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BScMathematics, Statistics & Finance

Why this course?

This joint degree is offered in partnership with Strathclyde Business School.

You’ll develop mathematical and statistical expertise at the same time as increasing your skills in the largest business school in Scotland. There’s strong emphasis on statistical techniques in data analysis and on the use of mathematical models.

Employers in the financial sector look for graduates who have experience using mathematical models, as well as a financial or accounting background. This course provides a good basis for entering the actuarial profession.

Our flexible degree structure also enables transfer between courses.

What you’ll study

Each year contains compulsory classes and some years contain either optional classes in different areas of mathematics, and/or elective classes from other subject areas in the University.

Mathematics and Statistics account for at least half of each course, with the remainder devoted to Finance. You’ll be able to choose the particular areas of Mathematics, Statistics, or Finance you want to specialise in.

Years 1 & 2

In addition to the study of core mathematical methods, you’ll study applied analysis, mechanics, numerical analysis and statistics.

Years 3 & 4

You can choose from a range of Mathematics & Statistics classes from one or more of the specialist application areas.

The Honours-year project may be in Finance or Mathematics, or Statistics.

Topics offered in Maths Honours-year classes include Dynamical Systems & Chaos Theory, the Mathematics of Finance & Mathematical Modelling in Biology & Medicine. Finance options include Business Finance, Financial Markets, Portfolio Theory, Security Analysis, Treasury Management.

Facilities

You’ll have access to well-equipped, modern laboratories and teaching rooms as well as 24-hour access to an advanced computer information network and a sophisticated virtual e-learning environment. We have also an undergraduate common room which gives you a modern and flexible area that's used for individual and group study work and is also a relaxing social space. 

High Flyer Programme

Students with the required A Levels and Advanced Highers can enter the Science Faculty’s prestigious High Flyer Programme. This will allow you to complete an Honours degree in 3 years and an Integrated Masters degree in 4 years.

Find out more about our High Flyer Programme.

The Andersonian Mathematical Society

This society is run by our students and organises various mathematically, socially or sport focused events for staff and students.

Course content

Year 1

Introduction to Calculus
You'll study the basic concepts and standard methods of mathematical notation and proof, polynomial equations and inequalities, sequences and series, functions, limits and continuity, differentiation and integration.
Applications of Calculus

The fundamental concepts of calculus (differentiation and integration) presented in Applications of Calculus will be examined in more detail, extended to a larger class of functions by means of more sophisticated methods, including an introduction to complex numbers and variables, all demonstrated in application to practical problems including solving basic first and second-order differential equations.  

Geometry & Algebra with Applications

This class will introduce you to vectors and matrices, along with the idea of mathematical modelling through their application to real-world problems.

Statistics & Data Presentation

Some basic ideas and techniques of statistics will be presented while introducing some essential study skills, allowing you to develop and practice personal and technical skills eg self-study, teamwork, analysing data, writing reports and making presentations.

 

Introduction to Finance & Accounting

This class provides an introduction to finance and accounting, covering the basic concepts and practicalities of corporate finance, the principles of valuation, financial management and business investment, the role and purpose of company accounts and their usefulness, security analysis, risk and returns from investments, and personal finance. At all times the class content will be linked with financial behaviour in the real world.

Year 2

Linear Algebra & Differential Equations

This class will introduce you to the basic ideas of linear algebra, such as matrices and determinants, vector spaces, bases, eigenvalues and eigenvectors. You'll study various standard methods for solving ordinary differential equations and understand their relevance.

Advanced Calculus

Basic ideas, techniques and results for calculus of two and three variables, along with differentiation and integration over curves, surfaces and volumes of both scalar and vector fields will be presented.

Probability & Statistical Inference

Presentation of the basic concepts of probability theory and statistical inference will be covered to provide you with the tools to appropriately analyse a given data set and effectively communicate the results of such analysis.

