UCC Undergraduate courses

Mathematical Sciences

Course Fact File
Duration4 Years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBSc (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
FeesEU State Student Contribution + Capitation: €3,138. See Fees and Costs for full details.
CAO Points2023: 556
CAO Points Range2023: 556-625

Course Outline

Mathematical Sciences, both as a language and as a body of knowledge and technique, have provided the fundamental underpinnings of science and technology for centuries. Today, its influence stretches beyond the physical sciences and engineering into medicine, business and finance, the life sciences, and the social sciences. Mathematical Sciences are also studied for the elegance of their ideas and the intellectual challenges they pose.

In our programme you will discover that Mathematical Sciences underpin science, technology, engineering, finance, software development and countless other modern advances. Our Mathematical Sciences programme allows you to study all aspects of mathematics and offers three degree options. 

You will study a wide range of topics across mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics, concentrating on the areas you like most, without becoming unduly specialised. There is a significant choice of modules, especially in Years 3 and 4.

In your first year, you review much of what you learned in Leaving Certificate mathematics, with an emphasis on understanding, and build on this.

In your second year, you choose one of three degree programmes:

Each year, you will encounter new areas in the mathematical sciences, from modules in theoretical aspects of mathematics to its practical applications. The balance will depend on your emerging interests.

You will learn programming skills in a mathematical context, you will gain experience working in groups, and you will learn written and oral exposition skills,  through your final-year research projects or through your work in statistical consultancy. 

Year 1 Modules

  • AM1052 Introduction to Mechanics (5 credits)
  • AM1053 Introduction to Mathematical Modelling (5 credits)
  • AM1054 Mathematical Software (5 credits)
  • MA1057 Introduction to Abstract Algebra (5 credits)
  • MA1058 Introduction to Linear Algebra (5 credits)
  • MA1059 Calculus (5 credits)
  • MA1060 Introduction to Analysis (5 credits)
  • ST1051 Introduction to Probability and Statistics (5 credits)

Plus 20 credits from the following: 

  • AC1107 Investment in Capital Assets (5 credits)  
  • AC1108 Introduction to Valuation and Risk (5 credits)
  • BL1006 Habitats and Ecosystems (5 credits)
  • CM1006 Introduction to Chemistry for Physicists and Mathematicians (10 credits)
  • CS1061 Programming in C (5 credits)
  • CS1065 Computer Applications Programming (5 credits)
  • CS1069 Introduction to Internet Technologies (5 credits)
  • MS2013 Geometry (5 credits)
  • PA1003 Principles of Market Analysis (10 credits)
  • PY1052 Introductory Physics I* (10 credits) 
  • PY1053 Introductory Physics II* (10 credits) 
  • ST1050 Statistical Programming in R (5 credits) 

*Students wishing to study BSc Mathematical Sciences & Physics must take these modules.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

  • In a typical year you will study 12 modules, each worth 5-credits. This leads to 12 lecture hours and 6 tutorials hours per week on average.
  • Most modules consist of two lectures per week, together with exercise sheets that you work through with support from a tutor in a weekly tutorial.
  • Modules that involve significant use of the computer will have associated laboratory practicals. Some modules incorporate practical laboratories and for these, the students may be required to purchase basic safety items such as a laboratory coat or goggles. Other modules may require the purchase of a kit of components.

Why Choose This Course

Through studying mathematics I have learned how to think critically and imaginatively when confronted by a problem...

Aidan Marnane, BSc Mathematical Sciences, Quercus Scholar

Read Aidan's Testimonial

BSc Mathematical Sciences is an ideal degree course for students who wish to develop their mathematical knowledge and ability to a level that is highly valued by employers. Our students enjoy mathematics, were good at mathematics in school, and want to make significant use of their mathematical skills in their careers. This course will help you to capitalise on your interest in mathematics by completing a strongly numerate degree.

You will enter the jobs market with a top class numerate degree from one of the strongest Mathematical Sciences departments in the country. The emphasis on developing problem solving skills across a range of disciplines is highly regarded by employers. Our students have an excellent track record in both career development following graduation and in postgraduate study. We have strong links with local, national and international companies, as well as a strong international reputation in research which will add value to your degree. 

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Work Placement

The course does not include any formal placement module, but you are encouraged to seek a summer internship at the end of Year 3. Staff in the School of Mathematical Sciences are willing and able to advise you in sourcing a suitable position through well-established contacts with companies throughout Cork and Ireland.

Study Abroad

A number of our students use their third year of study to go abroad, either for a full year, or for one semester. Popular destinations for our graduates in recent years include the National University of Singapore; North Carolina State University; the Technical University of Munich; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, San Diego; and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Skills and Careers Information

Graduate Study Options

After completing your degree you will have access to many attractive postgraduate study options. There are a number of research-led or taught Masters programmes that you will be eligible to apply for, including:

Our graduates are also successful in pursuing research in disciplines outside of Mathematical Sciences depending on their interests.

Quite a few graduates are successful in obtaining PhD funding from the Irish Research Council and popular research disciplines for graduates of this programme include applied maths, financial maths, pure maths, statistics and mathematical studies.

Career Opportunities

As a graduate, you will have technical, computational and numeracy skills, as well as desirable soft skills, such as oral and written presentation skills and team work experience. These prepare you for a range of employment opportunities and are highly-valued by employers. A mathematical science degree will be seen by employers as evidence that you are able to think independently and quickly learn new skills.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for AIB, Allianz Insurance, Cork County Council, FBD Insurance, Flutter Entertainment, IPB Insurance, and UCC.

A mathematical science degree can lead to a wide range of careers in areas such as:

  • Management consultancy
  • Actuary
  • Banking
  • Accountant
  • Options trading
  • Scientific research 
  • Software and Computing
  • Pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries
  • Engineering-based industries such as electronics and communication technologies


Leaving Certificate Entry Requirements

At least six subjects must be presented. Minimum grade H3 in one subject, minimum grade H5 in one subject and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. English and Irish are requirements for all programmes unless the applicant is exempt from Irish

Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:

O6/H7 O6/H7 H3

You don’t need to have studied Applied Mathematics for Leaving Certificate, though this would be an advantage.

EU/EFTA/UK Qualifications

EU/EFTA/UK applicants presenting an equivalent school-leaving qualification should review the EU/EFTA/UK Applicants page for information on equivalent grades and how to prove their level of English.

Mature Students

To compete through the mature entry route, applicants must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the application year and apply online via the CAO by 1 February. The application should include a statement of interest. Applicants may also be called for interview.

Applicants must have studied Maths at second level or QQI FET or demonstrate involvement with Maths related areas.

Further information on applying as a mature student is available on the Mature Applicants and Mature Student Entry support pages. 

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How To Apply

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact