Department of Mathematical Sciences

Undergraduate studies

student writing on whiteboard

Inspiring. Rewarding. Inclusive.

Mathematics solves problems in our world multiple times a day.

From the weather forecast for the weekend, to the takeaway order app on your phone, the route the driver takes to get to you, and the cybersecurity for your online payment. Mathematics is a constant feature of our daily lives. It can inform government policy, assist in medical research, and find solutions to logistics problems at our ports.

It’s no wonder then that mathematicians are in high demand in sectors across the world. By gaining a degree in mathematical sciences, you will be setting yourself up for a future with a range of exciting employment opportunities. Our graduates have gone on to take up roles in public sector organisations, financial institutions, and private companies across the world.

In our department we are passionate about the transformational education experience that Essex offers. From our specialist employability modules, through to our open-door policy, and our research in to mathematics education, supporting our students is at the heart of what we do.

Whether you’re interested in mathematics, actuarial science, or data analytics, we are committed to helping you gain all the skills and experience you will need for a successful future.

Explore our Undergraduate courses
Why choose us?
  • 88% of our maths graduates are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2022)
  • Top 30 in UK for overall student satisfaction for Mathematics (National Student Survey 2022)
  • We offer Integrated Masters degrees, which allow you to move straight into a PGT course without reapplying after your final Undergraduate year.
"I did my Capstone project on the teaching of Mathematics and mindset theory and that has really helped me to optimise my problem-solving process by taking a more metacognitive approach, this will really aid me when overcoming challenges in development. I’ve definitely gained more confidence in my numerical abilities, and I am very thankful that my degree introduced me to different programming languages as I think it would be rather difficult to have gotten myself started on them and teaching myself them."
Leyla Yaltiligil BSc Mathematics 2020

What can we do for you?

Study your interests

In your first year we give you a solid grounding in pure and applied mathematics and statistics. This gives you a broad scope of experience that you can build on in your second and third years. If you find you have an interest in one area then you can choose to specialise in that, particularly if you have already have a career path in mind.

But if you aren’t sure what your future holds then our range of modules means that you can develop wide-ranging experience in several aspects of mathematics. Not only will this give you flexibility in the future, but you may also discover a new area that you find particularly interesting and want to focus on as your studies progress.

Skills for your future

At Essex we understand that your undergraduate years are an investment in your future. By undertaking your degree in our department you will develop the specialist skills for a mathematician, which are in demand in a wide range of sectors across the world.

We will equip you with the core skills needed by any mathematician or data scientist, including problem solving, analysis of large datasets, mathematical modelling, and understanding mathematical results and converting them in to a format that is understandable to a wider audience. Depending on your degree you may also have opportunities to use specialist software, such as Matlab, Maple, and R.

But we don’t just focus on these areas. Our courses are designed to equip you with the “soft skills” that are in demand in all lines of employment. Written and oral communication skills, team working, prioritising tasks and deadlines, these are all essential for employment in the 21st century.

In your final year you will showcase these skills in your Capstone project. With help from your chosen supervisor you will develop a project title and carry out research around it, presenting your results in a final written report. Every year our students come up with a broad range of exciting and occasionally unexpected areas to look at, and our staff are happy to help you come up with a title that you will find challenging and interesting.

To help you identify your professional development you will undertake the module Mathematics Careers and Employability. During this module you will work with your academic tutor to identify your future career path, and develop a personal portfolio of the skills you have developed, the opportunities for work and volunteering that you have taken on. This will help you create your CV and complete job applications, and give you plenty of examples to refer to in job interviews.

When you leave us we will have set you up with a toolbox of skills and experience that will serve you well, whatever your future endeavours.

Placement year

Many of our undergraduate degrees can include a placement year between your second and final year.

A placement year involves you working for an organisation for a year. This gives you an opportunity to get experience in the workplace, gain useful contacts for your future, and put what you’ve learned in the classroom to the test.

With help from our academics and the University’s Student Development team you will identify and apply for opportunities during your second year. Part of our module Mathematics Careers and Employability includes identifying your future career path, and we can advise you on the best placement opportunities that will help you move towards this goal.

Even if you aren’t sure what future job you would like, there are many organisations across the UK who need skilled mathematicians in their workforce. A placement year can help you make decisions about your future, and give you valuable work experience that will help you stand out in the job market.

Choosing to apply for a degree with a placement year doesn’t mean you have to do a placement. If you change your mind then we can swap you on to a standard three year degree.


Mathematicians are in demand across all sectors. As our world increasingly depends on technology and data, so demand for people who understand the mathematical underpinnings of these areas has grown.