Mathematical & Statistical Computing

This class will introduce you to the R computing environment. It'll enable you to use R to import data and perform statistical tests, allow you to understand the concept of an algorithm and what makes a good algorithm and will equip you for implementing simple algorithms in R.

Business Finance
This class will provide an understanding of financial management within a business enterprise. It builds on introductory investment appraisal rules from year 1 to consider the appropriate cash flows to be evaluated when undertaking an investment project, forecasting and management of cash flows over time to ensure sufficient liquidity, and how companies determine their cost of capital for such projects. It'll also provide a framework to allow students to understand a company's financial policy decisions relating to payout policy, leasing, raising equity capital in efficient markets, and capital structure. This course will provide students with an understanding of how to value a business enterprise. 
Portfolio Management & Security Analysis
This class will provide an understanding of the principles and theories relevant to the process of building investment portfolios. It covers practical applications as well as theoretical material and considers the capital asset pricing model (CAPM), market efficiency, and the estimation and evaluation of fund performance measures. It also considers issues in bond portfolio management and equity trading strategies. 

Year 3

Compulsory classes

Treasury Management & International Finance

This class looks at the role of the treasurer in a multinational corporation and the main task of managing risk with respect to funding requirements, foreign exchange, liquidity and banking relationships. Also included is the management of country specific risks for multi-national firms.

Differential Equations

We'll introduce you to analytical methods for solving ordinary and partial differential equations so you'll develop an understanding along with technical skills in this area.

Inference & Regression Modelling

This class will:

  • review the concepts of probability distributions and how to work with these
  • present approaches to parameter estimation, focusing on maximum likelihood estimation, bootstrap estimation, and properties of estimators
  • present hypothesis testing procedures, including classical likelihood ratio tests and computer-based methods for testing parameter values, and goodness-of-fit tests.
  • introduce and provide understanding of the least squares multiple regression model, general linear model, transformations and variable selection procedures
  • present use of R functions for regression and interpretation of R output
Security Analysis

This class is mainly concerned with the valuation of securities. It develops an understanding of how bonds, shares, futures and options are valued, and considers some of the investment strategies associated with these securities such as hedging, speculation and arbitrage. Discussion of credit based derivatives such as credit default swaps.

Optional classes - list A

Complex Variables & Integral Transforms

This class will introduce functions of a complex variable, define concepts such as continuity, differentiability, analyticity, line integration, singular points, etc. It'll examine some important properties of such functions, and consider some applications of them, eg conformal mappings, and the evaluation of real integrals using the Residue Theorem. It'll also introduce you to Fourier and Laplace transform methods for solving linear ordinary differential equations and convolution type integral equations.

Linear Algebra

Here we'll introduce basic algebraic structures, with particular emphasis on those pertaining to finite dimensional linear spaces and deepen your understanding of linear mappings. We'll also provide an introduction to inner product spaces and bilinear forms.

Numerical Analysis

This module will motivate the need for numerical algorithms to approximate the solution of problems that can't be solved with pen and paper. It'll develop your skills in performing detailed analysis of the performance of numerical methods and will continue to develop your skills in the implementation of numerical algorithms using R.

Stochastics & Financial Econometrics

You'll be introduced to the basic concepts of random phenomena evolving in time, from two complementary points of view: probabilistic modelling and data-driven analysis. Presentation of underlying ideas of simple stochastic processes, time series models, and the associated probability theory and statistical techniques will be covered. In addition to applications of the methods to financial and economic systems, including modelling, data analysis, and forecasting.

Financial Analysis

Financial analysis applies analytical tools and techniques to financial statements and publically available information to derive estimates and inferences useful in business decisions. It's a screening tool in selecting investment or merger candidates, and is a forecasting tool of future financial conditions and consequences. It's a diagnostic tool in assessing financing, investing and operating activities, and is an evaluation tool for managerial and other business decisions.

