Taught course

Discrete Mathematics and its Applications

University of Essex · Department of Mathematical Sciences

Entry requirements

A high 2.2 honours degree or equivalent in relevant subject area.

MSc and Postgraduate Diploma

Months of entry


Course content

Discrete mathematics underlies several vital situations in practical life: the frequency assignment problem for communication networks (what keeps your mobile telephone working) is a special case of the 'theoretical' graph colouring problem; the RSA cryptosystem, used on computers all over the world, depends at bottom on classical results of number theory; game theory, with roots in mathematics, statistics and economics, is routinely applied to understanding and predicting human behaviour; problems of protection of digital information against piracy are closely related to aspects of set systems.

Our MSc Discrete Mathematics and its Applications covers many aspects of discrete mathematics and their potential use in practice. The importance of this area was emphasised in the recent International Review of Mathematics in the UK but our course also provides you with options in optimisation, machine learning/data mining and statistics. Key employment skills you gain include analytic reasoning, problem solving, techniques of discrete mathematics and an understanding of application areas of these techniques, algorithm design and implementation, and data analysis.

Our Department of Mathematical Sciences has an international reputation in many areas like such as semi-group theory, optimisation, probability, applied statistics, bioinformatics and mathematical biology.

Our staff are strongly committed to research and teaching. They have published several well-regarded text books and are world leaders in their individual specialisms, with their papers appearing in learned journals like Communications in Algebra, Studia Logica, International Journal of Algebra and Computation, SIAM Journal in Optimization, IEEE Evolutionary Computation, Computers and Operations Research, Ecology, Journal of Mathematical Biology, and Journal of Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology.

Information for international students


Fees and funding

We offer many funding opportunities to support talented postgraduates, ranging from research council studentships and University scholarships to awards funded by charities and other external organisations. For more information, visit our website at: www.essex.ac.uk.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months


full time
9 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written/ formal examinations50
Written coursework / continuous assessment25
Dissertation25 (10000 words)

Course contact details

Graduate Administrator
+44 (0)1206 872719