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Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma

Application options include:

Full-time Part-time
On campus Online

Course Overview

Our Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate in Mathematics provide you with an opportunity to extend and refresh your skills and background knowledge in mathematics, whether you are looking to progress to further postgraduate study, have particular interests in this area, or simply wish to complement your previous mathematical education.

On these mathematics courses, you will gain crucial skills in understanding and applying core mathematics results from areas such as algebra, calculus and analysis. You will also learn the importance of rigorous mathematical arguments and gain understanding of key mathematical concepts that are the basis of postgraduate study in mathematics.

Designed to be as flexible as possible, on both of these courses you will have a choice of modules taken from our BSc Mathematics. You will meet with the course director before the start of the academic year and decide on a suitable course of study, based on your interests and experience.

Both the Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate are undergraduate-level qualifications that will prepare you for postgraduate study. They typically take one to two years to complete and are made up of two, three or four modules at final-year undergraduate degree level (worth 60, 90 or 120 credits).

Graduate Certificate: this course is also available to study online by distance learning with a January start. We have specifically developed the course materials and content to meet the needs of distance learners to offer you the flexibility you need to combine study with work.

Discover the career opportunities available by taking Mathematics (Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma).

Key information and modules

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  • Designed for students with mathematical ability and a first degree in a quantitative subject.
    • An ideal way to refresh and extend your existing knowledge, as preparation for further graduate study, or as a stand-alone course.
    • Modules are designed and led by research-active mathematicians with expertise in areas such as algebra, combinatorics and numerical analysis.
    • Allow you to follow your passion learning more about the areas of mathematics that interest you most.
    • Copies of the recommended texts for each module will be available in the Birkbeck Library. The library also provides excellent facilities for private study, several computer workstation rooms plus a range of electronic resources, including electronic textbooks and journal access.

    Birkbeck makes all reasonable efforts to deliver educational services, modules and programmes of study as described on our website. In the event that there are material changes to our offering (for example, due to matters beyond our control), we will update applicant and student facing information as quickly as possible and offer alternatives to applicants, offer-holders and current students.

    • Entry Requirements Entry Requirements

      Entry Requirements

      A second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) in a quantitative discipline, such as science or economics, or a joint degree containing some mathematics.

      In exceptional circumstances, candidates without a first degree in a quantitative discipline may be admitted, provided they have equivalent-level qualifications or professional experience that convinces the admissions team that the course is suitable for them.

      Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

      On your application form, please list all your relevant qualifications and experience, including those you expect to achieve.

      Apply now to secure your place. The earlier you apply, the sooner your application can be considered and you can enrol. You do not need to have completed your current qualification to start your application.

      English language 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 and foundation programmes 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 and funding requirements

      If you are not from the UK and you do not already have residency here, 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: Student visa
      • Courses of less than six months' duration: Standard Visitor visa

      International students who require a Student visa should apply for our full-time courses as these qualify for Student visa sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Student visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

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

      Please also visit the international section of our website to find out more about relevant visa and funding requirements by country.

      Please note students receiving US Federal Aid are only able to apply for in-person, on-campus programmes which will have no elements of online study.

      Credits and accredited prior learning (APL)

      If you have studied at university, 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.

    • Fees Fees


      Mathematics by Distance Learning: January start Graduate Certificate: 1 year part-time, online, starting in academic year 2024-25

      Academic year 2024–25, starting January 2025

      Part-time home students: £3,800 per year
      Part-time international students: £6,610 per year

      Mathematics Graduate Certificate: 1 year part-time, on campus, starting in academic year 2024-25

      Academic year 2024–25, starting October 2024

      Part-time home students: £3,800 per year
      Part-time international students: £6,610 per year

      Mathematics Graduate Diploma: 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time, on campus, starting in academic year 2024-25

      Academic year 2024–25, starting October 2024

      Part-time home students: £3,800 per year
      Full-time home students: £7,600 per year
      Part-time international students: £6,610 per year
      Full-time international students: £13,220 per year

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

      If you’ve studied at Birkbeck before and successfully completed an award with us, take advantage of our Lifelong Learning Guarantee to gain a discount on the tuition fee of this course.

      Discover the financial support available to you to help with your studies at Birkbeck.

