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Mathematics and Statistics & Operational Research (MSci Hons) GGC3

MSci Honours

Mathematics and Statistics & Operational Research

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Key Course Information

Entry Year

2017

Course length

4 year(s)

A-Level Requirements *

AAA/A*AB

Faculty

Engineering and Physical Sciences

Attendance

Full-Time

Professional Year Out

No

UCAS Code

GGC3

School

Mathematics and Physics

*Indicative Only. Please see the Course Entry Requirements section for details on subject specific or GCSE requirements.

Overview

Mathematics is the universal language of science, and a beautiful subject in itself. It is a discipline which also has important applications in industry and commerce, and well-qualified mathematicians and statisticians are in great demand, with a wide choice of careers, making Mathematics an excellent choice as a degree subject. Mathematical Studies at Queen's encompasses three subject areas:

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Pure Mathematics
  • Statistics & Operational Research (SOR)

In each, the ideas that have been encountered at school are extended and new areas are introduced. It is important to appreciate that what may be understood as either Pure or Applied Mathematics from school experience will differ from the University experience. For this reason, amongst others, Mathematics students usually study both Pure and Applied Mathematics in the first year, with Statistics being a likely third component.

Queen's offers several different degree programmes involving Mathematics, and there are two types of degree available within these programmes - the three-year BSc and the four-year MSci.

BSc Degrees

The BSc degrees are available in the following subjects:

  • Mathematics: this degree offers the greatest flexibility and choice among the three subject areas.
  • Mathematics and Computer Science: this is a joint degree which combines these two subject areas.
  • Mathematics and Statistics & Operational Research: this degree contains more emphasis on Statistics and Operational Research.
  • Mathematics with Extended Studies in Europe: this degree is designed for students with an interest in French or Spanish. After two years at Queen's, students spend one year abroad studying Mathematics in their chosen language before returning to Queen's for their final year.
  • Mathematics with Finance: compared with other Mathematics degrees that allow a wide choice of modules, this degree is much more focused and provides students with a particular set of mathematical skills that are ideal for work in the financial services technology sector, as well as in software engineering.
  • Applied Mathematics and Physics / Theoretical Physics: these degrees are especially suitable for those wishing to study both Mathematics and Physics. The former is focused on the mathematical aspects of Physics, while the latter is a joint degree with a wider choice of modules.

MSci Degrees

The MSci degrees are available in the following subjects:

  • Applied Mathematics and Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Mathematics and Statistics & Operational Research
  • Theoretical Physics

These four-year undergraduate degrees can be seen as extended versions of the three-year BSc Honours degrees, and are aimed primarily at students who intend to make significant use of their subject in their future careers, or who simply wish to broaden their understanding of Mathematics.

Note: students may register for either the three-year BSc or the four-year MSci degree. Transfers to the MSci are permitted up to the end of Stage 2, subject to performance. Progress to Stages 3 and 4 of the MSci is dependent on the student maintaining an approved high standard at earlier stages. 

Why Queen's?

Choice and flexibility: the School of Mathematics and Physics is based around the three former teaching departments of Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics and Physics & Astronomy - Statistics & Operational Research and Theoretical Physics coming within the ambit of Applied Mathematics, but are treated as distinct subjects. This combination of expertise and the synergy between the areas enables the School to deliver a wide range of degree programmes, offering the opportunity to take a Mathematics degree and specialise in pure or applied mathematics for instance, or to undertake a Physics degree if you enjoy both ideas and experimental work, or a Theoretical Physics degree if you prefer more mathematical and theoretical study.  Fully integrated joint degrees in Applied Mathematics and Physics are also offered.

Entry Requirements

 

Selection Criteria

In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application. 

Entrance Requirements

BSc options

A-level: ABB including Mathematics grade A. *For degrees marked with an asterisk this must include A-level Physics grade B or better.

