Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

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

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 maths graduates extremely employable.

Your Business School courses will cover the disciplines of:

  • organisation studies
  • accounting and finance
  • marketing
  • decision analytics
  • strategy and entrepreneurship
  • innovation

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

This is a four-year programme.

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

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

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 will prepare you for further courses from the Business School.

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.

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.


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 scheme, MathPALS.

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.

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

The Business School offers a wide selection of courses from which you will choose the rest of your courses for the year. Current topics include:

  • Business Analytics and Information Systems
  • Principles of Finance
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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 social centre and workspace.

Year 3

From this point 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 in your programme.

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 plan to complete a business management dissertation in Year 4, you will also need to take a preparatory course in Year 3.

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 optional business courses include:

  • Global Creative Industries: The art of business and the business of art
  • Business Ethics
  • Digital Business
  • Management Science and Operations Analytics

Current mathematics option courses include:

  • Financial Mathematics
  • Introduction to Number Theory
  • Statistical Computing

Year 4

As a Year 4 student, 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 the varied research interests in each school - 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:

  • Managing Across Borders and Cultures
  • Corporate Finance
  • Business Ethics
  • Theories and Techniques of Persuasion
  • Social and Sustainable Entrepreneurship

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 (2021/22)

Our facilities

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

In subsequent years, mathematics teaching takes place at the King's Buildings campus, often in the James Clerk Maxwell Building where the School of Mathematics is located.

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

Please note that 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 closer look at the School of Mathematics on the University’s Virtual Visit site


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

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

Take a closer look at our facilities on the University’s Virtual Visit site.

Business facilities

The Business School is located on Buccleuch Place in the Central Area.

The Business School has its own cafe 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 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?

Maths 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.

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.

Hybrid teaching

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, both schools are currently operating a hybrid teaching model, which includes a mixture of in-person teaching (subject to health and safety guidance from the Scottish Government) and digital teaching.

It is likely that our hybrid teaching model will change. The School of Mathematics is home to world-leading experts in technology-enhanced mathematical education and we are prepared for many situations. We will adapt quickly and effectively, as required.

Online lectures and workshops

Online mathematics lectures are currently pre-recorded and offered in short, manageable chunks to account for the differences with digital learning.

Mathematics workshops are offered in-person as much as possible (subject to health and safety guidance from the Scottish Government) as well as digitally. Digital workshops continue to feature collaborative learning and are facilitated by easy-to-use online whiteboards.

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 just memorising procedures.

Most maths 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.

Business courses are typically assessed through:

  • presentations
  • reports
  • essays
  • exams
  • individual and group projects

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

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

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

Enhance your CV

Within the School of Mathematics, you will get many opportunities to develop your skills and enhance your CV.

  • 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.

The Business School also provides many opportunities for students to engage in co- and extra-curricular activities. Our dedicated student development team will help you develop a range of essential business graduate competencies through:

  • internships
  • mentoring from an industry professional
  • support from trained coaches
  • a large number of business societies, events and peer support schemes

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. Higher Applications of Mathematics is not accepted in place of Higher Mathematics. 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

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 the necessary textbooks for some components of your programme.

Due to the current hybrid teaching model, you may also need access to a laptop and digital writing device to take part in online workshops. The School of Mathematics offers a loan scheme for these items.


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