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Study information

Mathematical Sciences (2023)

1. Programme Title:

Mathematical Sciences

NQF Level:


2. Description of the Programme (as in the Business Approval Form)

The modern application of mathematics operates at the interface of multiple disciplines, and integrates data analysis, computer science, and statistics. The explosion of ‘big data’, in sectors including on-line consumer behaviour, genome sequencing, eHealth, and smart energy systems, necessitates an urgent need for mathematicians who can handle complex datasets, communicate effectively, and fully understand the techniques, pitfalls, and potential of advanced mathematical methods. BSc Mathematical Sciences combines traditional mathematics subjects with advanced courses in statistics, programming, and data science. This will prepare you for the array of numerate and analytical professions that are found at the core of both modern research and the digital economy. There is an outward facing approach to mathematics with options available in business, ecology, engineering, environmental science, politics and social science. On completion of the programme, you will have a deep understanding of the techniques and methods of modern mathematical sciences, and a clear insight into the industrial and scientific areas in which they are applied. Delivered at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus and drawing on the close links between disciplines, this programme will foster communication with a number of key scientific and societal challenges. Building on rigorous mathematical and statistical training, innovative teaching and learning is organised around a theme of data science modules. Interdisciplinary Mathematics modules in years 1 and 2 use class-room based “mathematical investigations” to address questions and issues in environmental science, ecology and clean energy. Interdisciplinary Mathematics in Year 1 includes professional skills and a short work placement. A work placement module in year 3 allows you to continue development of key employability skills. The programme is not meant to compete with high-intake mathematics programmes. Instead a modest intake of 40-50 per year across the suite of Mathematical Sciences programmes will foster a strong, positive, and personalised identity for your cohort, and allow you to flourish.


3. Educational Aims of the Programme

The programme has three key intentions: (1) to provide you with rigorous training in the mathematical sciences; (2) to immerse you in key past and current scientific discoveries and technological developments within a context of ecology, environmental science, health and clean technology; and (3) to provide you with a wide range of learning opportunities relevant to commerce, industry and society, facilitated through a comprehensive tutorial support system, that will give you a distinctive advantage in employability. Rigorous training in mathematics is provided by a core of mathematics and statistics modules in years 1 and 2 and advanced options in year 3. This rigorous training will build up your analytical skills in calculus, matrix algebra and statistics, together with advanced computer programming skills, leading on to modern mathematical and computational modelling. The development of your mathematical skills is dovetailed with modules in Data Science – Scientific Computing 1 & 2, Data Signals and Systems, and Data Analytics & Machine Learning - which together form a spine for the programme across the three years of study, as well as two Interdisciplinary Mathematics modules that embrace the programme’s ethos of learning and using mathematics. The data science modules showcase the modern application of mathematics and statistics in an emerging and increasingly important discipline. The expert-led Interdisciplinary Mathematics modules develop mathematical and interdisciplinary approaches to, and understanding of, key applications areas in ecology, engineering and environmental science. Employability skills are developed within the Interdisciplinary Mathematics and Work Placement modules. Project work, with possible dual supervision between mathematics and applications, links the development of rigorous mathematics with the needs of end-users from across many scientific disciplines, business and the public sector. Optional modules from ecology, renewable energy, policy, business and social science will give you the opportunity to apply mathematical skills to a diverse range of key scientific and technological challenges. The mix of rigorous training in mathematics, an understanding of the “big data revolution”, extensive engagement with a diverse range of end-users and stakeholders, study of options across various areas of applications and development of a personal portfolio through interaction with tutors will ensure that you have maximal opportunity to develop and enhance your employability.

4. Programme Structure

The BSc (Hons) Mathematical Sciences programme is a 3 year programme of study at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 6 (as confirmed against the FHEQ). This programme is divided into 3 ‘Stages’. Each Stage is normally equivalent to an academic year. The programme is also divided into units of study called ‘modules’ which are assigned a number of ‘credits’. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work.

You will be located at the Penryn (Cornwall) Campus of the University of Exeter for the duration of your study.

After stage 2 assessments are completed and before stage 3 starts, you will undertake a work placement. The aim of the work placement is for you to gain exposure of, and experience in, applying mathematical sciences skills to real world problems. To comply with the assessment requirements of the 15 credit work placement module the placement should be of a duration of 4-6 weeks. You are primarily responsible for securing and organising the placement, with assistance from the College. Whilst a work placement may involve working with a local or national company, an equally valid work placement could be to work in a research group on the Penryn Campus outside of mathematical sciences. A report on the work placement is prepared, submitted and assessed as part of the Stage 3 curriculum.


