I have completed a BSc in Maths from India. I am planning to do an MSc in Applied Mathematics at the University of Birmingham. Can you please tell me about the job opportunities after completing this course?

Hi there,

Thank you for getting in touch, and good luck with your Masters! Mathematics is a fantastic subject to prepare for future careers in a wide variety of sectors. Applied Mathematics, in particular, can be useful in many areas – engineering, data science, and finance are just a few that come to mind. Further information on careers following an Applied Mathematics Masters course at UoB can be seen here and the university has a unique careers guidance service to provide students with additional support.


Hi, Emma, I am from Pakistan and I was wondering about the MSc in Mathematics in Birmingham. I have done an MSc in Mathematics during the 2017 to 2018 session and I now want to continue my study with the MSc in Mathematics at the University of Birmingham. Does the University of Birmingham offer a MSc Mathematics course? Or could you give me any advice on which course you think would be better for me after having done the MSc in mathematics? Thanks 🙂

Hi there,

Apologies for not replying to this sooner, but if you are still considering applying to a Masters course in Mathematics at the University of Birmingham I highly recommend you take a look at the different programmes available:

Each course will offer specialisms in different areas, and in terms of the MRes, this course is perfect if you are considering a PhD but aren’t sure yet.


Hi Emma, I am a Teacher of Mathematics from Peterborough and I have applied for the MRes Pure Mathematics course for October 2021. I quite like your research topic of Algebraic Number Theory. What kind of research is expected of me? I would love to extend my research into a PhD and complete my PhD in Pure Mathematics. Thank you.


Thanks for getting in touch – this sounds fantastic! During my Masters my research primarily focussed on the relationship between Number Fields and Function Fields, however this is just one tiny subject within a very wide area – my supervisor was able to guide me towards this particular topic. I would recommend doing some more research to get an idea of the various subjects within Algebraic Number Theory, however you could also get in touch with some of the pure mathematics lecturers at UoB – they may be able to provide some suggestions/direct you to a possible supervisors. An MRes in general is a great starting point for a PhD, and I have coursemates who followed this exact path.

Good luck with your application and everything that follows!

What kind of changes, if any, was there from the BSc in Mathematics to the MSc in Mathematics? What are you doing now? Could you tell me about any placements and job opportunities, what kind of work should I want to do after I study a Master in Mathematics? Is there only one sort of job available after doing a Masters in Mathematics, such as teaching, or are there other jobs available for that program?


Details of the BSc and MSci mathematics courses can be seen on their respective pages ( and here), however the primary difference is that the MSci course will involve an extra year of study where a significant dissertation is completed on a topic of your choice; this contributes a third of your final year mark.

Following my MRes in Pure Maths I now have a career in the Cyber Security sector – there are a wide range of options for people who study this subject! Many people go into academic positions after studying this area as they wish to continue their research, however pure maths is also used in many different sectors such as information technology. Maths (whether pure or applied) is a subject valued by many different types of employer and you will gain important skills that will be useful in absolutely any type of career.

Hi, I am currently looking for a postgraduate degree course. I am interested in Financial Engineering, but I would like to get to know more about the course content and the modules specifically before I proceed to the application. I would really appreciate any help. Thank you.

Hi there,

There is a list of the modules available for this course here. You can also ‘Request a course prospectus’ which may provide further insight into what particular modules for this course consist of; you can receive either a printed copy of this or a pdf copy via email. Alternatively, if you have more specific questions I recommend you email who may be able to provide additional details on the course content.

Was there a big transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study?

It was definitely a big change suddenly being classed as a postgraduate researcher – along with much less contact time etc. it also meant being a PGTA and helping the department in lectures and with marking. This was a great and really valuable experience though, whatever you decide to do after.

Have you joined any clubs or societies, gone on any research trips or done any volunteering?

During my undergraduate years I was a member of Filmsoc, and was on the committee in my third year – a great society that literally just allows you to watch films on a big screen twice every week, along with cinema trips each term! I was also a member of various music societies/groups including playing in the UoB Symphony Orchestra and for the Gilbert and Sullivan society. There are so many societies here that you’ll be spoilt for choice – there will definitely be something that you’re interested in. This year, to help with my Masters, I went to a CoDima event in Edinburgh for a week where I learnt how to use various programmes to do maths and attended some lectures on Group Theory and Number Theory.

What was your motivation for undertaking postgraduate study?

While nearing the end of my undergraduate course in Maths and Music, I was still really enjoying studying maths and simply didn’t want to stop. Generally, with Pure Mathematics there aren’t many options apart from going straight on to a PhD, and due to doing a joint-honours course I was also slightly restricted in masters courses available to me. The MRes at Birmingham, however, has been the perfect solution for me! Allowing me to continue studying pure mathematics, as well as being introduced into the research life of the maths department here – this has given me a really good idea of what it would actually be like to do a PhD and very much helped me to make some decisions about the future.

