Introduction

Mathematics is a powerful language of communication which can be combined with the study of Philosophy, the understanding of argument and its application.

This programme is studied on campus.

Mathematics is a powerful universal language used to describe situations in abstract terms. At the heart of manipulation with abstract mathematical objects are precision, logical thinking and reasoning skills. Studying and doing Mathematics requires a high level of communication skills. Employers highly value these skills and the subsequent versatility of our graduates.

Philosophy is the study of argument and its application to a wide variety of questions of fundamental importance to human life and intellectual activity.

Philosophers attempt to answer questions such as: What is knowledge? What is the nature of truth? Could the existence of God be proved? Why should we act morally? Philosophy is as much the study of what constitutes a ‘good’ or ‘valid’ argument as it is the application of thought to specific problems.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
GV15

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Divinity, History & Philosophy (AW1007)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

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Calculus i (MA1005) - 15 Credit Points

Calculus is the mathematical study of change, and is used in many areas of mathematics, science, and the commercial world. This course covers differentiation, limits, finding maximum and minimum values, and continuity. There may well be some overlap with school mathematics, but the course is brisk and will go a long way quickly.

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Algebra (MA1006) - 15 Credit Points

This course introduces the concepts of complex numbers, matrices and other basic notions of linear algebra over the real and complex numbers. This provides the necessary mathematical background for further study in mathematics, physics, computing science, chemistry and engineering.

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Calculus II (MA1508) - 15 Credit Points

The aim of the course is to provide an introduction to Integral Calculus and the theory of sequences and series, to discuss their applications to the theory of functions, and to give an introduction to the theory of functions of several variables.

This provides the necessary mathematical background for further study in mathematics, physics, computing science, chemistry and engineering.

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Set Theory (MA1511) - 15 Credit Points

Set theory was introduced by Cantor in 1872, who was attempting to understand the concept of "infinity" which defied the mathematical world since the Greeks. Set Theory is fundamental to modern mathematics - any mathematical theory must be formulated within the framework of set theory, or else it is deemed invalid. It is the alphabet of mathematics.

In this course we will study naive set theory. Fundamental object such as the natural numbers and the real numbers will be constructed. Structures such as partial orders and functions will be studied. And of course, we will explore infinite sets.

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Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year

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Experience, Knowledge and Reality (PH1023) - 15 Credit Points

How “real” is reality? How does the mind relate to the world? This course introduces two approaches to answering these questions: rationalism and empiricism. By Rene Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy, we learn about Descartes’ rationalist approach to knowledge, reality, mind-body dualism, and God’s necessary existence. Through David Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding see how Hume grounds knowledge in experience. We read Hume on impressions and ideas, induction, causality, miracles and critically compare and examine Descartes’ and Hume’s arguments by drawing on readers and critics. Download course guide

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Optional Courses

  • One or two of the following: Controversial Questions (PH1027); How Should One Live? (PH1522)
  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to make up 120 credit points
Controversial Questions (PH1027) - 15 Credit Points

Watch this course video! We examine questions such as: Is eating animals immoral? Is being a good or bad person a matter of luck? If so, are we justified in punishing bad people? Should anyone be able to set limits on what you can do with your own body, even if it's ‘for your own good’? Should everyone be allowed to state their mind, even if their views are harmful or offensive? Is censorship ever justifiable? Do you have a moral obligation to help those worse-off? Are you unknowingly biased against underprivileged groups? Download course guide

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How Should One Live? (PH1522) - 15 Credit Points

Why do the morally right thing when you have much more to gain by doing evil and know you could get away with it? Should you save five lives even if this requires you to kill someone in exchange for them? Would you lie on the witness stand to protect your guilty mother from life in prison? We will read and discuss responses to these questions that have been presented in both historical and contemporary texts, including those by Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Kant, John Stuart Mill, Bernard Williams, Judith Thomson, Shelly Kagan, and T.M. Scanlon.

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Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Linear Algebra i (MA2008) - 15 Credit Points

Linear algebra is the study of vector spaces and linear maps between them and it is a central subject within mathematics.

It provides foundations for almost all branches of mathematics and sciences in general. The techniques are used in engineering, physics, computer science, economics and others. For example, special relativity and quantum mechanics are formulated within the framework of linear algebra.

The two courses Linear Algebra I and II aim at providing a solid foundation of the subject.

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Analysis i (MA2009) - 15 Credit Points

Analysis provides the rigourous, foundational underpinnings of calculus. It is centred around the notion of limits: convergence within the real numbers. Related ideas, such as infinite sums (a.k.a. series), continuity, and differentiation, are also visited in this course. Care is needed to properly use the delicate formal concept of limits. At the same time, limits are often intuitive, and we aim to reconcile this intuition with correct mathematical reasoning. The emphasis throughout this course is on rigourous mathematical proofs, valid reasoning, and the avoidance of fallacious arguments.

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Analysis II (MA2509) - 15 Credit Points

Analysis provides the rigourous, foundational underpinnings of calculus. This course builds on the foundations in Analysis I, and explores the notions of Riemann integrability, Cauchy sequences, sequences of functions, and power series. The techniques of careful rigourous argument seen in Analysis I will be further developed. Such techniques will be applied to solve problems that would otherwise be inaccessible. As in Analysis I, the emphasis of this course is on valid mathematical proofs and correct reasoning.

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Gender Equality (PH2035)
What We are: Mind in A Physical World (PH251B)
Metaphysics, Epistemology and Language (PH2538) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides students with an introduction to central issues in metaphysics, epistemology, logic and philosophy of language. The emphasis is on introducing some of the central issues in these areas; issues that have shaped the contemporary debate. In addition to introducing a number of central issues in metaphysics, epistemology, logic, and philosophy of language, this course also teaches and further develops a number of essential skills including extracting and evaluating philosophical arguments, critical writing, and the application of logical concepts to philosophical problems.

