This MSc prepares students with a background in pure or applied mathematics for a PhD or a career in the private sector. A wide range of topics is covered including group theory, mathematical computing, combinatorics, fluid dynamics, solar theory, mathematical biology, and measure and ergodic theory.

The MSc in Mathematics consists of two semesters of taught courses run by the School of Mathematics and Statistics, followed by a dissertation undertaken over the summer months. This programme is particularly suited for those seeking a career in academic mathematical research or a mathematics-related career in the private sector.


  • A wide range of advanced mathematical module choices is offered.
  • Students have the possibility of enrolling into an independent study module.
  • A Professional Skills for Mathematical Scientists module is also offered.
  • Regular colloquia are held given by experts from within and out with the School.
  • The dissertations are a great opportunity to experience mathematical research.

Teaching format

Most modules for the MSc in Mathematics are traditional semester-long lecture courses with the end of semester exams, but some modules have a large element of continuous assessment. Class sizes range from 10 to 60 students, depending on the module.

The School of Mathematics and Statistics is well equipped with computing facilities (including a large parallel computing cluster) and an on-site library.


For an MSc in Mathematics, students take at least 90 credits worth of 5000-level Mathematics and Statistics modules. The remaining 30 credits can be taken from the School's 3000-level and 4000-level modules. At least 90 credits of the total of 120 credits of the taught part should be Pure Mathematics or Applied Mathematics modules.

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment.

Optional undergraduate-level modules

  • Bayesian inference
  • Computing in mathematics
  • Computing in statistics
  • Design of experiments
  • Dynamical systems
  • Financial mathematics
  • Finite mathematics
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Fractal geometry
  • Groups
  • Linear and nonlinear waves
  • Mathematical biology 1
  • Markov chains and processes
  • Number theory
  • Population genetics
  • Quantitative risk management
  • Real and abstract analysis
  • Solar theory
  • Spatial processes
  • Statistical inference
  • Topics in the history of mathematics
  • Topology

Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students.

Optional postgraduate-level modules

  • Advanced Analytical Techniques
  • Advanced Combinatorics
  • Advanced Computational Techniques
  • Advanced Data Analysis
  • Applied Multivariate Analysis
  • Advanced Solar Theory
  • Advanced Topics in the History of Mathematics
  • Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems
  • Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
  • Independent Study Module
  • Introductory Data Analysis
  • Knowledge Discovery and Datamining
  • Mathematical Biology 2
  • Measure and Probability Theory
  • Medical Statistics
  • Professional Skills for Mathematical Scientists
  • Semigroups
  • Software for Data Analysis
  • Statistical Modelling
  • Topics in Groups

Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students.


During the final part of the course, from June to mid-August, students complete a dissertation to be submitted by the end of August. Dissertations are supervised by members of academic staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the progress of the dissertation.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MSc.

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.


The MSc in Mathematics graduates holds positions at leading universities or companies in areas as diverse as business administration, computer science and modelling, fisheries laboratories and pure mathematics.

Our recent graduates at Masters and Doctoral level have found employment in:

  • large consulting firms and major financial institutions including Scottish and Southern Energy, RBS, Capital One, American Express, Goldman Sachs and Tesco Bank.
  • the computer industry.
  • government agencies including GCHQ.
  • wildlife and conservation managers including the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Entry requirements

  • A good 2.1 undergraduate Honours degree in Mathematics, Statistics or a closely related subject area.
  • If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
  • English language proficiency.

The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

Application requirements

  • CV.
  • personal statement (optional).
  • two original signed academic references.
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates.
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).


There are many potential scholarships or support schemes available to postgraduates.

Recent Graduate Discount

The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.

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Last updated April 20, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 9, 2019
1 year
9,000 GBP
UK and EU: £9,000; Overseas: £18,480
Aug 12, 2019
Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sep 9, 2019
End Date
Sep 30, 2020
Application deadline
Aug 12, 2019
Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Sep 9, 2019

Application deadline
Aug 12, 2019
Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.
End Date
Sep 30, 2020

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