100% of our research impact rated outstanding (REF2021)

Our Mathematics (Placement Year) degree offers you the chance to apply the knowledge you’ve gained from our comprehensive range of modules in your first two years whilst working full-time in industries from the public and private sectors.

Mathematics forms the foundations of all science and technology and as such is an extensive and rigorous discipline. Our programme reflects this and offers a comprehensive, detailed study through excellent teaching and development opportunities. Maths is difficult to concisely define, but at its core it is the study of change, patterns, quantities, structures and space. This engaging programme, and our reputation for excellence in research, means that you will receive high quality teaching delivered by academics who are leaders in their field. Throughout the three years, you will develop a range of discipline specific skills and gain specialist knowledge that will prepare you for your chosen career.

During your first year, you will build on your previous knowledge and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts. Modules cover a wide range of topics from calculus, probability and statistics to logic, proofs and theorems. As well as developing your technical knowledge and mathematical skills, you will also enhance your data analysis, problem-solving and quantitative reasoning skills.

In the second year, you will further develop your knowledge in analysis, algebra, probability and statistics. You will also be introduced to Computational Mathematics, exploring the theory and application of computation and numerical problem-solving methods. While studying these topics, you will complete our Project Skills module, which provides you with the chance to enhance your research and employment skills through an individual and group project. Additionally, you will gain experience of scientific writing, and you will practise using statistical software such as R and LaTeX.

To prepare you for your work placement year, our Careers and Placements Team will provide advice and guidance on: the skills required to create effective CVs, cover letters and applications; tips and techniques on how to make an impact at interviews and assessment centres; how to create a relevant digital profile; and how to research employers and career sectors of interest. In addition, there is great emphasis placed upon developing self-awareness and on how to present yourself in a professional manner to employers. This optional provision will be delivered via a blend of traditional and digital methods including face-to-face workshops, online webinars, e-courses and 1:1 appointments.

In third year you will undertake a 12 month placement which will allow you to apply the knowledge and skills that you’ve learnt in Years 1 and 2, and to gain invaluable experience which will make you highly employable when you graduate. As well as your paid employment, you will submit monthly learning logs reflecting on your experience.

The University will use all reasonable effort to support you to find a suitable placement for your studies. While a placement role may not be available in a field or organisation that is directly related to your academic studies or career aspirations, all placement roles offer valuable experience of working at a graduate level and gaining a range of professional skills. If you are unsuccessful in securing a suitable placement for your third year, you will be able to transfer to the equivalent non-placement degree scheme and continue with your studies at Lancaster, finishing your degree after your third year.

Returning to Lancaster, your final year offers a wide range of specialist optional modules, allowing you to develop and drive the programme to suit your interests and guide you to a specific career pathway. You will have the chance to apply the skills and knowledge you have gained in the first two years in advanced mathematical modules such as Combinatorics, Number Theory, Hilbert Space and Metric Spaces. Looking back at your placement year, you will also complete a portfolio of work-based learning reflections such as the skills you’ve developed and the experiences you’ve had, and how this has impacted upon your future aspirations.

Discover what studying Mathematics at Lancaster is like from our students and academics.

An experience for Florence

For my placement year, I moved down to Cardiff to work as a Statistician with the Welsh Government. Whilst here, I have been working as part of two different teams – the Health and Social Services team and the Post-16 Education team. Currently, we are producing official statistics with both teams, the results of which have been published publicly.

I have loved being able to put my degree to practical use. When studying maths, it is often difficult to see how what you are learning could be used outside mathematical research. However, during my placement I have used the coding skills I learnt over my first and second years on datasets to create content for statistical publications as well as statistical tests and theory to ensure I am producing accurate statistics. My placement has also helped me within my degree by giving me insight into what modules I would like to pick for my future years, as well as developing my organisational skills – something which will be very useful when I return to Lancaster!

I believe the experience that I have gained over this year will be invaluable when it comes to applying for graduate roles after university. It has helped narrow down what I might want to do after university, as statistics is an area I am really interested in! The work, as well as networking with others already in the workforce, has opened me up to so many different job possibilities that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

Successful graduates who have completed the required Part II statistics modules are eligible to apply to the Royal Statistical Society for accreditation.

The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications is a chartered professional body for mathematicians in the UK. Accreditation means that our degrees demonstrate both a high level of competency and professionalism in the area of mathematics.

Mathematics is fundamental to the way our modern world works and is an essential tool to solving many of the challenges we face on a day-to-day basis. The problem-solving and analytical thinking skills you’ll gain from a degree in mathematics will be applicable in almost every industry and sector, making you a highly in-demand employee. From business and finance to technology, IT and health, there are a wealth of opportunities open to graduates of mathematics. Many are grounded within mathematical principles (including data analysis and programming), but there are also less traditionally mathematical roles that rely on skills gained during your undergraduate degree, such as positions within higher management, engineering, and teaching. Our graduates are well-paid too, with the median starting salary of graduates from our Mathematics degrees being £28,250 (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2023).

