Taught course

Mathematical Sciences

Durham University · Department of Mathematical Sciences

Entry requirements

2:1 degree or equivalent in a relevant subject.

Months of entry


Course content

When you choose the 12-month MSc in Mathematical Sciences you will benefit from a research-led education where you learn the latest techniques from internationally recognised specialists in pure mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics and probability.

The MSc is a fully flexible course. It offers the freedom to select up to six modules from a choice of 30+ options based around the innovative research taking place in the Department. You can explore the statistical modelling techniques involved in data analysis or delve into cryptology which is widely used in banking and internet browsing. You can also choose modules in the machine learning techniques that underpin scientific and technological applications, or the application of quantum computing which is a valuable tool in improving supply chains and production. Whatever your interests you will have access to the latest development in the sector.

The final months of the course are spent researching and producing a dissertation on a current research topic. The flexibility around module choice and the dissertation topic allows you to take a broad-based approach or tailor the course around your specific interests and career path.

The Department of Mathematical Sciences is an excellent learning environment for postgraduate studies. Housed in a new building, shared with the Department of Computer Science, you will benefit from dedicated student project space, open plan networking and workspace, and a dedicated area for enterprise and entrepreneurial activities.

By the end of the 12 months, we aim to bring you to a level where you can confidently progress into a variety of careers in both the public and private sectors, or continue your academic career with a PhD in Mathematics or related disciplines.

Course structure

Core module:

The MSc Dissertation is a supervised extended report into a topic of current mathematical research interest chosen from a wide range of subjects. It will develop your skills in creative and critical thinking, your ability to tackle material critically and to communicate your findings effectively and clearly in a 40-60 page report.

Examples of optional modules:

  • Advanced Quantum Theory
  • Algebraic Topology
  • Analysis
  • Ergodic Theory
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Functional Analysis and Applications
  • General Relativity
  • Geometry
  • Mathematical Finance
  • Number Theory
  • Partial Differential Equations
  • Probability
  • Representation Theory
  • Riemannian Geometry
  • Solitons
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Stochastic Analysis
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Superstrings
  • Topics in Algebra and Geometry
  • Topics in Applied Mathematics
  • Topics in Combinatorics
  • Topics in Statistics

If you chose five modules from the previous list, the remaining option can be chosen from the following:

  • Advanced Statistical Modelling
  • Bayesian Computation and Modelling
  • Codes and Cryptography
  • Decision Theory
  • Differential Geometry
  • Dynamical Systems
  • Galois Theory
  • Geometry of Mathematical Physics
  • Machine Learning and Neural Networks
  • Mathematical Biology
  • Operations Research
  • Quantum Computing
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Topology

Students will be able to choose an overall stream, linking together their modules with a coherent theme. Choosing modules outside the stream isn't discouraged, however, allowing you to put together a truly bespoke combination of modules if you desire (and the timetable permits!).

Information for international students

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

For further information see the course listing.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Department of Mathematical Sciences