5. Programme Modules

Stage 1

Code Title Credits Compulsory NonCondonable
ECM1901Calculus and Geometry15YesYes
ECM1902Vectors and Matrices15YesYes
ECM1905Advanced Calculus15YesYes
ECM1909Probability and Statistics15YesYes
ECM1913Fundamentals of Interdisciplinary Mathematics with Professional Skills15YesNo
ECM1914Scientific Computing 115YesYes
ECM1916Puzzles, Paradoxes and Paradigms15YesNo

Stage 2

Code Title Credits Compulsory NonCondonable
ECM2912Advanced Interdisciplinary Mathematics 15YesNo
Select 45 or 60 credits (core Mathematics):
ECM2902Linear Algebra15NoNo
ECM2903Differential Equations15NoNo
ECM2907Statistical Modelling15NoNo
ECM2908Vector Calculus and Applications15NoNo
Select 15 to 45 credits (elective modules from Mathematics):
ECM2906Data, Signals and Systems15NoNo
ECM2913Scientific Computing 215NoNo
MTH2008Real Analysis15NoNo
MTH2009Complex Analysis15NoNo
Select 15 to 45 credits to immerse quantitative skills in applied contexts (elective modules from Science, Engineering and Business):
BEP2010Sustainable Enterprise Economy15NoNo
BEP2020Project Management15NoNo
BIO2407Population and Community Ecology15NoNo
BIO2414Evolutionary Ecology15NoNo
GEO2428BAtmosphere And Ocean Systems15NoNo
ENE2001Energy Management15NoNo
ENE2003Electrical Energy Conversion and Transport15NoNo
XXXXXXXElective Option(s) within Ecology, Environmental Science, Geography, Energy Engineering, and/or Business - 15 to 45 credits (**)45NoNo

The compulsory module Advanced Interdisciplinary Mathematics is central to the programme’s ethos of learning and using mathematics in tandem.

Alongside you will select 45 or 60 credits from the core mathematics modules (Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Statistical Modelling, Vector Calculus and Applications) reflecting different branches of the mathematical sciences.

You will select between 15 and 45 credits of elective mathematics modules.

Some modules (MTH2008, MTH2009) are offered as remotely taught modules with small group support on-campus.

(**) You must select at least 15 and may select up to 45 credits from the Elective List of options from science, engineering and business degree programmes. For more detail about possible elective options, explore the websites of the respective undergraduate programmes:

-          For Biosciences explore Degrees in Penryn at;

-          For Geography and Environmental Science explore the Degrees in Penryn at;

-          For Engineering explore the degrees at;

-          For Business explore

All mathematics and non-mathematics electives are subject to approval, timetabling and satisfaction of prerequisites.

You may be offered the opportunity to transfer to one of the 4 year Integrated Masters programmes as long as you have passed all 120 credits of Stage 2 modules each with an overall mark of 40% or higher, and will normally have gained a stage average of 55% or higher.

Stage 3

Code Title Credits Compulsory NonCondonable
ECM3902Work Placement15YesNo
ECM3903Mathematical Sciences Project15YesYes
Select between 45 and 90 credits (elective modules from Mathematics):
ECM3901Data Analytics and Machine Learning15NoNo
ECM3904Advanced Statistical Modelling15NoNo
ECM3905Mathematics Biology and Ecology15NoNo
ECM3906Graphs, Networks and Algorithms 15NoNo
ECM3907Dynamical Systems and Control15NoNo
ECM3908Partial Differential Equations15NoNo
ECM3909Mathematics of Climate Change15NoNo
MTH3019Mathematics: History and Culture15NoNo
Select up to 45 credits to immerse quantitative skills in an applied context (elective modules from Science, Engineering and Business):
BEP3010Social and Technological Innovation15NoNo
BEP3030Globalisation and Internationalisation15NoNo
BIO3131Trends in Ecology and Evolution15NoNo
BIO3416Marine Spatial Ecology15NoNo
GEO3444The Complexity of Human Societies15NoNo
GEO3455Marine Climate and Environmental Change15NoNo
ENE3002Network Engineering, Modelling and Management15NoNo
ENE3004Life Cycle Analysis15NoNo
XXXXXXXElective Option(s) within Ecology, Environmental Science, Geography, Energy Engineering, and/or Business - up to 45 credits45NoNo

The compulsory modules Work Placement and Mathematical Sciences Project are key to employability and independent learning and research.

You will select between 45 to 90 credits from the elective mathematics modules.

Some modules (ECM3904, ECM3905, ECM3906, ECM3909, and MTH3019) are offered as remotely taught modules with small group support on-campus.