Here are just some of the roles that our BSc and MSci Mathematics and Mathematics with Statistics students have progressed into upon graduating:

Actuarial Analyst – Just Group Plc

Analytics Engineer – Thread

Statistical Officer - HMRC

Data Analyst – William Hill

Finance Modelling Analyst – KPMG

Trial Statistician – Liverpool Clinical Trials

Lead Data Analyst – NFU Mutual

Programmer – Quanticate

Statistical Officer – Department for Education

Statistician – AstraZeneca

Technology Associate – Goldman Sachs

Consultant - Deloitte

Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, you also graduate with the relevant life and work based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award which offers you the opportunity to complete key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.

Skills for your future

A degree in mathematics will provide you with both a specialist and transferable skill set sought after by employers across a wide range of sectors.

Our alumni stories

Listen to our Mathematical Sciences alumni as they tell us how studying at Lancaster helped to prepare them for their future careers within mathematics.

Entry requirements

Grade Requirements

A Level AAA including A level Mathematics or Further Mathematics OR AAB including A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics

IELTS 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.

Other Qualifications

International Baccalaureate 36 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects including 6 in Mathematics HL (either analysis and approaches or applications and interpretations)

BTEC Accepted alongside A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics

We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualification. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.

Delivered in partnership with INTO Lancaster University, our one-year tailored foundation pathways are designed to improve your subject knowledge and English language skills to the level required by a range of Lancaster University degrees. Visit the INTO Lancaster University website for more details and a list of eligible degrees you can progress onto.

Contextual admissions

Contextual admissions could help you gain a place at university if you have faced additional challenges during your education which might have impacted your results. Visit our contextual admissions page to find out about how this works and whether you could be eligible.

Course structure

Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and some which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme to complement your main specialism.

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, and the University will make every reasonable effort to offer modules as advertised. In some cases changes may be necessary and may result in some combinations being unavailable, for example as a result of student feedback, timetabling, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.

Students are provided with an understanding of functions, limits, and series, and knowledge of the basic techniques of differentiation and integration. Examples of functions and their graphs are presented, as are techniques for building new functions from old. Then the notion of a limit is considered along with the main tools of calculus and Taylor Series. Students will also learn how to add, multiply and divide polynomials, and will learn about rational functions and their partial fractions.

The exponential function is defined by means of a power series which is subsequently extended to the complex exponential function of an imaginary variable, so that students understand the connection between analysis, trigonometry and geometry. The trigonometric and hyperbolic functions are introduced in parallel with analogous power series so that students understand the role of functional identities. Such functional identities are later used to simplify integrals and to parametrise geometrical curves.

This module provides a rigorous overview of real numbers, sequences and continuity. Covering bounds, monotonicity, subsequences, invertibility, and the intermediate value theorem, among other topics, students will become familiar with definitions, theorems and proofs.

Examining a range of examples, students will become accustomed to mathematical writing and will develop an understanding of mathematical notation. Through this module, students will also gain an appreciation of the importance of proof, generalisation and abstraction in the logical development of formal theories, and develop an ability to imagine and ‘see’ complicated mathematical objects.

In addition to learning and developing subject specific knowledge, students will enhance their ability to assimilate information from different presentations of material; learn to apply previously acquired knowledge to new situations; and develop their communication skills.

An introduction to the basic ideas and notations involved in describing sets and their functions will be given. This module helps students to formalise the idea of the size of a set and what it means to be finite, countably infinite or uncountably finite. For finite sets, it is said that one is bigger than another if it contains more elements. What about infinite sets? Are some infinite sets bigger than others? Students will develop the tools to answer these questions and other counting problems, such as those involving recurrence relations, e.g. the Fibonacci numbers.

The module will also consider the connections between objects, leading to the study of graphs and networks – collections of nodes joined by edges. There are many applications of this theory in designing or understanding properties of systems, such as the infrastructure powering the internet, social networks, the London Underground and the global ecosystem.

This course extends ideas of MATH101 from functions of a single real variable to functions of two real variables. The notions of differentiation and integration are extended from functions defined on a line to functions defined on the plane. Partial derivatives help us to understand surfaces, while repeated integrals enable us to calculate volumes.

In mathematical models, it is common to use functions of several variables. For example, the speed of an airliner can depend upon the air pressure and temperature, and the direction of the wind. To study functions of several variables, we introduce rates of change with respect to several quantities. We learn how to find maxima and minima. Applications include the method of least squares. Finally, we investigate various methods for solving differential equations of one variable.

The main focus of this module is vectors in two and three-dimensional space. Starting with the definition of vectors, students will discover some applications to finding equations of lines and planes, then they will consider some different ways of describing curves and surfaces via equations or parameters. Partial differentiation will be used to determine tangent lines and planes, and integration will be used to calculate the length of a curve.

In the second half of the course, the functions of several variables will be studied. When attempting to calculate an integral over one variable, one variable is often substituted for another more convenient one; here students will see the equivalent technique for a double integral, where they will have to substitute two variables simultaneously. They will also investigate some methods for finding maxima and minima of a function subject to certain conditions.

Finally, the module will explain how to calculate the areas of various surfaces and the volumes of various solids.

Introducing the theory of matrices together with some basic applications, students will learn essential techniques such as arithmetic rules, row operations and computation of determinants by expansion about a row or a column.

The second part of the module covers a notable range of applications of matrices, such as solving systems of simultaneous linear equations, linear transformations, characteristic eigenvectors and eigenvalues.