This class is a stand-alone option requiring students to have covered some basic financial accounting in year 1. It's designed to introduce students to the concepts and techniques involved in the interpretation of financial statements, evaluating company performance and techniques of company valuation. The student will be expected to become comfortable with using financial information and gain a balanced view of its reliability and usefulness. They'll develop an understanding of the use of statistical models used in failure prediction and bond rating and gain a sound understanding of the basic skills of financial analysis. 

Financial Markets & Banking

This class covers the reasons for, and nature of, financial markets and institutions. Their importance in the context of corporate strategy is emphasised and explored.

The aim of this class is to provide you with an understanding of the financial system, the roles and functions of financial markets and institutions, and how they facilitate corporate performance and strategy. A particular emphasis is placed on understanding the roles of intermediaries such as banks and investment firms. 

Year 4

Communicating Mathematics & Statistics

This class provides you with experience of the skills required to undertake project work, and to communicate the findings in written and oral form using a variety of sources, such as books, journals and the internet.

Project

Optional classes - list A

Modelling & Simulation with Applications to Financial Derivatives

Here you'll get an introduction to ideas in mathematics and statistics that can be used to model real systems, with an emphasis on the valuation of financial derivatives. This module places equal emphasis on deterministic analysis (calculus, differential equations) and stochastic analysis (Brownian motion, birth and death processes). In both cases, in addition to theoretical analysis, appropriate computational algorithms are introduced. The first half of the class introduces general modelling and simulation tools, and the second half focuses on the specific application of valuing financial derivatives, including the celebrated Black-Scholes theory.

Statistical Modelling & Analysis

This class will provide you with a range of applied statistical techniques that can be used in professional life.

Applied Statistics in Society

You'll be introduced to a range of modern statistical methods and practices used in industry, commerce and research, and will develop skills in your application and presentation.

Optional classes - list B

Applicable Analysis 3

This class will present the main results in Functional Analysis, give an introduction to linear operators on Banach and Hilbert spaces and study applications to integral and differential equations.

Fluids & Waves

You'll be introduced to the theory of Newtonian fluids and its application to flow problems and the dynamics of waves on water and in other contexts.

Finite Element Methods for Boundary Value Problems & Approximation

You'll be presented with the basic theory and practice of finite element methods and polynomial and piecewise polynomial approximation theory.

Mathematical Biology & Marine Population Modelling

Here you'll learn the application of mathematical models to a variety of problems in biology, medicine, and ecology. It'll show the application of ordinary differential equations to simple biological and medical problems, the use of mathematical modelling in biochemical reactions, the application of partial differential equations in describing spatial processes such as cancer growth and pattern formation in embryonic development, and the use of delay-differential equations in physiological processes. The marine population modelling element will introduce the use of difference models to represent population processes through applications to fisheries, and the use of coupled ODE system to represent ecosystems. Practical work will include example class case studies that will explore a real-world application of an ecosystem model.

Mathematical Introduction to Networks

This class will demonstrate the central role network theory plays in mathematical modelling. It'll also show the intimate connection between linear algebra and graph theory and how to use this connection to develop a sound theoretical understanding of network theory. Finally, it'll apply this theory as a tool for revealing structure in networks.

Elasticity & Complex Materials

We'll introduce you to general continuum theory with applications to Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids and elastic materials.

Optimisation: Theory & Practice

We'll provide you with a basic mathematical understanding of modern approaches to optimisation and the calculus of variations.

Statistical Mechanics

Here you'll develop approaches to understanding complex or random systems in or out of equilibrium, based on ideas from statistical mechanics that incorporate familiar concepts and methods from neighbouring subjects like classical mechanics and probability and statistics.

You'll also be able to describe, through various examples and techniques, how macroscopic properties of systems arise from the ensemble action of many microscopic ingredients, and, specifically, how deterministic 'laws' may arise from basic randomness of a system with many variables or degrees of freedom. Fundamental examples include Brownian motion and the ideal gas.

