Mathematics (MSc)

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

Two years part-time

Attendance

Two to three evenings a week, October to June

This programme offers you the chance to study a range of modules in pure and applicable mathematics, giving you the opportunity to increase your knowledge and abilities in these areas. Depending on your choices, you will take either seven or eight modules, allowing you to study several different topics in depth, and to focus on the areas that interest you most.

Over two years you will also learn the methods of mathematical research: how to read mathematical papers and how to communicate mathematics, both in written form for your project dissertation, and orally when you give presentations about your project.

You will acquire the skills to pursue your interest in the subject, either formally with a research degree, or informally with independent reading. You will come to us as someone with a mathematics degree; you will graduate as a mathematician.

Highlights

  • Offers modules in group theory, graph theory, combinatorics and applicable mathematics such as coding theory and cryptography.
  • Specially designed for part-time students: delivered via high-quality, face-to-face teaching in the evenings, so that you can fit study around daytime commitments.
  • You complete a project in your chosen area of mathematics, with guidance from an expert supervisor.
  • Birkbeck's mathematicians are all active researchers, mostly in the areas of algebra and combinatorics. We've developed this exciting course around those research strengths.
  • Birkbeck has a library and several workstation rooms. You can also use several local university libraries, including the collection of the London Mathematical Society, a five-minute walk from Birkbeck's main building.

Course structure

The programme consists of 120 credits of taught modules, worth either 15 credits or 30 credits each, and a dissertation worth 60 credits.

Year 1

You usually take modules to a total of 75 credits in Year 1, including the 15-credit module Writing Mathematics, which teaches you how to use the program LaTeX to produce mathematical documents. This module consists of eight evenings of tutorials over the course of the year.

Every other 15-credit module runs for one term, while each 30-credit module runs for two terms.

You can take a maximum of 30 credits at Level 6 for your MSc, while the remaining modules you take must be at Level 7.

Year 2

In Year 2, you take 45 credits of taught modules, and you also complete a project worth 60 credits.

Module groups

  • Entry Requirements We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.

    Entry requirements

    Second-class honours degree with mathematics as the main field of study. Applicants with a first degree in another quantitative subject may be able to take Birkbeck’s Graduate Certificate/Graduate Diploma in Mathematics as a qualifying course.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees We offer advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay your fees interest-free by direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for eligible Master’s students.

    Fees (2017/8)

    Part-time home/EU students: £ 4250 pa
    Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
  • Teaching and assessment Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.

    Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Lectures and seminars. Examinations are held in May and June. You will work on your project throughout the programme, and submit the final dissertation in September at the end of your second year.

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.

    Academic support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    For most modules there will be a daytime examination in May/June, worth 80% of the marks for the module; these are the only daytime commitments in your programme. The other 20% of the module is from assessed coursework. Coursework consists of short, problem-based assignments, and you will have around three weeks to complete each of these.

    The project module has four assessment points: 80% of the marks for the module are for the dissertation (submitted at the end of Year 2); 5% for the initial 10-minute oral presentation (autumn term, Year 2); 5% for the written progress report (spring term, Year 2); and 10% for the final oral presentation (end of Year 2).

    Feedback

    As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.

    Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.

    Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.

    Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.

  • Careers and employability To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue careers in the financial sector, actuarial profession, IT and computing, teaching and academia. Possible professions include actuary, statistician, or chartered accountant. This degree may also be useful in becoming a corporate investment banker, investment analyst, or quantity surveyor.

    Find out more about these professions.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

  • How to apply Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.

    We may send you a diagnostic test to gauge the level of your mathematical knowledge. This will be an at-home test, which you should return to us as soon as possible.

    We usually interview all applicants.

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    Interviews held throughout spring and summer.

    You should apply as early as possible. We need to receive your supporting documents, i.e. your transcript, before we can proceed with your application.