The student will learn how to express a linear transformation of the real Euclidean space using a matrix, from which they will be able to determine whether it is singular or not and obtain its characteristic equation and eigenspaces.

The student is introduced to logic and mathematical proofs, with emphasis placed more on proving general theorems than on performing calculations. This is because a result which can be applied to many different cases is clearly more powerful than a calculation that deals only with a single specific case.

The language and structure of mathematical proofs will be explained, highlighting how logic can be used to express mathematical arguments in a concise and rigorous manner. These ideas will then be applied to the study of number theory, establishing several fundamental results such as Bezout’s Theorem on highest common factors and the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic on prime factorisations.

The concept of congruence of integers is introduced to students and they study the idea that a highest common factor can be generalised from the integers to polynomials.

Probability theory is the study of chance phenomena, the concepts of which are fundamental to the study of statistics. This module will introduce students to some simple combinatorics, set theory and the axioms of probability.

Students will become aware of the different probability models used to characterise the outcomes of experiments that involve a chance or random component. The module covers ideas associated with the axioms of probability, conditional probability, independence, discrete random variables and their distributions, expectation and probability models.

Building on the Convergence and Continuity module, students will explore the familiar topics of integration, and series and differentiation, and develop them further. Taking a different approach, students will learn about the concept of integrability of continuous functions; improper integrals of continuous functions; the definition of differentiability for functions; and the algebra of differentiation.

Applying the skills and knowledge gained from this module, students will tackle questions such as: can you sum up infinitely many numbers and get a finite number? They will also enhance their knowledge and understanding of the fundamental theorem of calculus.

To enable students to achieve a solid understanding of the broad role that statistical thinking plays in addressing scientific problems, the module begins with a brief overview of statistics in science and society. It then moves on to the selection of appropriate probability models to describe systematic and random variations of discrete and continuous real data sets. Students will learn to implement statistical techniques and to draw clear and informative conclusions.

The module will be supported by the statistical software package ‘R’, which forms the basis of weekly lab sessions. Students will develop a strategic understanding of statistics and the use of associated software, which will underpin the skills needed for all subsequent statistical modules of the degree.

Core

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This module builds on the binary operations studies in previous modules, such as addition or multiplication of numbers and composition of functions. Here, students will select a small number of properties which these and other examples have in common, and use them to define a group.

They will also consider the elementary properties of groups. By looking at maps between groups which 'preserve structure', a way of formalizing (and extending) the natural concept of what it means for two groups to be 'the same' will be discovered.

Ring theory provides a framework for studying sets with two binary operations: addition and multiplication. This gives students a way to abstractly model various number systems, proving results that can be applied in many different situations, such as number theory and geometry. Familiar examples of rings include the integers, the integers modulation, the rational numbers, matrices and polynomials; several less familiar examples will also be explored.

Complex Analysis has its origins in differential calculus and the study of polynomial equations. In this module, students will consider the differential calculus of functions of a single complex variable and study power series and mappings by complex functions. They will use integral calculus of complex functions to find elegant and important results and will also use classical theorems to evaluate real integrals.

The first part of the module reviews complex numbers, and presents complex series and the complex derivative in a style similar to calculus. The module then introduces integrals along curves and develops complex function theory from Cauchy's Theorem for a triangle, which is proved by way of a bisection argument. These analytic ideas are used to prove the fundamental theorem of algebra, that every non-constant complex polynomial has a root. Finally, the theory is employed to evaluate some definite integrals.The module ends with basic discussion of harmonic functions, which play a significant role in physics.

Students will be provided with the foundational results and language of linear algebra, which they will be able to build upon in the second half of Year Two, and the more specialised Year Three modules. This module will give students the opportunity to study vector spaces, together with their structure-preserving maps and their relationship to matrices.

They will consider the effect of changing bases on the matrix representing one of these maps, and will examine how to choose bases so that this matrix is as simple as possible. Part of their study will also involve looking at the concepts of length and angle with regard to vector spaces.

Probability provides the theoretical basis for statistics and is of interest in its own right.

Basic concepts from the first year probability module will be revisited and extended to these to encompass continuous random variables, with students investigating several important continuous probability distributions. Commonly used distributions are introduced and key properties proved, and examples from a variety of applications will be used to illustrate theoretical ideas.

Students will then focus on transformations of random variables and groups of two or more random variables, leading to two theoretical results about the behaviour of averages of large numbers of random variables which have important practical consequences in statistics.

A thorough look will be taken at the limits of sequences and convergence of series during this module. Students will learn to extend the notion of a limit to functions, leading to the analysis of differentiation, including proper proofs of techniques learned at A-level.

Time will be spent studying the Intermediate Value Theorem and the Mean Value Theorem, and their many applications of widely differing kinds will be explored. The next topic is new: sequences and series of functions (rather than just numbers), which again has many applications and is central to more advanced analysis.

Next, the notion of integration will be put under the microscope. Once it is properly defined (via limits) students will learn how to get from this definition to the familiar technique of evaluating integrals by reverse differentiation. They will also explore some applications of integration that are quite different from the ones in A-level, such as estimations of discrete sums of series.

Further possible topics include Stirling's Formula, infinite products and Fourier series.

