Undergraduate study - 2023 entry
Open to the world

BSc Mathematics and Business

UCAS code: GN11

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Mathematics

College: Science and Engineering

Accreditation
Study abroad

Introducing BSc Mathematics and Business

Mathematics at university encourages you to think in an entirely different way.

As well as developing a rigorous mindset, you will gain invaluable problem-solving skills and analytical skills through your mathematics courses.

Your business, management and economics courses will teach you how to apply these skills in a business setting.

Our courses are taught by top-class researchers as well as world-leading industry professionals.

Areas of study

Your time will be split evenly between mathematics and business. You may also have time to explore an additional subject in Year 1.

Through your mathematics courses, you will learn a new way of approaching and analysing complex problems - a particularly valuable skill, which is applicable to many exciting career paths. This makes mathematics graduates extremely employable.

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

Business

Studying Business will prepare you for the social, political and cultural challenges facing contemporary businesses, governments and not-for-profit organisations.

You will develop the personal and professional competences required to work across a range of roles in contemporary business including:

  • finance
  • strategy
  • marketing
  • human resource management
  • data analytics
  • entrepreneurship and innovation

The Business School student development team provide opportunities for you to develop a range of essential business graduate competencies. You may take undergraduate Edinburgh Awards supported by an alumni professional mentor and trained coaches:

  • Personal and Professional Development (Year 2)
  • Effective and Responsible Leadership (Year 3 or 4)

Edinburgh Award

You can also participate in a large number of business societies, business events and peer-support schemes.

Accreditation

Business School programmes are accredited by a range of world-leading business education organisations and professional bodies; and we have strong links to the world of practice through research, consultancy and teaching.

Details of our accreditation and rankings

This programme holds double accreditation from international ranking bodies:

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS)

This is a four-year programme.

Pre-honours years

In your first two years, you will study mathematics and business courses, with the potential to study additional outside subjects.

At this stage, the mathematics courses are compulsory. This allows you to develop as a well-rounded mathematician and widens your options for specialisation later on. You have more choice in your business-related course selections.

Honours years

From Year 3 onwards, you will just study mathematics and business only. Your time will be split evenly across the two subjects.

Year 3 is when you can begin to specialise and pursue areas of interest, while still taking some core compulsory courses. This gives you free choice of courses in Year 4.

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 mathematics programmes and will take up half of your timetable. They build on your knowledge of pure mathematics in a formal way and introduce you to the ways of mathematical thinking required at university level.

You will also take two compulsory business courses:

  • Global Challenges for Business
  • The Business of Edinburgh

These courses will introduce key concepts of management and business, including:

  • strategy
  • finance
  • marketing
  • people management

Outside and optional courses

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.

Business School options in Year 1 include:

  • Accounting for Business 1
  • Psychological Well-being in Business
  • Thinking About Business
  • Planning for a Start-Up
  • Fundamentals of Programming for Business Applications

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

Support

You will receive support from the MathsBase, our popular walk-in help centre, and from our Mathematics Student Support Team.

Year 1 students also have the option of taking part in the peer-assisted learning schemes, MathPALS and BizPALS.

You will also be able to join MathClans. This is a student-led initiative that helps new students join and settle into the School of Mathematics community.

Year 2

In Year 2, you will spend between half and two-thirds of your time on mathematics.

The following courses are compulsory. They will extend your knowledge of calculus, probability and analysis and introduce you to the abstract ideas of group theory. They also cover topics in statistics and applied mathematics. Compulsory courses include:

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

You can choose two optional courses from the Business School in a range of disciplines such as:

  • finance
  • marketing
  • innovation and entrepreneurship
  • organisation studies
  • international business
  • business analytics
  • understanding and delivering public services
  • human resource management
  • business economics
  • business simulation

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

Support

From this year onwards, you can use the MathsHub, our student-run social centre and workspace.

Year 3

From this year onwards, you will focus solely on mathematics and business.

