Honours Degrees - Mathematics and Statistics - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Honours degrees

BSc(Hons) and BA(Hons) in Mathematics or Statistics

The Honours degree is a one-year (if studied full-time) coherent programme of study, consisting of an Honours project and eight 400-level courses. The assessment of the Class of Honours is based on overall performance in the programme. To enrol in Honours, you need to be eligible to graduate with a BA or BSc (360 points) and have the appropriate prerequisites for entry into Honours, which generally means at least 60 points at 300-level from your chosen subject, and a further 30 points at 300-level from either MATH or STAT courses (see below for prerequisites for specialised honours programmes). Students are also expected to have a GPA of at least 6.0 (B+ average) in courses relevant to their chosen subject and final approval for entry is given by the Head of School.

For details of the 400-level courses on offer, see the School’s Postgraduate handbook (also available from reception). The final decision on which courses are offered will depend on student demand and staff availability. However, in every year there will always be at least one course offered in analysis, algebra, discrete mathematics, functional analysis, differential equations and computational mathematics. Every Statistics 300-level course is offered as a 400-level course and courses in generalised linear models and bioinformatics are offered each year. A broad range of honours projects is listed in the Postgraduate handbook. This list is not exhaustive, and there is plenty of scope for other possible projects. Project supervision is by mutual agreement between the supervisor and student. It is expected that a student will have arranged their project by the end of the first week of term. Assessment is based on a written report (80%), which is to be submitted in September, and an oral or a poster presentation in early October (20%).

Specialised honours programmes

In addition to the single honours degrees, there are a number of joint honours programmes that you can study to combine Mathematics with another subject. To keep your options open to enter these courses you must ensure you study a broad base of courses at lower levels, especially the core mathematics courses, so that you have the appropriate prerequisites. For all joint honours programmes it is very important that you check the calendar regulations to ensure you are taking all the required courses. Some of the more relevant sections of the calendar are included below.

BSc(Hons) in Mathematics and Statistics

You can do a joint degree in Mathematics and Statistics. This is a great thing to do and very marketable. You should start by taking the core Mathematics and Statistics courses; beyond that there is a range of suitable courses. To do a BSc(Hons) in Mathematics and Statistics, you need at least 105 points from 300-level MATH and STAT courses.

BSc(Hons) in Mathematics and Physics

The Physics and Astronomy and Mathematics and Statistics departments offer a joint BSc(Hons)programme. This is aimed at students who are interested in both subjects and do not wish to concentrate entirely on one at the expense of the other.

You enter this programme at the 300-level where normally you take 60 points of MATH 300-level and 60 points of PHYS 300-level courses. This is again followed in the next year with a mixture of 400-level courses as well as a research project.

If you are interested in keeping this option open, it is important that you take the right Mathematics and Physics courses at the 200-level in preparation. The course coordinator for this programme is David Wiltshire, in Physics, and you should seek advice from him or from Mark Hickman (Mathematics).

BSc(Hons) in Mathematics and Philosophy

The interaction between Mathematics and Philosophy in the twentieth century has been far greater than at any previous time. The BSc(Hons) programme in Mathematics and Philosophy is designed for students with a high creative mathematical ability whose interests in Mathematics draw them towards foundational and philosophical issues. The aim of the programme is to produce honours graduates in Mathematics with a substantial background in Philosophy and a keen awareness of the connections between the two fields. Another aim of the programme is to equip such people with knowledge and skills that would make them especially welcome recruits to PhD programmes in Logic, Philosophy and Foundations of Mathematics.

The intellectual training given by this combination of disciplines noted for their rigour will not only prepare graduates for postgraduate research but also make them attractive to employers who value the ability to think and argue clearly.

Entry to the BSc(Hons) degree programme is at 300-level. Typically students will have either 60 points in MATH and 45 points in PHIL, or 75+ points in MATH and 30+ in PHIL at 300-level.

For more details about this programme contact Maarten McKubre-Jordens (Mathematics) or Doug Campbell (Philosophy).

BSc(Hons) in Computational and Applied Mathematical Sciences

This major is in the BSc(Hons) and MSc degrees, and draws on courses which apply mathematics and computing. In addition to the required mathematics courses, a choice of papers in Management Science, Statistics or other subjects may be required.

The requirements at undergraduate level are:

  1. 45 pts from MATH201, 202, 203, 220, 240 and 270, including MATH201 and at least one of (MATH202 or 203).
  2. 60 points from MATH301-394
  3. An additional 30 points from MATH301-394 and STAT301-394 or other approved courses.
  4. 45 points from other approved courses at the 200 level or above.
    Normally these would come from CHEM, COSC, MATH, MSCI, PHYS, STAT or Engineering courses.

In addition, you are strongly recommended to take MATH 170, MATH 270 and MATH 353, which provide a sequence of courses in scientific computation using MATLAB. You are also recommended to take MATH202, MATH203, MATH302, MATH303, MATH 363, and MATH365. You should also consider including some STAT courses in your programme.