Statistics is the science of understanding patterns of population behaviour from data. In the module, this topic will be approached by specifying a statistical model for the data. Statistical models usually include a number of unknown parameters, which need to be estimated.

The focus will be on likelihood-based parameter estimation to demonstrate how statistical models can be used to draw conclusions from observations and experimental data, and linear regression techniques within the statistical modelling framework will also be considered.

Students will come to recognise the role, and limitations, of the linear model for understanding, exploring and making inferences concerning the relationships between variables and making predictions.

Optional

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In this module, students will develop their ability to solve complex mathematical problems using computers. They will learn basic programming techniques, functions and syntax within Python, good programming practice, as well as how to code simple algorithms. Within this module, students will undertake a large programming project in which they will explore a mathematical topic from a range of choices, such as cryptography, error-correcting codes, or finite group theory, allowing them to explore an area of computational mathematics that interests them. Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to write and debug functions and programs in Python, understand the benefits and limitations of using computers to solve mathematical problems, and produce a report that incorporates text, mathematics, and Python code.

In this module, students will develop their ability to solve complex mathematical problems using computers. They will learn basic programming techniques, functions and syntax within R, good programming practice, as well as how to code simple algorithms. Within this module, students will undertake a large programming project in which they will explore a mathematical modelling topic. The project itself will consolidate learning from the module, and will answer questions about real-world systems such as epidemics or gravitational bodies. Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to write and debug functions and programs in R, understand the benefits and limitations of using computers to solve mathematical problems, and produce a report that incorporates text, mathematics, and R code.

In this module, students will develop their ability to solve complex mathematical problems using computers. They will learn basic programming techniques, functions and syntax within R, good programming practice, as well as how to code simple algorithms. Within this module, students will undertake a large programming project in which they will explore a mathematical topic from a range of choices, such as Markov chains or Monte Carlo simulations, allowing them to explore an area of computational statistics that interests them. Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to write and debug functions and programs in R, understand the benefits and limitations of using computers to solve mathematical problems, and produce a report that incorporates text, mathematics, and R code.

In this module, students will learn the basics of producing a mathematical project, getting to grips with the fundamentals of scientific writing and working within a scientific environment. They will learn how to utilise LaTeX for presenting mathematical formulae, using it to create a report on a given mathematical topic. Students will also undertake a group presentation and deliver it to the class, as well as collaborating with peers (under the direction of a supervisor) to produce a report on an area within the discrete mathematics and computing strands of mathematics, such as Ramsey's theorem, the birth of computer science, and Game theory. Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to produce documents which accurately and effectively communicate scientific material, and be able to work independently under supervision and as part of a small group.

In this module, students will learn the basics of producing a mathematical project, getting to grips with the fundamentals of scientific writing and working within a scientific environment. They will learn how to utilise LaTeX for presenting mathematical formulae, using it to create a report on a given mathematical topic. Students will also undertake a group presentation and deliver it to the class, as well as collaborating with peers (under the direction of a supervisor) to produce a report on an area within the dynamics and analysis strands of mathematics, such as continued fractions, branching processes, and Kepler's laws. Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to produce documents which accurately and effectively communicate scientific material, and be able to work independently under supervision and as part of a small group.

In this module, students will learn the basics of producing a mathematical project, getting to grips with the fundamentals of scientific writing and working within a scientific environment. They will learn how to utilise LaTeX for presenting mathematical formulae, using it to create a report on a given mathematical topic. Students will also undertake a group presentation and deliver it to the class, as well as collaborating with peers (under the direction of a supervisor) to produce a report on an area within the geometry and algebra strands of mathematics, such as symmetry in music, error-correcting codes, and counting equivalent patterns. Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to produce documents which accurately and effectively communicate scientific material, and be able to work independently under supervision and as part of a small group.

In this module, students will learn the basics of producing a mathematical project, getting to grips with the fundamentals of scientific writing and working within a scientific environment. They will learn how to utilise LaTeX for presenting mathematical formulae, using it to create a report on a given mathematical topic. Students will also undertake a group presentation and deliver it to the class, as well as collaborating with peers (under the direction of a supervisor) to produce a report on an area within the modelling and probability strands of mathematics, such as Markov chains, beyond the Central Limit Theorem, and epidemic modelling. Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to produce documents which accurately and effectively communicate scientific material, and be able to work independently under supervision and as part of a small group.

Core

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You will spend this year working in a graduate-level placement role. This is an opportunity to gain experience in an industry or sector that you might be considering working in once you graduate.

Our Careers and Placements Team will support you during your placement with online contact and learning resources.

You will undertake a work-based learning module during your placement year which will enable you to reflect on the value of the placement experience and to consider what impact it has on your future career plans.

Optional

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Students will be given a solid foundation in the basics of algebraic geometry. They will explore how curves can be described by algebraic equations, and learn how to use abstract groups in dealing with geometrical objects (curves). The module will present applications and results of the theory of elliptic curves and provide a useful link between concepts from algebra and geometry.

Students will also gain an understanding of the notions and the main results pertaining to elliptic curves, and the way that algebra and geometry are linked via polynomial equations. Finally, they will learn to perform algebraic computations with elliptic curves.

Bayesian statistics provides a mechanism for making decisions in the presence of uncertainty. Using Bayes’ theorem, knowledge or rational beliefs are updated as fresh observations are collected. The purpose of the data collection exercise is expressed through a utility function, which is specific to the client or user. It defines what is to be gained or lost through taking particular actions in the current environment. Actions are continually made or not made depending on the expectation of this utility function at any point in time.

Bayesians admit probability as the sole measure of uncertainty. Thus Bayesian reasoning is based on a firm axiomatic system. In addition, since most people have an intuitive notion about probability, Bayesian analysis is readily communicated.

Much of contemporary statistics and AI assumes that data follows a fixed pattern for all time. However we know that change happens, and it is critically important that methods can detect and adapt to these changes. Efficient change-detection can either be a tool to recognise that something has changed in an underlying system (e.g. in medical or financial data collected through time) or an important component of a larger system that enables efficient model-fitting and prediction “in between” the changes. Lancaster University is a world-leading centre of excellence in developing methods to detect changes in data, with our methods deployed in domains such as retail, finance, medicine, space exploration, environmental science, cybersecurity and engineering.

This module introduces students to changepoint detection motivated by its applicability in a variety of different settings. Changepoints are sudden, and often unexpected shifts in the behaviour of a physical, biological, industrial or financial process. Students will understand the importance of identifying these shifts, and the module will cover the fundamental concepts within changepoint detection, the key approaches to At Most One Change (AMOC), and multiple changepoint identification. Students will explore key challenges around model selection concepts and techniques through a variety of models used in real-world applications, including changes in mean, variance, and regression. Successful completion of this module will see students be able to understand the importance of changepoint methodology, communicate technical ideas, critically evaluate approaches to solve problems, and make conclusions based on evidence in relation to a real-world problem.

Combinatorics is the core subject of discrete mathematics which refers to the study of mathematical structures that are discrete in nature rather than continuous (for example graphs, lattices, designs and codes). While combinatorics is a huge subject - with many important connections to other areas of modern mathematics - it is a very accessible one.

In this module, students will be introduced to the fundamental topics of combinatorial enumeration (sophisticated counting methods), graph theory (graphs, networks and algorithms) and combinatorial design theory (Latin squares and block designs). They will also explore important practical applications of the results and methods.

Students’ knowledge of commutative rings as gained from their second year of study in Rings and Linear Algebra will be built upon, and an introduction to the fourth year Galois Theory module will be provided.

They will be introduced to two new classes of integral domains called Euclidean domains, where they have a counterpart of the division algorithm, and unique factorisation domains, in which an analogue of the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic holds.

How well-known concepts from the integers such as the highest common factor, the Euclidean algorithm, and factorisation of polynomials, carry over to this new setting, will also be explored.

Questions relating to linear ordinary differential equations will be considered during this module. Differential equations arise throughout the applications of mathematics, and consequently the study of them has always been recognised as a fundamental branch of the subject. The module aims to give a systematic introduction to the topic, striking a balance between methods for finding solutions of particular types of equations, and theoretical results about the nature of solutions.

While explicit solutions can only be found for special types of equations, some of the ideas of real analysis allow us to answer questions about the existence and uniqueness of solutions to more general equations, as well as allowing us to study certain properties of these solutions.

This module introduces students to two classes of continuous-time, dynamic compartmental models that describe the time evolution of natural systems such as epidemics, biological reactions in a cell, and the interactions between populations of predators and prey in an environment: Markov jump processes (MJPs) and ordinary differential equations (ODEs).

Students will examine model formulation in numerous real-world scenarios, delve into some tractable and partially-tractable examples, and use numerical simulation as a general method for visualising and classifying behaviour. Students will also examine stationary distributions and large n limits in order to further their understanding of MJPs, and find and examine stationary points and their stability to get to grips with ODEs, allowing students to justify their use within a variety of real-world processes. Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to construct a mathematical model using real-world evidence.

The topic of smooth curves and surfaces in three-dimensional space is introduced. The various geometrical properties of these objects, such as length, area, torsion and curvature, will be explored and students will have the opportunity to discover the meaning of these quantities. They will then use a variety of examples to calculate these values, and will use those values to apply techniques from calculus and linear algebra.

A number of well-known concepts will be encountered, such as length and area, and some new ideas will be introduced, including the curvature and torsion of a curve, and the first and second fundamental forms of a surface. Students will learn how to compute these quantities for a variety of examples, and in doing so will develop their geometric intuition and understanding.

The study of graphs - mathematical objects used to model pairwise relations between objects - is a cornerstone of discrete mathematics. As a result, students will develop an appreciation for a range of discrete mathematical techniques while undertaking this module.

Throughout the module, students will also learn about structural notions, such as connectivity, and will explore trees, minor closed families of graphs, matrices related to graphs, the Tutte polynomial of small graphs, and planar graphs and analogues.

While studying these areas, students will gain experience of following and constructing mathematical proofs, and correctly and coherently using mathematical notation.

Students will develop the knowledge of groups that they gained in second year during the Groups and Rings module. ‘Direct products’, which are used to construct new groups, will be studied, while any finite group will be shown to ‘factor’ into ‘simple’ pieces.

Situations will be considered in which a group ‘acts’ on a set by permuting its elements; this powerful idea is used to identify the symmetries of the Platonic solids, and to help study the structure of groups themselves.

Finally, students will prove some interesting and important results, known as 'Sylow’s theorems', relating to subgroups of certain orders.

Students will examine the notion of a norm, which introduces a generalised notion of ‘distance’ to the purely algebraic setting of vector spaces. They will learn several quite natural ways to do this, both for vectors of any dimension and for functions. Focus will then be on the more special notion of an inner product which generalises angles at the same time as distances.

Once these concepts have been established, students will have the opportunity to study geometrical ideas like orthogonality, which can be seen to apply to much more general spaces than Euclidean spaces of three (or even n) dimensions, notably to infinite dimensional spaces of functions. For example, Hilbert space theory shows how Fourier series are really another case of expressing an element in terms of a basis, and how people can use orthogonality to find best approximations to a given function by functions of a prescribed type. Finally, students will look at some of the main results of linear algebra, which generalise very nicely to linear operators between Hilbert spaces.

Introducing the Lebesgue integral for functions on the real line, this module features a classical approach to the construction of Lebesgue measure on the line and to the definition of the integral. The bounded convergence theorem is used to prove the monotone and dominated convergence theorems, and the results are illustrated in classical convergence problems including Fourier integrals.

Among the range of topics addressed on this module, students will become familiar with Lebesgue's definition of the integral, and the integral of a step function. There will be an introduction to subsets of the real line, including open sets and countable sets. Students will measure of an open set, and will discover measurable sets and null sets. Additionally, the module will focus on integral functions, along with Lebesgue's integral of a bounded measurable function, his bounded convergence theorem and the integral of an unbounded function. Dominated convergence theorem; monotone convergence theorem.

Other topics on the module will include applications of the convergence theorems and Wallis's product for P. Gaussian integral, along with some classical limit inversion results and the Fourier cosine integral. Students will develop an understanding of Dirichlet's comb function, Archimedes' axiom and Cantor's uncountability theorem, and will learn to prove the structure theorem for open sets. In addition, students will be able to prove covering lemmas for open sets, as well as understanding the statement of Heine—Bore theorem, as well as understanding the concept and proving basic properties of outer measure. As well as understanding inner measure. Finally, students will be expected to prove Lebesgue's theorem on countable additivity of measure.

Statistical inference is the theory of the extraction of information about the unknown parameters of an underlying probability distribution from observed data. Consequently, statistical inference underpins all practical statistical applications.

This module reinforces the likelihood approach taken in second year Statistics for single parameter statistical models, and extends this to problems where the probability for the data depends on more than one unknown parameter.

Students will also consider the issue of model choice: in situations where there are multiple models under consideration for the same data, how do we make a justified choice of which model is the 'best'?

The approach taken in this course is just one approach to statistical inference: a contrasting approach is covered in the Bayesian Inference module.

The aim of this module is to provide third year students with more options of applicable topics which draw upon second year pure mathematics modules and provide opportunities for further study. The theory of linear systems is engineering mathematics.

In the mid nineteenth century, the engineer Watt used a governor to control the amount of steam going into an engine, so that the input of steam reduced when the engine was going too quickly, and the input increased when the engine was going too slowly. Maxwell then developed a theory of controllers for various mechanical devices, and identified properties such as stability. The crucial idea of a controller is that the output can be fed back into the system to adjust the input.

Many devices can be described by linear systems of differential and integral equations which can be reduced to a standard (A,B,C,D) model. These include electrical appliances, heating systems and economic processes. The module shows how to reduce certain linear systems of differential equations to systems of matrix equations and thus solve them. Linear algebra enables students to classify (A,B,C,D) models and describe their properties in terms of quantities which are relatively easy to compute.

The module then describes feedback control for linear systems. The main result describes all the linear controllers that stabilise a (A,B,C,D) system.

Cryptography is both a vital and thriving area of research, whose central aim is to provide robust methods of keeping sensitive data secure, validated and authenticated. This is clearly a highly impactful area, especially in an age where much of our sensitive data is being stored online. Without solid security protocols in place, hackers can freely access your data and use it for criminal gain (e.g. stealing money from your online banking, accessing/modifying your sensitive health data, selling your personal data on the cyber black market or using it to commit fraud).

This module provides an introduction to mathematical cryptography, introducing students to a range of methods of encryption, from the more classical forms (such as Caesar Shift, Vigenère and Enigma), to more contemporary methods of encrypting data (eg. RSA, El Gamal and Knapsack). During this module, students will consider the advantages, disadvantages, and efficiency of the different cryptographical approaches. They will also explore examples of potential attacks on these hard problems (e.g. Trial Division, Fermat’s method, Pollard rho, Dixon, Baby-step giant-step, Index calculus), and demonstrate attacks in situations where bad key generation or implementation has occurred.

The module will culminate in a brief introduction to Post-Quantum Cryptography, the theory of lattices, tough problems, and how these lead to schemes that are considered impenetrable to both classical and quantum computers. Successful completion of this module will see students be able to formulate real-world problems in mathematical formality, and recognise the applications of cryptography to other mathematical fields, such as Algebra and Number Theory.