Dynamical Models in Epidemiology

We'll introduce mathematical models which arise in epidemiology and population dynamics, and help you develop techniques for analysing the qualitative behaviour of the associated dynamical systems.

 

Optional classes - list C

Asset Pricing
This class explores the stochastic discount factor approach to asset pricing. The stochastic discount factor approach provides a general framework for evaluating issues in asset pricing. The aim of the class is to examine a number of theoretical and empirical issues in asset pricing.
Corporate Financing

This class will cover theories of capital structure, sources of capital (debt and equity), and corporate payout policy at an advanced level. The starting point for this class will be Modigliani-Miller assumptions introduced in Business Finance, and course material will highlight how the relaxation of these assumptions leads to formal models on corporate financing behaviour under imperfect capital markets. The emphasis will be upon the ideas necessary to analyse the firm’s financing decisions. It discusses financial structure and the alternative mechanisms for distributing corporate wealth to shareholders.

Corporate Investment

This class covers the main topics in the corporate investment and restructuring literature. It's primarily connected with corporate investment, otherwise referred to as real investment. It examines in more detail the theoretical foundations of the principles of optimal investment behaviour, restructuring and the strategic investment positions adopted by firms in practice. It builds significantly on the mergers and acquisitions theories and evidence and also examines the interface between investment and the financing decisions.

This class aims to develop a deep understanding of the main issues in the theory and practice of corporate investment and restructuring policies, and to develop students' initiative and ability to research the relevant literature. It'll emphasise the role of key concepts in finance in explaining and understanding observed corporate investment and restructuring policies, whilst also highlighting their limitations in this respect. This class is based mainly on academic articles that have influenced and directed the current level of understanding of Corporate Investment Policy. 

Financial Quantitative Methods

This class examines the problems associated with specifying financial models in forms which are amenable to estimation and testing with the available data. Consideration is given to the nature of financial data, the methods by which it's compiled and the problems it may present for applied financial analyst. Students are taught techniques of estimation, together with the methods for solving financial model problems. One coursework includes practical experience of applying the techniques to financial data using the econometric software PcGive.

The first aim of this class is to train students in the financial quantitative techniques used for the estimation and testing of financial models. The second aim is to build on and extend aspects of the models covered in other finance classes in order to provide students with skills required to evaluate advanced applied financial research. Therefore, it is assumed that students taking this class are familiar with basic statistics and simple least-squares methods of estimation.

International Corporate Governance

This class contributes to The Reflective Manager component of the course along with The Learning Manager and Managing classes. It starts with a detailed discussion of the principles of ethics and good governance and uses case studies and research to illustrate corporate governance in practice throughout the world. Different corporate governance systems are discussed and compared. These include the unitary board model found in the UK and US, the stakeholder governance model applied in countries like Germany, The Netherlands and Austria, the Sharia Supervisory Board model common in parts of the world, and the role of state shareholders and social corporate objectives in China. The course will also provide an understanding of the nature of corporate governance and ethics in family firms and emerging markets and how these fit into the decision-making of executives.

Advanced Derivatives
Advanced Portfolio Analysis

This class examines issues involved in optimal portfolio choice and the evaluation of managed fund performance. It'll examine issues involved in the estimation of optimal portfolios and the evaluation of the performance of managed funds. The performance of the funds will be explored through the stochastic discount factor approach to asset pricing.

 

Behavioural Finance

This class builds on student knowledge of finance and their understanding of finance theory developed through the core classes in years 1 to 3. It introduces students to behavioural finance and provides them with an understanding of the main flaws of traditional finance theory from a behavioural finance viewpoint. It'll allow students to develop the ability to discuss issues arising from violations of the rationality assumption and to enable them to evaluate new theoretical models based on research in psychology.

