BSc Business Mathematics and Statistics

Statistics is a way of seeing things. It is not really a subject, but a way of looking at the world

Dr Wicher Bergsma200x200

If you have enjoyed mathematics at A level then this degree offers the opportunity to build on your interest in mathematical sciences and learn how to apply your knowledge in areas relevant to business and finance.

Take a look at what Statistics graduates have gone on to do.

Dr. Wicher Bergsma
BSc Business Mathematics and Statistics course tutor 

Entry requirements

  • Course requirement: GCSE pass at grade A or A* in Mathematics.
  • Normally required: A level: grades A A A, one of which must be Mathematics.
  • International Baccalaureate: Diploma with 38 points including 7 6 6 at Higher level (with 7 in Mathematics).

Details of how to apply

Find out more details on how to apply, requesting a prospectus and related programmes. Please note that applications for October 2017 entry have now closed. The BMS programme will change its name in 2018 to Mathematics, Statistics and Business. Find out more on how to apply for this new programme. 

Features of the course

After the first year you will be able to choose which aspects of the application of mathematics and statistics suit your interests and career aspirations best.

The main pathways available are:

  • Actuarial Science (where courses followed are identical with those in the Actuarial Science degree)
  • Applicable Mathematics
  • Applied Statistics
  • Business Methods

If you take the actuarial science options you may be entitled to exemption from the Institute of Actuaries Examination. For details see the section on Actuarial Science.

Degree structure

First year

  1. ST102 Elementary Statistical Theory
  2. MA100 Mathematical Methods
  3. EC100 Economics A or EC102 Economics B
  4. AC100 Elements of Accounting and Finance or MA103 Introduction to Abstract Mathematics  

You follow a common first year programme. Elementary Statistical Theory is concerned with both theory and application and is appropriate whether or not your A level Mathematics course included statistics. It forms the basis for later statistics options. Mathematical Methods is an introductory level 'how to do it' course designed to prepare you for using mathematics seriously in the social sciences, or any other context. Elements of Accounting and Finance will give you an introduction to the preparation, uses and limitations of accounting information and the problems of finance and investment. You will also take a relevant Economics course.

Second year

  1. MA212 Further Mathematical Methods
  2. ST205 Sample Surveys and Experiments (half) and ST211 Applied Regression (half)
  3. Courses to the value of one unit to be discussed with the tutor
  4. Courses to the value of one unit to be discussed with the tutor

You take a course in Further Mathematical Methods, covering the mathematics needed as a basis for other courses in statistics and actuarial science, and at least one course in statistics; Probability, Distribution Theory and Inference will develop your knowledge of probability and estimation theory beyond the first year course, Projects in Applied Statistics allows you to develop concepts in the area of regression and analysis of variance, and critical thinking on an applied statistics subject of your interest.

You also take another course in a mathematical or statistical subject, including: Introduction to Abstract Mathematics, Operational Research Methods, Actuarial Investigations - Financial or Survival Models. Your fourth course is chosen from a list including: Microeconomic Principles, Macroeconomic Principles, Information Technology and Society, Principles of Finance, Social Psychology, and Work Management and Globalisation.

Third year

At least three units in advanced topics in Statistics, Market Research, Mathematics, Operational Research and Model Building, Actuarial Science and Information Technology.

Not more than one unit in advanced topics from Management, Economics, Accountancy, Finance, Social Psychology, Demography and Law.

Your choice in the third year is very wide. You should take at least three of the courses on offer in statistics, mathematics and closely related areas.

Have a look at the BSc Business Mathematics and Statistics regulations for more information on option courses. Click here for 1st, 2nd and 3rd year regulations.

Teaching and assessment

You will usually attend a mixture of lectures and related classes totalling between ten and fifteen hours per week. Your personal tutor will be available to offer general guidance and assistance with both academic and personal concerns, and you will be expected to meet him or her at least three times a term. Most courses are assessed by a three-hour examination in June. A small number of courses are assessed by project work. The class of degree you will attain is based on the assessment over all three years, with the emphasis on marks gained in the second and third years.

Suggested preliminary reading

The following books can help prepare for the programmes:

  • V Bryant: Yet Another Introduction to Analysis (Cambridge University Press, 1990)
  • N L Biggs: Discrete Mathematics (Oxford University Press, 2003)
  • P Eccles: An Introduction to Mathematical Reasoning (Cambridge University Press, 1998)
  • D Hand: Statistics: a very short introduction (Oxford University Press, 2008)

The following are books on mathematics and statistics containing little to no formulas:

  • A Dilnot, The Tiger That Isn't: Seeing Through a World of Numbers, (Profile books, 2007)
  • K J Devlin: The Millennium Problems: the seven greatest unsolved mathematical puzzles of our time (Granta Books, 2005)
  • P J Davis and R Hersh, The Mathematical Experience, (Houghton Mifflin, 2000)
  • J S Rosenthal: Struck by Lightening: the curious world of probabilities (Harper Collins, 2005)