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H2 in Mathematics

BSc Mathematics with Extended Studies in Europe

A-level: ABB including Mathematics grade A

    • For French option: A-level French grade B
    • For Spanish option: A-level Spanish grade B

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H2 in Mathematics

    • For French option: Higher Level grade H2 in French
    • For Spanish option: Higher Level grade H3 in Spanish

BSc Mathematics with Finance

A-level: A* (Mathematics) BB OR AAB including Mathematics grade A

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H2 in Mathematics

MSci options

A-level: AAA including Mathematics OR A* (Mathematics) AB. *For degrees marked with an asterisk this must include A-level Physics.

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H2 in Mathematics

Note: applicants for the the MSci degree will automatically be considered for admission to the BSc degree if they are not eligible for entry to the MSci degree both at initial offer making stage and when results are received. 

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please click on Your Country in the International Students website.

If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO at Queen's is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Engineering and Science.

For students whose first language is not English

An IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English

How To Apply

How to Apply

Applications for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.

When to Apply

UCAS will start processing applications for entry in Autumn 2017 from 1 September 2016.

The normal closing date for the receipt of applications is 15 January 2017.

For candidates applying to Oxford or Cambridge and for those whose choices include Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine/Science the closing date is 15 October 2015.

Currently there are two intakes to Adult Nursing (one in September and the other in February).Those applying for entry in February 2016 should apply prior to 15 January 2015.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

Earlier applicants normally receive decisions more quickly, however, UCAS accepts that some applicants, especially those from outside the UK, may find this difficult. Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.

Take care to enter the details of the institutions and courses clearly and correctly on the application. For Queen's, the institution code name is QBELF and the institution code is Q75. These should be entered in the Choices section of your UCAS application. Please note a Campus Code is not required. For further information on applying to study at Queen’s, please click here.

Course Content (including module information)

The mathematics programmes at Queen’s offer students the opportunity to tailor their studies to their mathematical interests. We offer a range of modules across the main areas of mathematics: pure mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics and operational research. Pure Mathematics provides the essential tools used in the increasingly numerate science of today, and is continually developing new ones to solve problems at the forefront of research in many disciplines. Applied Mathematics is concerned with the application of Mathematics to the study of the physical universe, including theoretical physics, as well as the social, industrial and commercial world. Statistics is concerned with deriving sound inferences from data.This may be experimental or observational and obtained from investigations of physical or biological phenomena or from the study of the workings of industry, commerce and society. In all areas, computers are used to obtain accurate numerical solutions to the mathematical problems involved.

The first year, and a sizable fraction of the second year, of the studies is devoted to core mathematics knowledge. During the second, third and (for MSci, students) fourth year, students can choose from a wide range of optional modules. BSc students will carry out an investigation in their third year to gain insight into the practical application of mathematics within a particular context. MSci students will carry out an extended investigation in their fourth year to gain experience of mathematics at the forefront of research.

Level 1

In the first year of study, most Mathematics students choose to take the six modules on offer within Mathematics:

  • Introduction to Calculus and Analysis
  • Introduction to Statistics and Operational Research Mathematical Modelling
  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Methods of Statistics and Operation Research

Students on joint pathways (Physics/Computer Science/Finance) will combine a specific selection of these modules with modules taken from the respective department.

The modules at Level 1 lay the foundation for the future study of mathematics, and, through the Mathematical Modelling and Reasoning modules, and the SOR methods module, will also provide insight into how mathematical methods and mathematical thinking relate to real problems.

Level 2

Level 2 completes the mathematical foundations with three core modules for most mathematics students:

  • Linear Algebra and Complex Analysis
  • Introduction to Partial Differential Equations
  • Analysis

 Students can take three optional modules from the following list to start the personalisation of their mathematics study:

  • Classical Mechanics
  • Elementary Number Theory
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Graph Theory
  • Group Theory
  • Linear Models
  • Methods of Operational Research
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Statistical Inference

Students on joint pathways will take at least two modules outside Mathematics, and the Analysis module does not form part of the core.

