and so you may need to travel between campuses for classes.

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.

The Business School has its own café and social space where you can relax with friends or study over a coffee. From Year 3, you will have access to the Business School’s Undergraduate Resource Centre on level 11 of David Hume Tower.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad through exchange programmes. Students from the School of Mathematics have recently completed placements in California, Sydney and British Columbia.

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 tutorials or 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. In mathematics workshops, you will work with 5-6 other students, and a tutor will be on hand to answer questions and support you.

In later years, business courses move to a more specialised, seminar-based teaching style, supported by independent study.

We encourage students to work collaboratively outside of lectures also, and provide spaces such as the MathsBase and MathsHub to enable this. First year 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, writing an essay or giving a presentation. Some will be assessed entirely by coursework, such as Facets of Mathematics (Year 2) or the research project (Year 4).

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from 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 details (2020/21)

The business and finance sectors are popular destinations for our graduates. However, a Mathematics and Business degree opens many doors, and our graduates have a wide range of careers open to them. During your degree 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, civil service, charity work and health service.

There are many opportunities within the University for you to develop your skills and enhance your CV. You can become a Student Ambassador to enthuse prospective students; work with the wider community as a member of the Mathematics Outreach Team; or apply for a project scholarship to work with a university lecturer during the summer.

The School of Mathematics regularly invites alumni back to the School to share their experiences with students and to showcase the breadth of careers available to graduates with a maths background.

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

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 BSc Mathematics and Business

Additional costs

You should expect to purchase necessary textbooks for some compulsory and optional 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