Mathematics (MSc)

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.


  • 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

    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.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months’ duration.
    • Courses of less than six months’ duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our three-year evening study BA/BSc/LLB degrees, as these are classified as full-time study and qualify for student visa status. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck’s part-time evening study degrees.

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

    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


    Part-time home/EU students: £4375 pa
    Part-time international students: £7425 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

  • Teaching and assessment


    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.

    Our distance-learning and blended-learning courses and modules are self-directed and we will provide you with interactive learning opportunities and encourage you to collaborate and engage via various learning technologies. These courses involve limited or no face-to-face contact between students and module tutors.

    In addition, you will have access to pastoral support via a named 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.

    Contact hours

    On our taught courses, you will have scheduled teaching and study sessions each year. Alongside this, you will also undertake assessment activities and independent learning outside of class. Depending on the modules you take, you may also have additional scheduled academic activities, such as tutorials, dissertation supervision, practical classes, visits and fieldtrips.

    On our taught courses, the actual amount of time you spend in the classroom and in contact with your lecturers will depend on your course, the option modules you select and when you undertake your final-year project.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, discussion, collaboration and interaction with your lecturers and fellow students are encouraged and enabled through various learning technologies, but you may have limited or no face-to-face contact with your module tutors.


    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 larger groups, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups led by a tutor.

    Independent learning

    On our taught courses, much of your time outside of class will be spent on self-directed, independent learning, including preparing for classes and following up afterwards. This will usually include, but is not limited to, reading books and journal articles, undertaking research, working on coursework and assignments, and preparing for presentations and assessments.

    Independent learning is absolutely vital to your success as a student. Everyone is different, and the study time required varies topic by topic, but, as a guide, expect to schedule up to five hours of self-study for each hour of teaching.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, the emphasis is very much on independent, self-directed learning and you will be expected to manage your own learning, with the support of your module tutors and various learning technologies.

    Study skills and additional 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 is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework. The methods of assessment on this course are specified below under 'Methods of assessment on this course'. You will need to allow time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Where a course has unseen written examinations, these may be held termly, but, on the majority of our courses, exams are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June. Exams may be held at other times of the year as well. In most cases, exams are held during the day on a weekday - if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance - but some exams are held in the evening. Exam timetables are published online.

    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).

  • Careers and employability

    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

    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.

    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.