Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London


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 7 or 8 modules, allowing you to study several different topics in depth, and to focus on the areas that interest you most. Over 2 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.

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. 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.

Course modules

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 8 evenings of tutorials over the course of the year.

Every other 15-credit module runs for 1 term, while each 30-credit module runs for 2 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.
Indicative option modules for 2016-2017:

Algebraic Number Theory;
Computational Mathematics;
Continuous Time Stochastic Processes I;
Continuous Time Stochastic Processes II;
Group Theory;
Mathematical and Numerical Methods;
Mathematics of Communications;
Number Theory and Geometry;
Topics in Graph Theory;
Writing Mathematics.

Indicative option modules for 2017-2018:

Calculus 3: Transforms & Models;
Continuous Time Stochastic Processes I;
Continuous Time Stochastic Processes II;
Galois Theory;
Linear Programming and Game Theory;
Mathematical and Numerical Methods;
Reflection Groups;
Representation Theory;
Writing Mathematics.

Assessment methods

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 3 weeks to complete each of these.

The project module has 4 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).

Sponsorship information

The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses - and you don't have to start repaying until 2019. Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MSc Part-time October 2017 - 2 years

Campus details

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Get in touch

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Key information

Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics
Telephone number: 
020 7631 6442