Current compulsory courses:

  • Honours Differential Equations
  • Strategic Management

You will also study one of:

  • Honours Complex Variables
  • Honours Analysis

These mathematics honours courses provide an excellent grounding in advanced mathematics and prepare you for the options available later on.

Skills components

Each honours course contains a skills component. This enables you to develop valuable employability skills such as:

  • programming
  • group work
  • presentation skills

If you decide to write the Management Honours Dissertation, you will take a compulsory course in Business Research Methods training to help prepare for your dissertation.

Optional courses

The rest of your time will be spent studying optional mathematics or business courses, and you will have the chance to begin specialising within each subject.

Current mathematics option courses include:

  • Financial Mathematics
  • Introduction to Number Theory
  • Statistical Computing

Optional business courses build on the knowledge and skills you gained in your Year 2, for example:

  • global business
  • finance
  • marketing
  • innovation and entrepreneurship
  • business economics
  • human resource management
  • business analytics

Year 4

In Year 4, you will complete a substantial research project in either mathematics or business management. This will account for a third of your final-year grade.

You will also choose from a wide range of courses from each school to create a programme that suits your particular interests and career aspirations. Our course selection is influenced by our School's varied research interests, you will be learning from those at the forefront of their fields.

Mathematics offers a large selection of courses in:

  • pure mathematics
  • applied mathematics
  • statistics
  • operational research
  • financial mathematics
  • mathematical biology
  • mathematical education

Current courses include:

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

You will also continue to study courses from the Business School. Current examples include:

  • Decision Analytics
  • Mathematical Programming in Advanced Analytics
  • Management Science and Operations Analytics
  • Behavioural Finance and Market Efficiency
  • Corporate Finance
  • Business Ethics

Our facilities

In Year 1, mathematics classes typically take place in the University's Central Area.

In later years, mathematics teaching takes place at the King's Buildings campus, usually in the James Clerk Maxwell Building. The School of Mathematics is also located in the James Clerk Maxwell Building.

Teaching for business courses usually takes place in the Central Area.

Please note: your subjects will be taught on different campuses from Year 2 onwards, so you may need to travel between locations.

Mathematics facilities

In addition to the University's extensive libraries and computer facilities, you will have access to the School of Mathematics’ facilities, MathsBase and MathsHub.

Take a virtual tour of our School

You can take a closer look at the School of Mathematics and explore our facilities and campus on the University's Virtual Visit site.

Virtual visit – School of Mathematics

MathsBase

MathsBase is a large study space in the Central Area for students studying mathematics in Year 1. Here you will find:

  • lots of desk space
  • whiteboard walls
  • a walk-in help centre where you can get support from a tutor
  • our peer-assisted learning scheme MathPALS
MathsHub

MathsHub is in the James Clark Maxwell Building and is for Year 2 and above mathematics students. It includes:

  • a common room style space
  • a kitchen
  • study space

Business facilities

The Business School is located in a dedicated Business School building in George Square, in the middle of the central campus.

You will have access to:

  • specialist business resources in the central Main Library (books, journals, databases)
  • dedicated student experience and student development support
  • dedicated teaching labs (and associated software and databases) for specialist business analytics, business research and finance related courses
  • Business School Cafe

From Year 3, you will have access to the Business School’s Undergraduate Resource Centre on level 11 of 40 George Square.

Take a closer look at the Business School on the University’s Virtual Visit site

Study abroad

You will have opportunities to study abroad through exchange programmes. Students have recently completed placements in:

  • California
  • Sydney
  • British Columbia

Exchanges are typically taken in Year 3, before returning to Edinburgh to complete Year 4.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Mathematics is mainly taught through lectures.

In Year 1, lectures are usually interactive, focusing on discussion and using technology to gauge the understanding of the class.

Lectures in later years follow a more ‘traditional’ lecturing style but occasionally incorporate technology and discussion.

These small group teaching sessions give you the opportunity to practise what you have learnt in your lectures, with support from tutors.