This class will allow students to appreciate the role of new developments in finance and their possible implications for established views of financial markets. It'll provide students with an understanding of the main ideas of behavioural finance. A particular emphasis is placed on understanding the roles of non-rational actions and the development of new financial models that incorporate these. Students will engage with up-to-date research and develop a critical view of existing and new finance theories and models.

International Financial Management

This class considers financial issues associated with the operation of a firm in the international environment. It'll focus on complications that make corporate financial decision making harder for internationally oriented firms than domestic firms, like exchange rates and political risk.

Specifically, it'll focus on the following issues:

  • exchange rate theories and implications for the multinational company
  • management of corporate exchange rates exposure
  • the evaluation and incorporation of political risk into project evaluation
  • the array of corporate financing possibilities in a global market
  • the basic issues in international investment analysis, like capital budgeting and cost of capital determination for foreign projects
  • methods for evaluating the performance of foreign operations
While this class presents theoretical points of view on the various issues, it uses both empirical academic evidence and discussion of firms' real world activities to prepare students for careers dealing with financial issues of international corporate operations both at the banking and corporate level. It studies corporate financial decisions in an international setting.

Assessment

In Mathematics and Statistics, knowledge, understanding and subject-specific skills are assessed by coursework, assignment, reports, presentations and written examinations.

In Accounting, the majority of classes involve unseen exams, business reports, case studies, essays, presentations, individual and group projects, learning journals and peer assessments.

In some cases, students can get exemption from the final exam where they meet attendance requirements.

Students normally have one opportunity to be re-assessed for a failed class. For unseen exams, these normally takes place during the summer.

Learning & teaching

The following teaching methods are used in Mathematics and Statistics: lectures (using a variety of media including electronic presentations and computer demonstrations), tutorials, coursework and projects.

You’ll also learn through group work in problem solving and student presentations.

Finance is taught over two semesters in blocks of 12 weeks each. Diverse learning methods are used, including lectures, tutorials, and seminars alongside student-centred methods such as team-based action learning projects, online materials, and interactive sessions using personal response systems.

Our business partners are often involved in the teaching and/or assessment of student presentations.

On completion of the programme, you’ll be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the main areas of mathematics, statistics and accounting
  • shown an understanding of the principle mathematical and financial theories and a critical understanding of one or more specialised areas
  • demonstrate skills in calculation
  • develop and evaluate logical arguments, presenting them and their conclusions clearly and accurately
  • demonstrate a range of problem solving skills, eg abstracting the essentials of problems, formulating them and finding appropriate solutions
  • undertake a critical analysis of data and draw conclusions from the data
  • interpret financial data and carry out financial analysis, understanding the financial of the business, capital markets, personal investors and risk and return
  • demonstrate a range of appropriate general skills including IT competency

Entry requirements

Minimum grades

Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.

Highers

Year 1 entry: AABB or ABBBC (Maths A, English C, Advanced Higher Maths recommended) 

Advanced Highers

Year 2 entry: AAB (including Maths A and Accounting or Economics A) 

A Levels

Year 1 entry: BBB (Maths B)

Typical entry requirements: ABB

Year 2 entry: ABB (Maths A, Business subject A, GCSE English Language and English Literature C) 

Typical entry requirements: AAA

International Baccalaureate

Year 1 entry: 32

Year 2 entry: 34 (Maths HL6) 

HNC

Year 1 entry: relevant HNC with strong mathematical content, B in Graded Unit; Year 2 entry: not offered 

Additional information

  • deferred entry accepted

Widening access

We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country.

Degree preparation course for international students

We offer international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the International Study Centre. To find out more about these courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future.

You can also complete the online application form, or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

Scotland/EU

  • 2016/17 - £1,820

Rest of UK

  • 2016/17 - £9,000

International

  • 2016/17 - £13,900

Additional fees 

Mathematics & Statistics 

Course materials & costs 

Class materials (lecture notes and exercise sheets) for the majority of Maths & Stats classes are available free to download.  For some classes, students may need access to a textbook.  Textbook costs are typically in the £20-60 price range.  These prices are dependent on format (e-book, soft or hardback) and whether bought new or second hand.  