Level 3

At this level, the BSc and MSci, pathways separate. BSc students take a project module and at least one other module that assists with the development of skills relevant to their chosen programme. For mathematics students, this module is Computer Algebra. MSci, students take on an investigations module, which develops the research skills needed for the extended Level 4 investigation. In addition, students have the opportunity to develop their understanding of a wide range of mathematical topics, ranging from data mining and financial mathematics to quantum mechanics and algebraic equations.

Module topics include:

  • Algebraic Equations
  • Calculus of Variations and Hamiltonian Mechanics
  • Computer Algebra
  • Electromagnetic Theory
  • Elementary Number Theory
  • Financial Mathematics
  • Graph Theory
  • Investigations
  • Linear and Dynamic Programming
  • Mathematical Investigations
  • Mathematical Modeling in Biology and Medicine
  • Metric and Normed Spaces
  • Partial Differential Equations
  • Quantum Theory
  • Ring Theory
  • Set Theory
  • Statistical Data Mining
  • Stochastic Processess
  • Tensor Field Theory

Student on the joint programmes with Physics and Computer Science will take a selection of modules from both Mathematics and the joint programme. Mathematics with Finance students will take a selection of modules of relevance to finance, from the list above.

Level 4

The Level 4 modules open to MSci. students offer students the opportunity to study a selection of topics in greater depth than is possible in the BSc programme. The centrepiece of the fourth-year is the double-weighted investigations module, in which a student has the opportunity to study an aspect of mathematics close to the frontier of knowledge. The main choice of modules includes:

  • Advanced Mathematical Methods
  • Advanced Quantum Theory
  • Agebraic Equations
  • Algebraic Topology
  • Applied Mathematics Project
  • Functional Analysis
  • Information Theory
  • Integration Theory
  • Mathematical Methods for Quantum Information
  • Practical Methods for Partial Differential Equations Processing
  • Pure Mathematics Project
  • Rings and Modules
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Survival Analysis
  • Topology

Fees & Scholarships

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union. Higher education funding arrangements mean that students can study now and pay later.

Further details can be found on our fees and funding section.

Queen's works to ensure that all those who can benefit from a university education have the chance to do so, and a generous system of financial support is in place to help them. Each year Queen’s offer a range of scholarships and prize for new students. The most up to date listings are available here.

For international students, information on tuition fees, can be found here. Information on scholarships for international students, can be found here.

Learning and Teaching

At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.

On the MSci in Mathematics and Statistics & Operational Research we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.   Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:

  • Lectures: introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading.  Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
  • Tutorials:  Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students).  These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. 
  • Self-directed study:  This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
  • Supervised projects:  In final year, students will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology that they have chosen.  Students will receive support from a supervisor who will guide them in terms of how to carry out research and who will provide feedback on at least 2 occasions during the write up stage.
  • Personal Tutor:  Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during Level 1 and 2 who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.

 

Career Prospects

Studying for a Mathematics and Statistics & Operational Research degree at Queen’s will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions.  Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including mathematics. 

Although the many of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in teaching, banking and finance, significant numbers develop careers in a wide range of other sectors.  The following is a list of the major career sectors that have attracted our graduates in recent years:

  • Management Consultancy
  • Export Marketing (NI Programme)
  • Fast Stream Civil Service 
  • Varied graduate programmes (Times Top 100 Graduate Recruiters/AGR, Association of Graduate Recruiters UK)

Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers.  Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plusinitiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer.  See Queen’s University Belfast’s Employability Statementfor further information.

Degree Plus and other related initiatives:  Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s.  Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports. 

Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students).  Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts.  As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.

Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies.  These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.

Assessment & Feedback

Assessment (general):  The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module.  Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.  Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.  Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.

Feedback (general):  As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers.  University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:

 

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that students, as individuals or as part of a group, have submitted. 
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when students make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which students can review in their own time. 
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.

 

Once students have reviewed their feedback, they are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work. 

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