Peer collaboration

We encourage mathematics students to work collaboratively outside of lectures and provide spaces like the MathsBase and MathsHub to enable this collaboration.

Year 1 students also have the option to:

  • take part in our peer-assisted learning scheme, MathPALS
  • make use of our drop-in tutor sessions in the MathsBase

Business teaching

Business courses are taught through a combination of:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • seminars
  • practical exercises
  • computer-based learning

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

The Business School offers a supportive and encouraging environment where you can grow and develop as an independent learner. Our student experience team offers extensive pastoral and professional support and is committed to supporting you on your undergraduate journey.

How will I be assessed?

In Years 1 and 2, mathematics has mainly ‘open book’ exams where you can use your textbook and notes. This allows you to concentrate on understanding and using the ideas and concepts, instead of memorising procedures.

Most mathematics courses have regular assessments, both written and online, so you can get feedback on your progress. These typically count for a small part of your course grade.

After Year 1, some courses are assessed entirely by coursework, usually reports or presentations.

Some of the assessment methods you may experience in the Business School are:

  • blogs (written and/or video)
  • business plan and/or feasibility analysis
  • case study analysis
  • computer-based timed assignments
  • consultancy reports
  • reflective diaries/journals
  • essays
  • exams - these might be closed book, multiple choice, oral (group or individual), short questions, seen case study/unseen exam question, open book, timed submission, etc.
  • presentations (face-to-face/video, group and individual)

The business and finance sectors are popular destinations for our graduates. A joint honours degree also opens the door to a broader set of opportunities.

You will develop skills that are highly sought-after by employers:

  • logical and analytic abilities
  • programming
  • data analysis
  • presentation skills
  • practical problem-solving

Our graduates

Our graduates are highly valued by employers across the world and graduates of our programmes are highly sought after by a wide range of 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
  • the health service

Further study is also a popular option. You can progress from this programme into masters or PhD level study in mathematics, or apply your mathematical training to postgraduate study in another subject.

We regularly invite alumni back to share their experiences and showcase the range of careers available to you.

Enhance your CV

Within the School of Mathematics, you will have many opportunities to develop your skills and enhance your CV. For example:

  • Become a Student Ambassador and enthuse prospective students.
  • Work with the wider community as a member of the Mathematics Outreach Team.
  • Apply for a project scholarship to work with a University lecturer during the summer.

You will also be able to access the School’s weekly employability events including:

  • presentations from industry employers
  • alumni careers showcases
  • useful workshops to help you prepare for applying to internships, jobs and further study

During your time as a student in the Business School and following graduation, the Careers Service will help you fully develop your potential and achieve your future goals.

Careers Service

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAAA - 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. Higher Applications of Mathematics is not accepted in place of Higher Mathematics. Advanced Higher Mathematics is recommended. Your Mathematics qualifications must have been achieved no more than two academic years prior to entry. National 5s: English at C. (Revised 2 May 2022 to include requirement for recent study of Mathematics.)
  • A Levels: Mathematics at A*. Your Mathematics qualifications must have been achieved no more than two academic years prior to entry. GCSEs: English at C or 4. (Revised 2 May 2022 to include requirement for recent study of Mathematics.)
  • IB: HL: Mathematics (Analysis and approaches only) at 6. Your Mathematics qualifications must have been achieved no more than two academic years prior to entry. SL: English at 5. (Revised 2 May 2022 to include requirement for recent study of Mathematics.)

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.

SQA, GCSE and IB

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
  • 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: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 54 in each component.

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, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

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 buy the necessary textbooks for some components of your programme.

If studying abroad in Year 3 is an option, your costs will vary depending on the country/partner university. Additional costs may include:

  • insurance
  • visa requirements
  • accommodation
  • internet access
  • travel

In Year 4, you may decide to undertake a Management Honours Dissertation and, depending on the field of study you choose, there may be costs associated with:

  • undertaking surveys
  • travel
  • conducting interviews

Details of student living costs

Funding

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