Our graduates have found employment in a broad range of areas:

  • Public sector, including roles with central government departments such as the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and Highways England, and with local authorities such as Hampshire County Council. Graduates have also moved in to education as mathematics teachers in secondary schools across the country.
  • Private sector, including KPMG, British Arab Commercial Bank, and accountancy group Johal & Company.
  • Alternative routes, such as starting a business or following an academic path by undertaking a research degree.

Some of our graduates return to us several years after finishing their BSc when they choose to undertake a Masters degree. An MSc in a relevant area of mathematics can help with promotion prospects or a career change, and our part-time options mean you can balance studying with your other life commitments. And if you are one of our graduates then you can benefit from our alumni discount.

Going in to teaching

The demand for mathematicians around the globe has led to an increased need for mathematics teachers, who can give children the early education they need to be able to undertake maths at a higher level.

In the UK a shortage of skilled mathematics teachers has led to the government providing funding for those who take up mathematics teacher training after completing their undergraduate degrees. This can include bursaries while you are in training, or financial bonuses once you take up a teaching role.

Read more about careers for our graduates

Expert staff

Our academics are experts in a broad range of areas in mathematics and data science.

But our staff don’t just study mathematics on it’s own. We have collaborations with academics in departments across the university, with particularly close links with the Department of Psychology, the Department of Economics, and the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering. Through these connections, we have created several collaborative degrees where you take modules led by academics in other departments, such as our BSc Mathematics with Computing, and our BSc Finance and Mathematics.

Our expertise goes beyond our department. We host a regular research seminar series, where we invite guest experts from other institutions to present their latest projects. We encourage our undergraduates to attend these seminars, as they can help broaden your research horizons and give you an insight in to the wider research community.

Research-led teaching

Our teaching staff also carry out research in their specialist areas. This means that what you learn in the classroom is the latest theories, tried and tested by our staff through their research.

This also extends to the way we teach. Part of our research covers mathematics education, with a focus on improving the way teachers and students engage with mathematical problems, and how to support students who experience anxiety around the subject. This feeds in to our own best practice for how we teach you, so you benefit from our expertise in this area.

Building your confidence

Some students want to take mathematics at degree level, but are concerned that they may struggle studying it at a higher level. This can be especially true for those who have lacked support during their A-Levels.

Our first year modules are designed to help identify any gaps in your knowledge early on, so we can tailor support to your needs and help bring you up to speed. This may include small tuition groups, where two or three students will meet an academic to work through a particular problem.

We have also ensured that our first year modules are led by staff members who have experience of teaching students at A-Level, or who carry out research in to mathematics education. This will help bridge the gap between your secondary education and university experience.

The University Student Development team frequently run a range of support sessions for aspects of mathematics, such as using statistics. These sessions are open to all students across the university, and students from our department are welcome to take part.

Integrated Masters degrees

We offer Integrated Masters degrees in Mathematics, Actuarial Science and Data Science, and Mathematics and Data Science.

An Integrated Masters degree is an ideal option if you are already considering postgraduate study after completing your undergraduate degree, for example if you know that it will give you a head start in a particular career.

You will still have the same undergraduate teaching as students doing a standard BSc, and will still have the same experiences as other MSc students. By undertaking an Integrated Masters, you will simply move straight in to a postgraduate taught degree after your final year as an undergraduate, without applying separately to stay in the department.

Part of our community

Mathematicians have travelled from across the world to join our department. We might have different backgrounds and different life experiences, and some of us didn’t even do mathematics for our own undergraduate degree! But we are all united by our passion and interest in mathematics and data science, and their applications.

Our department has been built to foster collaboration and interaction between staff and students. Our home in the University’s STEM Centre has a central workspace with computers, and an open meeting area with sofas. Our academic offices are built around this central space, so if you come across a problem while studying you can ask someone for help.

To assist with this many of our academics have an “open door” policy. This means that rather than try to secure a time-limited appointment to see your tutor or lecturer, you can just pop by and see if they’re in. That doesn’t mean you can’t arrange a time to meet one of your lecturers – it’s just a quicker and easier way for you to speak to someone when you need help.

But your time at Essex is more than formulas and numbers. The Students’ Union has an active and engaged student community, with over thirty cultural societies and a broad range of arts and activities societies, including the Origami Society, Essex Entrepreneurs, and the Photography Society.

Additionally our department arranges social events for our students throughout the year. While more of these events may need to be carried out online in the future, we are determined to keep them going so we can bring our community together, even when we are apart.

I assisted with regular tasks while developing my own project from scratch – a set of reporting tools that would manipulate large databases. This has improved my project and time management skills, along with my proficiency in VBA for Excel, ResQ and SAS – which are the core Actuarial Reserving software packages.
Stefan Stoican Summer placement at AXA