You may select up to 45 credits from the Elective List of options from science, engineering and business degree programmes. For more detail about possible elective options, please explore the websites of the respective undergraduate programmes for more detail on specific modules:

All mathematics and non-mathematics electives are subject to approval, timetabling and satisfaction of prerequisites.



6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning & Assessment Methods

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to: Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be accommodated & facilitated by the following learning & teaching and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

A Specialised Subject Skills & Knowledge

1: Use the terminology and conventions of mathematics;


2: Use a range of fundamental concepts and techniques from calculus, matrix algebra, dynamics, statistics, computation, mathematical modelling and optimization;


3: Be able to work with large data sets that become increasingly important in numerous and diverse applications;


4: Use mathematical and statistical techniques to understand a broad range of contemporary issues in science, engineering and technology;


5: Demonstrate an inter-disciplinary approach to tackling key scientific and technological challenges facing modern society.


Learning & Teaching Activities

ILOs 1 and 2 are mostly covered through formal contact in lectures supported by regular problem sheets which provide formative technical exercises for students to tackle on their own;

ILO 3 is covered in the modules ECM1913, ECM1914, ECM2906, ECM2907, ECM2912, ECM2913, ECM3901 and also in project work;

ILO 4 is covered by the Interdisciplinary Mathematics modules ECM1913 and ECM2912, the Work Placement module ECM3902, project work (in particular the stage 3 project ECM3903), and applied options in years 2 and 3;

ILO 5 is a focus of many modules throughout the programme but especially the Interdisciplinary Mathematics modules (ECM1913 and ECM2912).


Assessment Methods

1: Written exams and assessed coursework;

2: Written exams and assessed coursework;

3: Assessed coursework and project work;

4: Project work and work placement;

5: Assessed coursework and project work.


B Academic Discipline Core Skills & Knowledge

6. Explain your reasoning systematically and logically;

7. Construct detailed mathematical arguments;

8. Formulate, analyse and solve problems;

9. Organise tasks into a structured form;

10. Present mathematical material clearly, logically and accurately, both in writing and orally;

11. Summarise and analyse data from a variety of sources;

12. Integrate theory and concepts with applications;

13. Take an inter-disciplinary approach to using mathematical knowledge and methods to solve applied problems;

14. Demonstrate a capacity for critical understanding of science and engineering issues;

15. Plan, execute and report on a substantial project and defend the results.


Learning & Teaching Activities

All these ILOs are an essential part of the understanding of mathematics, are embedded throughout core elements of the programme, and are intrinsic to good performance in the programme.

They are developed through formal lectures, tutorials, coursework, computer practicals, use of IT and private study. ILOs 6-10 are dealt with through formative problem sheets.

ILOs 11, 12 and 13 are developed in the modules ECM1913 and ECM1914 and are reinforced in ECM2907, ECM2912, ECM2913, ECM3901 and ECM3902.

ILO 14 is developed in ECM1913, ECM2912 and ECM3902 and in optional applied modules from Ecology, Environmental Science and Engineering.

The stage 3 project ECM3903 develops all ILOs (6-15).


Assessment Methods

6-10:  Coursework and exams;

11-12: Coursework and project work;

13:  Coursework and work placement;

14:  Coursework in applied modules

15:  Project work.


C Personal / Transferable / Employment Skills & Knowledge

16. Use a range of IT software including standard and mathematical word-processing applications and computational packages such as R and MATLAB and relevant specialist packages (e.g. OpenFOAM for CFD work);

17. Communicate your ideas effectively and clearly, both to mathematicians and to scientists and engineers, by appropriate means including oral presentation, web pages and consultation documents;

18. Manage time effectively;

19. Search and retrieve information from a variety of sources including libraries, databases and the internet;

20. Work in teams, both with mathematicians and with a mix of mathematicians and scientists and engineers;

21. Demonstrate independent learning ability required for continuing professional development;

22. Plan your career and personal development.


Learning & Teaching Activities

ILO 16 is developed through use of the mathematical computing packages in core Stage 1 modules and across a wide variety of options in Years 2, 3 and 4.

ILO 17 is developed in various core components of the programme, especially in the Interdisciplinary Mathematics modules (ECM1913 and ECM2912), in Project work (ECM3903) and the Work Placement module (ECM3902). Presentation to non-mathematicians is further developed in the applied modules.

ILOs 18 and 19 are intrinsic to successful completion of the programme.

ILO 20 is developed in modules ECM1913, ECM1916, ECM2906, ECM2912, ECM3902 and ECM3903.

ILOs 17, 19 and 21 are integral to the compulsory project.

Development of ILO 22 is integral to the programme as a whole, and is developed especially in modules ECM1913 and ECM3902.