This module is run as a partnership between the Lancaster University's School of Mathematical Sciences, the University of Cumbria and the Students’ Union’s volunteering unit.

Designed with employability in mind, this module is based on the Students’ Union’s Schools Partnership Scheme, which supports Lancaster students on 10-week placements in local primary and secondary schools.

Students will have the opportunity to take part in classroom observation and assistance, the development of classroom resources, the provision of one-on-one or small group support and possibly even teaching sections of lessons to the class as a whole.

Using the classical problem of data classification as a running example, this module covers mathematical representation and visualisation of multivariate data; dimensionality reduction; linear discriminant analysis; and Support Vector Machines. While studying these theoretical aspects, students will also gain experience of applying them using R.

An appreciation for multivariate statistical analysis will be developed during the module, as will an ability to represent and visualise high-dimensional data. Students will also gain the ability to evaluate larger statistical models, apply statistical computer packages to analyse large data sets, and extract and evaluate meaning from data.

This module formally introduces students to the discipline of financial mathematics, providing them with an understanding of some of the maths that is used in the financial and business sectors.

Students will begin to encounter financial terminology and will study both European and American option pricing. The module will cover these in relation to discrete and continuous financial models, which include binomial, finite market and Black-Scholes models.

Students will also explore mathematical topics, some of which may be familiar, specifically in relation to finance. These include:

Conditional expectation

Filtrations

Martingales

Stopping times

Brownian motion

Black-Scholes formula

Throughout the module, students will learn key financial maths skills, such as constructing binomial tree models; determining associated risk-neutral probability; performing calculations with the Black-Scholes formula; and proving various steps in the derivation of the Black-Scholes formula. They will also be able to describe basic concepts of investment strategy analysis, and perform price calculations for stocks with and without dividend payments.

In addition, to these subject specific skills and knowledge, students will gain an appreciation for how mathematics can be used to model the real-world; improve their written and oral communication skills; and develop their critical thinking.

The aim is to introduce students to the study designs and statistical methods commonly used in health investigations, such as measuring disease, causality and confounding.

Students will develop a firm understanding of the key analytical methods and procedures used in studies of disease aetiology, appreciate the effect of censoring in the statistical analyses, and use appropriate statistical techniques for time to event data.

They will look at both observational and experimental designs and consider various health outcomes, studying a number of published articles to gain an understanding of the problems they are investigating as well as the mathematical and statistical concepts underpinning inference.

An introduction to the key concepts and methods of metric space theory, a core topic for pure mathematics and its applications, is given during this module. Studying this module will give students a deeper understanding of continuity as well as a basic grounding in abstract topology. With this grounding, they will be able to solve problems involving topological ideas, such as continuity and compactness.

They will also gain a firm foundation for further study of many topics including geometry, Lie groups and Hilbert space, and learn to apply their knowledge to areas including probability theory, differential equations, mathematical quantum theory and the theory of fractals.

Number theory is the study of the fascinating properties of the natural number system.

Many numbers are special in some sense, eg. primes or squares. Which numbers can be expressed as the sum of two squares? What is special about the number 561? Are there short cuts to factorizing large numbers or determining whether they are prime (this is important in cryptography)? The number of divisors of an integer fluctuates wildly, but is there a good estimation of the ‘average’ number of divisors in some sense?

Questions like these are easy to ask, and to describe to the non-specialist, but vary hugely in the amount of work needed to answer them. An extreme example is Fermat’s last theorem, which is very simple to state, but was proved by Taylor and Wiles 300 years after it was first stated. To answer questions about the natural numbers, we sometimes use rational, real and complex numbers, as well as any ideas from algebra and analysis that help, including groups, integration, infinite series and even infinite products.

This module introduces some of the central ideas and problems of the subject, and some of the methods used to solve them, while constantly illustrating the results with exercises and examples involving actual numbers.

This module is ideal for students who want to develop an analytical and axiomatic approach to the theory of probabilities.

First the notion of a probability space will be examined through simple examples featuring both discrete and continuous sample spaces. Random variables and the expectation will be used to develop a probability calculus, which can be applied to achieve laws of large numbers for sums of independent random variables.

Students will also use the characteristic function to study the distributions of sums of independent variables, which have applications to random walks and to statistical physics.

Students will cover the basics of ordinary representation theory. Two approaches are presented: representations as group homomorphisms into matrix groups, and as modules over group algebras. The correspondence between the two will be discussed.

The second part is an introduction to the ordinary character theory of finite groups, intrinsic to representation theory. Students will learn the concepts of R-module and of group representations, the main results pertaining to group representations, and will handle basic applications in the study of finite groups.

They will also learn to perform computations with representations and morphisms in a selection of finite groups

The concept of generalised linear models (GLMs), which have a range of applications in the biomedical, natural and social sciences, and can be used to relate a response variable to one or more explanatory variables, will be explored. The response variable may be classified as quantitative (continuous or discrete, i.e. countable) or categorical (two categories, i.e. binary, or more than categories, i.e. ordinal or nominal).

Students will come to understand the effect of censoring in the statistical analyses and will use appropriate statistical techniques for lifetime data. They will also become familiar with the programme R, which they will have the opportunity to use in weekly workshops.

Important examples of stochastic processes, and how these processes can be analysed, will be the focus of this module.

