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MSc Mathematical Sciences

Deepen your mathematical knowledge and move towards cutting-edge research under the guidance of world-leading experts

Year of entry: 2021 (September)


1 year full-time

Start date

September 2021 (term dates)

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This MSc in Mathematical Sciences will develop your mathematical knowledge through a range of modules concentrated on one of our research specialisms in algebra, number theory, geometry and analysis, mathematical physics and mathematical biology. It will provide a bridge to world-class research in one of these areas. 

It combines both traditional mathematics subjects with advanced courses that will prepare you for an array of numerate and analytical professions to be found at the core of the digital economy as well as prepare you for a PhD or other research paths.

As part of the Department of Mathematics at York, you will join our friendly and welcoming community. You'll benefit from high-quality teaching by expert staff, who are engaged in world-leading research in many areas of mathematics.

Research excellence

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment, 80 per cent of research activity in the Department of Mathematics was designated 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'

Course content

You choose a route through this degree which concentrates either on pure mathematics or, within the mathematics of the natural sciences, on mathematical physics or mathematical biology. In each, you'll take modules which prepare you for research, aligned with our research groups. You'll also have the opportunity to take modules outside your route to broaden the scope of your study.

The single route in Pure Mathematics centres on algebra and number theory with additional material in geometry and analysis.

In Applied Mathematics we offer two routes, one in mathematical physics and another in mathematical biology. There is overlap in areas such as partial differential equations and current hot topics which bridge the natural sciences, such as soft matter.

You'll undertake both a preparatory project and a dissertation in specialised subjects of your choice, with the aim of taking your research skills and understanding towards the frontiers of knowledge, with support and supervision from a dedicated member of staff. 



You'll choose ten option modules from one of the following routes - five or six in the Autumn Term and four or five in the Spring Term.

All option modules are worth 10 credits.

Pure Mathematics route

Autumn Term:

Spring Term:

Mathematical Physics route

Autumn Term:

Spring Term: 

Mathematical Biology route

Autumn Term:

Spring Term:

You may replace up to 30 credits with modules from the other route, as long as there are no timetable clashes. You may also replace up to 30 credits with Stage Three undergraduate Mathematics modules (H-level), subject to the Department's approval, provided the total credit number of H-level modules does not exceed 30.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.


You will complete a preparatory project in the Spring Term (20 credits) and a dissertation over the Summer Term and summer vacation (60 credits). For these you'll be supervised by one of our research experts in the field on which you have decided to focus.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • use, with a high level of sophistication and accuracy, the language of mathematics and mathematical techniques that underpin a wide range of research in, and applications to, science, technology and industry.
  • recognise and critically evaluate the appropriate advanced mathematical methods in order to find a suitable strategy for solving unfamiliar problems open to mathematical investigation and solve such problems.
  • use logical reasoning as a basis for the critical analysis of ideas or statements in advanced mathematics, and develop independently your own ideas using well-founded reasoning.
  • conduct a study of a specialised area of mathematics which takes into account recent mathematical progress. You will be able to compare multiple sources, including research articles, to inform this study and be able to check or complete technical details from these sources independently.
  • communicate advanced mathematical ideas clearly, both in writing and in a presentation, at a level appropriate for the intended audience.
  • confidently use tools in information technology for range of appropriate tasks, such as typesetting and literature review.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2021/22

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £8,440£18,700

Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2021/22 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19)

We hope to deliver this course as advertised for 2021/22 entry, but it’s unclear when we’ll be able to return to a normal timetable. For an idea of how this course might be affected, see our changes for 2020/21 entry.

Teaching format

We use a wide range of teaching methods to suit different learning styles including: 

  • Lectures
  • Problems classes
  • Seminars

Lectures are used to describe new concepts you will have to learn and problems classes put them into practice. Seminars are small, interactive sessions which allow us to focus on your individual needs.

While you're working on your project and your dissertation you'll have regular meetings with an academic supervisor who can offer advice and support. We aim to give you a supervisor with specialist knowledge of the area you're investigating.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Mathematics in James College on Campus West. Most of your small group teaching will take place in the Department's dedicated MSc seminar room (the Dusa McDuff room), with larger classes taking place close by in James College, Derwent College and elsewhere on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

For the majority of taught modules, assignments are set every fortnight. These assignments will help you develop your skills and identify areas for improvement. You'll receive verbal and written feedback during seminars, when you'll have a chance to discuss your work.

Most modules' final assessments take the form of closed exams. You'll be able to see past papers ahead of each exam which will give you an idea of the topics which may be covered and the level of complexity involved. 

You'll also be assessed on presentations, project reports and your final dissertation.

A maths student thinking
Professor Reidun Twarock supervising a student

Careers and skills

The skills you develop on this course are in high demand in advanced careers that rely on logic and problem solving. It's also ideal preparation if you want to take your studies to a higher level.

Career opportunities

  • Banking and financial services
  • Computing and IT
  • Engineering
  • Public administration
  • Logistics
  • Research

Transferable skills

  • Confidence with high-level mathematics
  • Logical thinking
  • Analysis of problems
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Communication skills
  • Research skills

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in Mathematics or in a subject with a substantial mathematics component. We may accept a 2:2 undergraduate degree supported by relevant professional qualifications.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.0, minimum 5.5 in each component
PTE Academic 55, minimum 51 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 169, minimum 162 in each component
TOEFL 79, minimum 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing
Trinity ISE III Pass in all components
Duolingo 100, minimum 90 in all other components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

Personal statement

In your personal statement, please tell us which of the three routes (Pure Mathematics, Mathematical Physics or Mathematical Biology) you'd like to follow. You should also state how the subjects you have studied previously relate to the modules you want to study on this course.

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Department of Mathematics

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