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Mathematics, Operational Research and Statistics (BSc)

  • G991

3 years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

The Mathematics, Operational Research & Statistics honours degree programme combines the fields of Statistics and Operational Research with a study of mathematics in general, in a course carefully tailored to the needs of those looking for wide options and excellent career opportunities.

Statistics to many people means numbers; collecting them and organising them. The field of modern statistics involves much more. It is the source of techniques developed to help managers and researchers to draw reliable conclusions from observations that contain variation.

Mathematics, Operational Research and Statistics

Operational Research techniques, sometimes called Management Science, provide quantitative decision-making methods complementary to statistical analysis, such as the control of queues and of stock, and quality control. A range of complementary Mathematics topics form part of the degree scheme; some of these provide support for the more practical topics in Operational Research and Statistics. The course strikes a balance between the theoretical and the practical. After completing the programme, someone wishing to pursue studies in Statistics or Operational Research at Postgraduate level will be well placed to do so.

Most of the first year is common with the other Mathematics degree programmes. This enables students who wish to do so to transfer at the end of the first year, subject to a satisfactory performance in the examinations.

Key Facts

UCAS Code G991
Duration 3 years
How to apply
Typical places available  The School admits 140 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Typical applications received 600
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer AAB/A*BB/A*AC
Admissions Tutors Dr Jonathan Thompson
Tel Number 029 2087 5524
Email address
School website

You will study 120 credits of modules in each academic year. In the first year these modules are in pure mathematics, statistics and computation, with the option of taking a module in applied mathematics. Alternatively a module can be chosen from another School, for example a language, music or education. In Year 2 there are 80 credits of core modules in pure mathematics, operational research and statistics, with the remaining 40 credits being chosen from topics in pure or applied mathematics, accountancy or computation. Alternatively, 10 credits can be selected from those available in another School. There are no core modules in the Year 3, but at least 60 credits have to be in operational research and statistics. This flexibility enables you to combine a study of statistics and operational research with pure or applied mathematics modules throughout the degree programme.

A project may replace 10 or 20 credits of traditional taught modules in Year 3, providing the opportunity to develop communication and presentational skills and to learn how to apply operational research or statistical techniques to an investigation of your choice.

The course structure is given below. All modules are 10 credits unless otherwise stated.

The modules from the School of Mathematics listed below are for the 2014/5 academic year. The 2015/6 programmes will be advertised from 1st August 2015. If you require further information before then please contact our admissions team.

Year One

You will study the following core modules:

  • Calculus
  • Elementary Differential Equations
  • Algebra I and II
  • Analysis I and II
  • Dynamical Systems and Chaos
  • Introduction to Probability Theory
  • Statistical Inference
  • Computing Skills
  • Numerical Analysis I

And 10 credits of optional modules from :

  • Mechanics I
  • Number Theory I
  • An approved free standing module

Year Two

Specialisation continues in the second year.

You will study the following core modules:

  • Foundations of Statistics (20 credits)
  • Operational Research (20 credits)
  • Calculus of Several Variables
  • Complex Analysis
  • Matrix Algebra
  • Series and Transforms

And 40 credits from the following optional modules:

  • Number Theory I
  • Linear Algebra
  • Analysis III
  • Modelling with Differential Equations
  • Numerical Analysis II
  • Visual Basic Programming for Operational Research
  • Computational Statistics
  • Accountancy

Year Three

Specialisation is developed further and a project can be taken, which may involve practical application of theoretical knowledge. You will study 120 credits of modules from the following with at least 60 credits to be taken in statistics and operational research:

  • Coding Theory and Data Compression (20 credits)
  • Methods of Applied Mathematics (20 credits)
  • Stochastic Models and Applications to Finance (20 credits)
  • Regression Analysis and Experimental Design (20 credits)
  • Knots
  • Combinatorics
  • Complex Function Theory
  • Groups, Rings and Fields
  • Differential Geometry
  • Applied Nonlinear Systems
  • Time Series Analysis and Forecasting
  • Survey Sampling
  • Mathematical Statistics
  • Medical Statistics
  • Mathematical Programming
  • Discrete Optimisation
  • Queueing Theory and Stock Control
  • Mathematical Methods for Data Mining
  • Project (10 credits)
  • Project (20 credits)

The School of Mathematics has a reputation for excellent teaching quality standards, a friendly atmosphere that pervades the School, and the care and support students receive from the staff. The School strives to ensure that its students react enthusiastically to their courses and thoroughly enjoy their learning experience.

The School offers a range of research-led teaching and learning opportunities which develop essential mathematical and employability skills. Teaching is carried out through a blend of lectures, tutorials and examples classes. To aid the transition to University, all first year modules have associated tutorial sessions that promote peer interaction and discussion. For the majority of first year modules, welsh language tutorials are also available. Increased independent learning is encouraged throughout the programme.

In all years the classes are used to discuss both theoretical concepts and essential mathematical techniques. Students are encouraged to undertake additional reading outside of timetabled classes and fully engage with and reflect upon the formative/summative assessments that take place. Summative assessment is mainly through written examination that takes place either at the end of the Autumn or Spring Semester, but many modules involve an element of continuous assessment which includes problem solving exercises, written reports, computer programs, oral presentation etc. Feedback on progress is typically provided through a combination of discussion in class, written comments on submitted work and review of outline solutions to problems.

The degree award will be based on 30% from your Year 2 studies and 70% from Year 3.

All students are allocated a Personal Tutor for the duration of the Programme, from whom they can expect to receive pastoral advice, guidance and support. Students are encouraged to utilise personal tutors to reflect upon their academic and personal development, as well as future employment opportunities. To aid this process, an extensive online Personal Development Planning module is available to all students via Learning Central (Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment).

Although Personal Tutors do not have a formal role in the teaching process most tutors are very happy to provide academic help when possible and students are encouraged to approach them at any time. In addition, students are encouraged to discuss any queries related to specific modules with individual lecturers. Module information and related resources are also made available to students via Learning Central.

Further learning support is also available via the University wide Maths Support Service.

Typical A-level Offer

 AAB including an A in Maths or A*BB/A*AC including an A in Maths

Typical WBQ Offer Grade A in the Core, plis AA/A*B to include grade A in Mathematics

For 2015: Pass Advanced Diploma (Graded 1st Award) and AB/A*C at A level to include grade A in Mathematics

Typical Int Bacc Offer  34 points including at least 6 in Maths at Higher Level

Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here

Please find here further information about admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme.

The Mathematics degree programmes at Cardiff will equip you with specialist numerical skills and develop your capacity for logical and analytical thought. These are qualities which are in demand across a broad range of stimulating and rewarding careers.

Graduates trained in Statistics and Operational Research are employed in the private sector by financial institutions, marketing consultants, investment houses and manufacturing companies of all kinds. In the public sector statisticians work in health, environmental and social services, teaching, and in virtually every branch of national and local government.

In addition to the formal teaching on the programme the School of Mathematics also has significant engagement with the Careers Service and Employers. This includes a Careers Management Skills Programme, numerous company presentations held in the School, presentations by students returning from industry, and a range of sponsored prizes awarded for academic achievement.

In 2010, 57% of the School’s graduates were in employment within six months of graduation while a further 28% were engaged in further study with others taking time out to travel etc.

Employers included: universities, banks plus organisations such as the Office of National Statistics and the Meteorological Office. Career destinations included: finance manager, lecturer, risk analyst and statistician.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Jonathan Thompson  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 5524 

Fax: +44 (0)29 2087 4199 


School Website:

More information