As an introduction to stochastic processes, students will look at the random walk process. Historically this is an important process, and was initially motivated as a model for how the wealth of a gambler varies over time (initial analyses focused on whether there are betting strategies for a gambler that would ensure they won).

The focus will then be on the most important class of stochastic processes, Markov processes (of which the random walk is a simple example). Students will discover how to analyse Markov processes, and how they are used to model queues and populations.

Modern statistics is characterised by computer-intensive methods for data analysis and development of new theory for their justification. In this module students will become familiar with topics from classical statistics as well as some from emerging areas.

Time series data will be explored through a wide variety of sequences of observations arising in environmental, economic, engineering and scientific contexts. Time series and volatility modelling will also be studied, and the techniques for the analysis of such data will be discussed, with emphasis on financial application.

Another area the module will focus on is some of the techniques developed for the analysis of multivariates, such as principal components analysis and cluster analysis.

Lastly,students will spend time looking at Change-Point Methods, which include traditional as well as some recently developed techniques for the detection of change in trend and variance.

Fees and funding

We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2025/26
entry fees have not yet been set.

There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.

Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.

College fees

Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small college membership fee which supports the running of college events and activities. Students on some distance-learning courses are not liable to pay a college fee.

For students starting in 2024, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2025 have not yet been set.

Computer equipment and internet access

To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated IT support helpdesk is available in the event of any problems.

The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.

Study abroad courses

In addition to travel and accommodation costs, while you are studying abroad, you will need to have a passport and, depending on the country, there may be other costs such as travel documents (e.g. VISA or work permit) and any tests and vaccines that are required at the time of travel. Some countries may require proof of funds.

Placement and industry year courses

In addition to possible commuting costs during your placement, you may need to buy clothing that is suitable for your workplace and you may have accommodation costs. Depending on the employer and your job, you may have other costs such as copies of personal documents required by your employer for example.

The fee that you pay will depend on whether you are considered to be a home or international student. Read more about how we assign your fee status.

Home fees are subject to annual review, and may be liable to rise each year in line with UK government policy. International fees (including EU) are reviewed annually and are not fixed for the duration of your studies. Read more about fees in subsequent years.

We will charge tuition fees to Home undergraduate students on full-year study abroad/work placements in line with the maximum amounts permitted by the Department for Education. The current maximum levels are:

Students studying abroad for a year: 15% of the standard tuition fee

Students taking a work placement for a year: 20% of the standard tuition fee

International students on full-year study abroad/work placements will be charged the same percentages as the standard International fee.

Please note that the maximum levels chargeable in future years may be subject to changes in Government policy.

Scholarships and bursaries

Details of our scholarships and bursaries for students starting in 2025 are not yet available. You can use our scholarships for 2024-entry applicants as guidance.

A place for Cerys

Lancaster has been the perfect place for me. The campus feels like its own little world and the sense of community has been a really key part of my experience at Lancaster. You can find your place in colleges, liberation forums, and societies – there really is somewhere for everyone.

The way that the Mathematics course is structured at Lancaster means that by the end of first year every student is caught up to the same level so you don’t have to worry about being behind if you studied different qualifications at school. Then second year builds on that foundation to give a breadth of teaching across pure maths, statistics, and mathematical methods so that you can study what interests you in third year knowing that you have a strong basis to work from.

I decided to do a placement year, and I spent 14 months working for NHS England as a data analyst in the performance analysis team. I had the opportunity to work on official statistics that were discussed on the news and used by Number 10, the CEO of the NHS, and the general public. I was able to use the coding skills I learned in my degree to improve processes within my team which significantly increased efficiency and reduced errors.

I absolutely loved working in a sector that I feel passionately about and now know that data is the career I want to work in after I graduate. My placement experience helped me choose third-year modules that will be relevant to the graduate jobs I plan to apply for and the assessments I did during my placement year have helped me reflect on what sort of jobs I want to apply for.

We ensure that our students receive the support that they need in order to achieve their full academic potential. We are a friendly department and foster a highly supportive learning environment.

You will be assigned a tutor, meeting in the first week of the first term and once per term after that. Your tutor is available for on-demand, one-to-one consultation, and to discuss personal development. This includes assistance with module choices, monitoring of progress, support with career aspirations and provision of references, as well as providing information regarding other services available throughout the University.

We look at the representation of different genders, minorities and identities and look to encourage diversity within the department and the University. Students can become involved in helping us to identify issues.

Maths Café

We hold a Maths Café event every Monday in Fylde Common Room from 11:00 – 13:00. These are hosted by students in their third and fourth year, and provide help and support to undergraduate students in all years. The Maths Café is organised by the Maths and Stats Society.

Student Learning Advisor

The Faculty of Science and Technology's Student Learning Advisor offers free consultations to help you improve your scientific writing and help your coursework to achieve its full potential.

The information on this site relates primarily to 2025/2026 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.

The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.

More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.

Our Students’ Charter

We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.

Undergraduate open days 2024

Our summer and autumn open days will give you Lancaster University in a day. Visit campus and put yourself in the picture.

Our historic city is student-friendly and home to a diverse and welcoming community. Beyond the city you'll find a stunning coastline and the picturesque Lake District.