      International scholarships

      We provide a range of scholarships for eligible international students, including our Global Future Scholarship. Discover if you are eligible for a scholarship.

    • Teaching and Assessment Teaching and Assessment


      At Birkbeck, most of our courses are taught in the evening and all of our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience.

      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 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 course, and submit the final dissertation in September (at the end of your second year if studying part time).

      Mathematics by Distance Learning Graduate Certificate: pre-recorded online lectures, online self-assessment quizzes with automated marking/feedback, live-streamed examples classes, Moodle (our virtual learning environment) discussion boards and virtual 'office hours'.

      Teaching hours

      Our evening hours are normally between 6pm and 9pm (6-7.30pm and 7.30-9pm). Some programmes also offer teaching during the day and this will be clearly signposted to you where it is available.

      On our taught courses, you will have scheduled teaching and study sessions each year. Scheduled teaching sessions may include lectures, seminars, workshops or laboratory work. Depending on the modules you take, you may also have additional scheduled academic activities, such as tutorials, dissertation supervision, practical classes, visits and field trips. 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 (if applicable).

      Alongside your contact hours, you will also undertake assessment activities and independent learning outside of class. The amount of time you need to allocate to study both for taught sessions (this might include online sessions and/or in-person sessions) and personal study will depend on how much you are studying during the year and whether you are studying full time or part time.

      Birkbeck’s courses are made up of modules and allocated ‘credit’. One credit is equivalent to ten hours of learning time. Modules are usually in 15, 30 or 60 credit units. A 15-credit module will mean around 150 hours of learning, including taught sessions and independent study or group work. This is spread out over the whole period of that module and includes the time you spend on any assessments, including in examinations, preparing and writing assessments or engaged in practical work as well as any study support sessions to help you in your learning.

      On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, discussion, collaboration and interaction with your lecturers and fellow students is encouraged and enabled through various learning technologies.


      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.

      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

      Each module will have a daytime examination at the end of the year. There will also be regular assessed coursework, usually contributing 20% of the marks for the module. Normally this will consist of two to four take-home exercise sets.

      Mathematics by Distance Learning Graduate Certificate: online quizzes, short problem-based assignments submitted and marked online, and formal examinations taken in person at an assessment centre near you.

    • Careers and employability Careers and employability

      Careers and employability

      Graduates can pursue career paths in the financial sector, actuarial profession, IT and computing, teaching and academia. Possible professions include:

      • actuary
      • statistician
      • chartered accountant
      • corporate investment banker
      • investment analyst
      • quantity surveyor.

      We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.

    • How to apply How to apply

      How to apply

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

      You will need to prove your identity when you apply - read more about suitable forms of identification.

      When to apply

      You are strongly advised to apply now, to ensure there are still places on your chosen course and to give you enough time to complete the admissions process, to arrange funding and to enrol.

      You don't need to complete your current programme of study before you apply - Birkbeck can offer you a place that is conditional on your results.

      You will also receive information about subject-specific induction sessions over the summer.

      Help and advice with your application

      Get all the information you need about the application, admission and enrolment process at Birkbeck.

      Our online personal statement tool will guide you through every step of writing the personal statement part of your application.

      Apply for your course

      Apply for your course using the apply now button in the key information section.

    Course structure

    Course structure listing

    Course structure and modules for Mathematics Graduate Certificate: 1 year part-time, on campus, starting October 2024

    You must complete modules worth a total of 60 credits, consisting of two 30-credit modules at Level 6 (final-year undergraduate level).

    Indicative option modules - on campus
    Indicative option modules - online

    Course structure and modules for Mathematics Graduate Diploma: 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time, on campus, starting October 2024

    You must complete four modules worth a total of 120 credits:

    • one at Level 5 or 6 (30 credits)
    • three at Level 6 (30 credits each).

    All Level 5 modules run every year; Level 6 modules differ each year. You should not select more than 60 credits of online modules.

    With the course director’s approval, you may replace one of the 30-credit Level 6 modules with two 15-credit modules from our Graduate Certificate in Mathematics by Distance Learning. These shorter modules run for a single term.

    Indicative option modules - Level 5
    Indicative option modules - Level 6
    Indicative option modules - Level 6, online