Can you describe your journey from school to where you are now?

Music has been a major part of my life for a long time – ever since starting playing the piano at age 6. However I got more and more interested in maths while at school, particularly when I did Additional Maths and then Further Maths at A Level. A joint-honours course was therefore the perfect solution for me! By the beginning of third year I knew that I wanted to continue with maths, but didn’t want to commit to a PhD considering how long it would take. By doing the MRes it has only been one extra year, but still enabled me to take part in the postgraduate life of the maths department.

Are lectures on the MRes aimed specifically at postgrads? Are electronic copies of the notes made available? As there are only six hours of lectures each week do you start research immediately?

You have a lot of choice in what modules you take, and so you can take modules just aimed at postgraduates if you wish, or you can take a mixture of those and other modules similar to ones taken in undergraduate maths degrees. Even if you do take some undergraduate modules, you will be assessed differently to the undergraduate students. I ended up doing a mixture of modules – some with 3rd year undergrads, some with Masters students, and some with PhD students.

The majority of lecturers do provide electronic copies of the lecture notes for their module, however it does depend on the lecturer.

Yes! We get to start research straight away – this was one of the most exciting things for me about doing the MRes. You do it alongside your modules throughout the year, meeting with your supervisor regularly. Then once you’ve finished lectures and exams, you can fully concentrate on finishing off your thesis.

Are MRes applicants invited for interview or are admissions decisions based solely on the written application?

I think this all depends on your circumstances; whether you’re a current student at UoB, what you want to specialise in, whether you have a specific supervisor in mind, and how much you have been in contact with members of the maths department at Birmingham regarding your application  – I suggest you email if you want to find out more about the application process.

When applying for a place on the MRes course how much detail is needed about the proposed topic of research? At the moment I have narrowed it down to which modules to study but no more. Do I need to be more specific? Do you know the recommended textbooks for the modules Number Theory, Group Theory & Galois Theory and Advanced Topics in Pure Mathematics?

I suggest you talk to someone in the maths department who specialises in the areas you are interested in. This is exactly what I did – it is easy to get in touch with someone and if they themselves can’t help you I’m sure they will be happy to direct you to someone who can. They may be able to give you some options for the type of thing you could look into during your Masters – It is a very good idea to find out a bit about this, as it is 2/3rds of the entire course!  When I started looking into doing the MRes all I knew is that I wanted to do something number theory related, but I was able to find out about possible options through talking to people in the department. It meant I could talk to my supervisor and do some relevant reading before even starting the course officially. In my application I didn’t write much – just a few sentences explaining what topic I was interested in researching. It was more precise than just an area of maths like group theory or number theory, but I didn’t give loads of detail so don’t panic about it. I really would recommend talking to some of the lecturers, after all they are all potential supervisors for you during your Masters.

Unfortunately I do not know what the recommended reading is for the modules you specified – if you know the lecturers leading those modules you could get in touch and ask them.

How many students are there on the MRes course and is there an area reserved for them to work?

The number of students on the MRes course will vary from year to year; when I studied there was only one other student doing an MRes in Pure Mathematics. I recommend you get in touch with someone from the University Maths Department to find more up-to-date information about this. As an MRes student you will have access to the Postgraduate Researcher study space in the Watson Building on Campus – this is a great location which you can easily take advantage of during your time here!

How many students are there on the MRes course?

This will totally depend on when you start and will vary from year to year, but when I did the course it was just me and one other student doing the MRes in Pure Mathematics. Someone from the maths department may be able to give you a better idea, as I finished this course over a year ago now.

I got a conditional offer from the University of Birmingham and I am applying for the Mathematics faculty, how can I help my financial issues in order to study?

First of all, congratulations on your offer!

Funding will be dependant on a number of different elements and is different for every student. General funding information for postgraduate courses at UoB can be found here and tuition fee information for the MRes course specifically can be seen here. However, if you would like more specific information about the mathematics course you’ve received an offer for I suggest you contact the Maths Department; you can either email them at or phone them at +44 (0)121 414 3483.

Is there an interview for MRes Mathematics?

This will likely depend on whether you are currently a UoB student; if you are doing/did your undergraduate mathematics course at a different university, you will probably be asked for an interview so that the course leader/any potential supervisors can meet you. As a joint-honours undergraduate student, I myself had an informal meeting with some of the staff, simply to discuss what appealed to me about the course and what topics I may be interested in researching during a Masters.

Be assured that whatever background you are coming from, you should not panic about any sort of interview you may have – this is simply a chance for you to find out more about the course and what it entails, as well as giving staff an opportunity to find out what your mathematical interests are!