School of Mathematics

MSc Mathematics and Computer Science

MSc Mathematics and Computer Science

This interdisciplinary Masters degree provides a broad background in some mainstream and modern aspects of mathematics and computer science. You will be introduced to sophisticated techniques at the forefront of both disciplines.

The programme combines teaching and research from the School of Mathematics and the School of Computing. Based on the Schools’ complementary research strengths the programme follows two main strands:

  • Algorithms and complexity theory
  • Numerical methods and parallel computing

It is expected that most students will specialise in one of two areas during the course, although this is not essential.

The two strands are:

Algorithms and complexity theory and connections to logic and combinatorics
This concerns the efficiency of algorithms for solving computational problems, and identifies hierarchies of computational difficulty. This subject has applications in many areas, such as distributed computing, algorithmic tools to manage transport infrastructure, health informatics, artificial intelligence, and computational biology.

Numerical methods and parallel computing
Many problems, in mathematics, physics, astrophysics and biology cannot be solved using analytical techniques and require the application of numerical algorithms for progress. The development and optimisation of these algorithms coupled to the recent increase in computing power via the availability of massively parallel machines has led to great advances in many fields of computational mathematics. This subject has applications in many areas, such as combustion, lubrication, atmospheric dispersion, river and harbour flows, and many more.

You are required to study 180 credits in total made up from taught modules and a research project.

You will need to choose 120 credits worth of optional modules which in general are taken from across the two strands, Algorithms and Complexity Theory and Numerical Methods and also either one of the following compulsory modules:

  • Dissertation in Mathematics
  • MSc Project

These are each 60 credit modules, taken over the summer (semester three). You will be assigned a research supervisor.

Some possible dissertation topics will be advised, but you can also suggest your own topic (subject to approval).

A first or upper second class (2.1) BSc degree in mathematics or computer science (with a substantial mathematics component), or equivalent. We will also consider students who hold other degrees with a substantial mathematics component.

English Language Requirements
A pass at GCSE level in English Language (grade C or above).

Candidates whose first language is not English will require an appropriate English language qualification, such as:

  • IELTS with a minimum score of 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in all components)
  • Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) of at least 92 overall with no less than 21 in listening, 21 in reading, 23 in speaking and 22 in writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) academic score of 64 with at least 60 in all components.

Each of these areas offers many career options, and the MSc will provide both technical and transferrable skills, for example, conducting an extended and independent research project. It will also offer excellent preparation for doctoral research in these or related subjects. On completion of the degree students can progress onto a wide range of opportunities including:

  • PhD in Mathematics, or in Computer Science.
  • Careers in Computing and Industries which require algorithmic tools (transport infrastructure, health informatics, computational biology, artificial intelligence, companies developing the internet (e.g. search engines).
  • Many other careers (e.g. in Finance) where a mathematics background is valued.


In collaboration with both industrial and academic partners, our research has resulted in computational techniques, and software, that has been widely applied. Our industry links are extensive and include companies such as Google, Yahoo, Akamai, Microsoft, and Tracsis, as well as the NHS.