PVG scheme (Protection of Vulnerable Groups)

Third-year Maths and Teaching students will need to pay for the full price of a PVG membership scheme.  

Other costs 

£40 returnable deposit for PRS handsets

Finance 

Course materials & costs

Textbooks vary in price, ranging from £40 to 100 for Accounting Ethics.  The majority of texts are freely available from the library. 

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my studies?

Students from Scotland and the EU

If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

If you’re from England, Wales or Northern Ireland you may be able to apply for help to pay your tuition fees and living costs from your local funding body.

We also have a few bursaries on offer for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

International Students (Non UK, EEA)

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

Available scholarships

We have a wide range of scholarships available. Have a look at our scholarship search to find a scholarship.

Careers

There is a demand for mathematicians and statisticians across a range of sectors, for example manufacturing, the actuarial, accountancy and banking professions, commerce and government, consultancy and education.

Many of our graduates go on to work as financial analysts, accountants, operations analysts, treasury analysts, auditors and management trainees.

The course is also useful for those considering a more general business career.

How much will I earn?

The average (median) salary of graduates in full-time work is £26,000.

Salary potential depends on the industry you choose to work in. With experience, actuaries can earn more than £60,000.

Where are they now?

92.3% of our graduates are in work or further study.**

Recent job titles include:

  • Analyst
  • Debt Counsellor
  • Fraud Analyst
  • Graduate Tax Accountant
  • Information Analyst/Statistician
  • Loans Capacity Planning Analyst

Employers include:

  • Aviva
  • Barclays
  • CAP
  • LLoyds Bank
  • Ernst & Young
  • KPMG
  • National Services Scotland
  • Tesco Bank

* Intended only as a guide.

**Based on the results of the national Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2012/13, 2011/12, (aggregated data).

Contact us

Apply

How to apply – 10 things you need to know

  1. All undergraduate applications are made through UCAS
    Go to the UCAS website to apply – you can apply for up to five courses.
  2. It costs £12 to apply for a course
    The cost is £23 for two to five courses.
  3. The deadline is 15 January each year
    This is the application deadline for most courses. However, please check the details for your particular course. View a full list of UCAS key dates.
  4. You might be asked to attend an interview
    Most of our courses make offers based on the UCAS application. However some might ask you to attend an interview or for a portfolio of work. If this is the case, this will be stated in the prospectus entry requirements.
  5. It’s possible to apply directly to Year 2
    Depending on your qualifications, you might be able to apply directly to Year 2 - or even Year 3 - of a course. Speak to the named contact for your course if you want to discuss this.
  6. There’s three types of offer
    • unconditional – you’ve already met our entry requirements
    • conditional – we’ll offer you a place if you meet certain conditions, usually based on your exams
    • unsuccessful – we’ve decided not to offer you a place
  7. You need to contact UCAS to accept your offer
    Once you’ve decided which course you’d like to accept, you must let UCAS know. You don’t need to decide until you’ve received all offers. UCAS will give you a deadline you must respond by.

    You’ll choose one as your firm choice. If the offer is unconditional or if you meet the conditions, this is the course you’ll study.

    You’ll also have an insurance choice. This is a back-up option if you don’t meet the conditions of your first choice.
  8. You don’t need to send us your exam results (Scotland, England & Wales)
    If you’re studying in Scotland, England or Wales, we receive a copy of your Higher/Advanced Higher/A Level results directly from the awarding body. However, if you are studying a different qualification, then please contact us to arrange to send your results directly.
  9. We welcome applications from international students

    Find out further information about our entry and English language requirements.

    International students who don’t meet the entry requirements, can apply for our pre-undergraduate programmes.

    There’s also an online application form.

    For further information:
  10. Here’s a really useful video to help you apply

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