Assessment Methods

16: Assessed computer work;

17: Group and individual presentations, design of poster and web pages within a variety of coursework based assessments;

18: Examinations, assessed presentations, tutorial groups, mentoring in peer-to-peer activity;

19: Project work and other assessed work;

20: Group assignments;

21: Assessed project work and examinations;

22: Via regular personal development tutorials each term and maintaining an up to date personal profile.


7. Programme Regulations

Credit: The programme consists of 360 credits with 120 credits taken at each stage. Normally not more than 60 credits would be allowed in any one term. In total, students normally take no more than 120 credits at  Level 4, and must take at least 90 credits at Level 6.

Progression: You can progress to the next stage (or in the final year, to proceed to the award of an honours degree) once at least 90 credits have been passed in a stage, and provided that an average of at least 40% has been achieved over the 120 credits of assessment for that stage.

Condonement is the process that allows you to pass a ‘stage’ should you fail to achieve the required number of credits in any stage. You are required to achieve 120 credits in each stage of the programme. You must have achieved an average mark of at least 40% across the 120 credits of assessment including the marks for any failed and condoned modules. You will not be allowed reassessment in the condoned credit. Up to 30 credits of failure can be condoned in a stage. However, you must pass the modules marked with a 'Yes' in the 'non-condonable' column in the tables above. The pass mark for these modules is 40%.

Assessment and Awards: Assessment at stage one does not contribute to the summative classification of the award. The award will normally be based on the degree mark formed from the credit weighted average marks for stages 2 and 3 combined in the ratio 1:2 respectively.

Interim Awards:  If you do not complete the programme you may be able to exit with a lower qualification. If you have achieved a maximum of 120 credits at level 4 and a minimum of 90 credits at level 4 you may be awarded a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE). If you have achieved a maximum of 150 credits at level 4 and a minimum of 90 credits at level 5 you may be awarded a Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE).


The marking of modules and the classification of awards broadly corresponds to the following marks:

Undergraduate Degrees                                         Postgraduate Degrees

Class I    70% +                                                        Distinction   70%+

Class II   Division I 60-69%                                       Merit            60-69%

Class II   Division II 50-59%                                      Pass            50-59%

Class III  40-49%

Full details of assessment regulations for UG programmes and can be found in the Teaching Quality Assurance Manual (TQA) on the University of Exeter website.  Generic marking criteria are also published here.

Please see the Teaching and Quality Assurance Manual for further guidance.


8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic tutoring: It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you on individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

You will have access to computing and library facilities at the Penryn Campus. Computer-based exercises and web-based learning materials are a feature of the programme, which can be accessed via the internet. IT Services provide a range of central services, including open and training clusters of PCs (available on a 24/7 basis) within the Centre. Network access is available from all rooms in the hall of residence on site. On the Penryn Campus, the Learning Resource Centre contains a library of 70,000 volumes and some specialist collections. In addition, you have full access to the central University of Exeter library, including the electronic library resources.

Online Module study resources provide materials for modules that you are registered for, in addition to some useful subject and IT resources. Generic study support resources, library and research skills, past exam papers, and the 'Academic Honesty and Plagiarism' module are also available through the student portal.

Personal Development Planning: The tutor assists their tutees by making use of the University's MyProgress planning. MyProgress is a facility supporting students through their studies to record their personal development with the aim of acting both as a record and as a tool to emphasise personal achievements. It is intended to provide added value to students alongside the tutorial system. All students are encouraged to participate in specially provided personal skills training provision (e.g. the group and team skills training offered during induction week to registering students and also linked to ECM1913 and ECM2912).

Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables you to participate jointly with staff in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision

10. Admission Criteria

All applications are considered individually on merit. The University is committed to an equal opportunities policy with respect to gender, age, race, sexual orientation and/or disability when dealing with applications. It is also committed to widening access to higher education to students from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience.

Candidates must satisfy the general admissions requirements of the University of Exeter.

Entry requirements for this programme can be found on the Undergraduate Study Page.

International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programmes.


11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice.  See the University's TQA Manual for details.


12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

Certain programmes are subject to accreditation and/or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).


14 Awarding Institution University of Exeter
15 Lead College / Teaching Institution College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences
16 Partner College / Institution
17 Programme accredited/validated by
18 Final Award(s) BSc (Hons)
19 UCAS Code (UG programmes) GF140
20 NQF Level of Final Awards(s): 6
21 Credit (CATS and ECTS) 360 (180 ECTS)
22 QAA Subject Benchmarking Group (UG and PGT programmes) Mathematics
23 Origin Date February 8th 2023 Last Date of Revision: February 28th 2023