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500 years of maths marked with new degree at University of Aberdeen

Five hundred years ago, the University of Aberdeen began teaching Mathematics, and to celebrate this milestone which is reached this year, the Departments of Mathematics and Engineering are introducing a new Honours degree.

The new Mathematics and Engineering Mathematics degree will target professional mathematicians in industry, business and applied research.

Professor John Hubbuck, Head of Mathematical Sciences, explained: “This is a big boost to the University of Aberdeen’s student recruitment campaign.

“The new degree is designed for students who are aiming for careers as professional mathematicians in industry, business or academia. The degree will draw on the internationally-recognised expertise within the Departments of Mathematics and Engineering.

“I hope that the new degree will interest students who wish to study mathematics with an added engineering slant.”

In the first two years of the four-year degree programme, students will follow an extended version of the current Honours degree programme in Mathematics. As with the majority of Honours degrees at the University, students need not firmly decide in which Honours programme they wish to graduate until the beginning of their third year. Students taking the new programme in Mathematics in the first and second years must finally decide at the beginning of year three if they wish to take the new degree or move to the current Honours Maths Degree.

Professor Hubbuck added: “The University has been heavily involved in liaising with schools from across the UK to generate interest in the new degree with school pupils and to try and encourage them to come and study this new Mathematics with Engineering Mathematics degree at Aberdeen.”

Students wishing to enrol for this degree in 2005 should apply for the current Honours maths programme but can change to the new degree on arrival at the University.

Professor Albert Rodger, Head of the College of Physical Sciences, is delighted that the University is offering the new degree to students. He said: “This is an exciting time for the University of Aberdeen as it moves into its Sixth Century and, in particular, for both the Departments of Mathematics and Engineering.

“Nine additional members of staff have been appointed in mathematics during 2004-05, including four Professors of international standing. This will most definitely enhance Aberdeen’s high reputation in research in Mathematics and Engineering Mathematics.”

Professor Michael Baker, Head of the Graduate School in the College of Physical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, is available for media interviews. Please contact Angela Ferguson, Communications Office, tel: (01224) 272960 to arrange.

Questions regarding CTAs in general can be directed to Alan Thomas at EPSRC (Tel: 01793 44 4352 or email:

Further information:

1. Collaborative Training Accounts were introduced by EPSRC in 2003. They are designed to provide a single, flexible mechanism for funding all of the EPSRC schemes which link postgraduate training with the workplace (e.g. Masters Training Packages, CASE for New Academics, Engineering Doctorate, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, Research Assistant industrial Secondment and Industrial CASE). Within an Account, artificial barriers between the current different funding streams have been removed and greater managerial and financial discretion delegated to the University. This more agile funding mechanism will put collaborative training provision on a more strategic footing as well as promoting engagement between all parties (e.g. training sponsors, training providers and employers). In turn this will establish a more dynamic and responsive training environment within which there is a better match between training provision and the demand for trained individuals.

2. CTA totalling ~ £150M have been awarded to 52 Universities. The largest award was £16.5M and the smallest £200k.

3. Since 2003, the University of Aberdeen has been sub-divided (for academic purposes) into three constituent Colleges: College of Physical Sciences, College of Life Science and Medicine, and College of Arts and Social Sciences.

4. The Taught Masters Programmes supported by this EPSRC Collaborative Training Account (CTA) are:

· MSc in Safety Engineering, Reliability and Risk Management
· MSc in E-Commerce Technology
· MSc in E-Health Technology
· MSc in E-Science Technology
· MSc in Medical Physics Computing
· MRes in Materials

Eligible students admitted to the Programmes will receive payment of full fees and tax free stipends of approximately £11,500 per year.


Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Monday 14th of February 2005

Ref: 1588maths&eng
Contact: Angela Ferguson

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