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Linear Algebra II (MA2508) - 15 Credit Points

Linear algebra is the study of vector spaces and linear maps between them and it is a central subject within mathematics.

It provides foundations for almost all branches of mathematics and sciences in general. The techniques are used in engineering, physics, computer science, economics and others. For example, special relativity and quantum mechanics are formulated within the framework of linear algebra.

The two courses Linear Algebra I and II aim at providing a solid foundation of the subject.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 15 credit points from courses of choice
Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Group Theory (MX3020) - 15 Credit Points

Group theory concerns the study of symmetry. The course begins with the group axioms, which provide an abstract setting for the study of symmetry. We proceed to study subgroups, normal subgroups, and group actions in various guises. Group homomorphisms are introduced and the related isomorphism theorems are proved. Composition series are introduced and the Jordan-Holder theorem is proved. Sylow p-subgroups are introduced and the three Sylow theorems are proved. Throughout symmetric groups are consulted as a source of examples.

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Analysis Iii (MX3035) - 15 Credit Points

Analysis provides the rigourous, foundational underpinnings of calculus. The focus of this course is multivariable analysis, building on the single-variable theory from MA2009 Analysis I and MA2509 Analysis II. Concepts and results around multivariable differentiation are comprehensively established, laying the ground for multivariable integration in MX3535 Analysis IV. As in Analysis I and II, abstract reasoning and proof-authoring are key skills emphasised in this course.

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Analysis Iv (MX3535) - 15 Credit Points

Analysis provides the rigourous, foundational underpinnings of calculus. This course builds on MX3035 Analysis III, continuing the development of multivariable calculus, with a focus on multivariable integration. Hilbert spaces (infinite dimensional Euclidean spaces) are also introduced. Students will see the benefit of having acquired the formal reasoning skills developed in Analysis I, II, and III, as it enables them to work with increasingly abstract concepts and deep results. Techniques of rigourous argumentation continue to be a prominent part of the course.

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Optional Courses

  • EITHER Rings and Fields (MX3531) OR Differential Equations (MX3536)
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 3 courses in Philosophy
Rings and Fields (MX3531) - 15 Credit Points

Many examples of rings will be familiar before entering this course. Examples include the integers modulo n, the complex numbers and n-by-n matrices with real entries. The course develops from the fundamental definition of ring to study particular classes of rings and how they relate to each other. We also encounter generalisations of familiar concepts, such as what is means for a polynomial to be prime.

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Differential Equations (MX3536) - 15 Credit Points

Differential equations play a prominent role in many disciplines including engineering, physics, economics, and biology. In this course we will study the concept of a differentialk equation systematically from a purely mathematical viewpoint. Such abstraction is fundamental to the understanding of this concept.

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Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

Complex Analysis (MX4557) - 15 Credit Points

This course asks what happens when concepts such as convergence of sequences and series, continuity and differentiability, are applied in the complex plane? The results are much more beautiful, and often, surprisingly, simpler, than over the real numbers. This course also covers contour integration of complex functions, which has important applications in Physics and Engineering.

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Optional Courses

Option 1

  • Philosophy Dissertation (PH402D)
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 3 and 4 courses in Philosophy
  • Select a further 45 credit points from level 4 courses in Mathematical Sciences

Option 2

  • Project (MX4023)
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 3 and 4 courses in Philosophy
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 courses in Mathematical Sciences
Philosophy Dissertation (PH402D) - 30 Credit Points

The dissertation is on a topic in philosophy. The specific topic will be chosen by the student with the approval of the supervisor. The choice of topics is restricted insofar as it must fall within the teaching competence of the supervisor. Download course guide.

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Project (MX4023) - 15 Credit Points

The 4th year project is a good opportunity to do some research in an area of mathematics which is not covered in any other course. A choice of project topics will be made available to students before the start of the semester. Students will be expected to have regular meetings with their project supervisor. A written report should be submitted at the end of the course, with a presentation taking place shortly afterwards. Students should be able to demonstrate in the project that they have a good understanding of the topic they covered, often through working out examples.

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Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Mathematics and Philosophy?

  • Mathematics is a powerful international language used to describe situations in precise but abstract terms. Our graduates find their skills highly valued by employers both for their rigorous thinking and their versatility.
  • We offer a challenging syllabus which emphasises reasoning, rigour and the argumentative side of mathematics.
  • We offer excellent student experience delivered by enthusiastic staff combined with small class sizes, approximately 25 or less in the Honours years.
  • The department run a number of key events and seminars throughout the year, giving you the chance to network with students and academics.
  • Students can choose from a varied menu including Moral Philosophy, Informal and Formal Reasoning, Metaphysics, Epistemology, the Philosophy of Science and History of Philosophy.

Entry Requirements

You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, offers, advanced entry, and changing your subject.

Qualifications

SQA Highers - AABB*
A Levels - BBB*
IB - 32 points, including 5,5,5 at HL*
ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)*

*SQA Higher or GCE A Level or equivalent qualification in Mathematics is required.

Advanced entry - is considered on an individual basis depending on prior qualifications and experience. Applicants wishing to be considered for Advanced entry should contact directly the Director of Studies (Admissions) at our Student Recruitment and office.

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £14,600
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Undergraduate Open Day

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Careers

There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Facilities

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Sir Duncan Rice Library

Sir Duncan Rice Library

The University’s award winning Sir Duncan Rice Library is listed in the “Top 20 spellbinding University libraries in the World”. It contains over a million volumes, more than 300,000 e-books and 21,000 journals.

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Key Information Set (KIS)

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.

You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX