Mathematics Courses

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What is Mathematics?

Mathematics is the study of numbers, shapes and patterns and the science that deals with the logic of shape, quantity, structure, space, change and arrangement.

Mathematics helps us understand the world and provides an effective way of building mental discipline. Maths encourages logical reasoning, critical thinking, creative thinking, abstract or spatial thinking, problem-solving ability, and even effective communication skills.

Maths is all around us, in everything we do. It is the building block for everything in our daily lives.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Mathematics courses in the following subject areas:

  • Mathematics – The study of advanced mathematical skills and the ability to apply mathematical understanding to various problems.
  • MSc in Financial Mathematics – The study of high-level mathematics applied to practical problems in finance and industry.
  • Mastering Business Mathematics – Gain an understanding of Business Mathematics in clear language, using realistic problems, such as linear equations, interests and quadratic equations.
  • Mastering General Mathematics – The study of the basics of Mathematics concepts in clear language.
  • Using Mathematics – This introduction to university-level mathematics will develop your understanding of recurrence relations, matrices and vectors, calculus, statistics, and using a computer to solve practical problems.
  • Open Mathematics – Build your confidence in mathematics, learn to use a graphics calculator, and start to incorporate statistical, graphical, algebraic, trigonometric and numerical thinking into your everyday life.
  • Discovering Mathematics – An introduction to the key ideas of statistics, algebra, geometry and trigonometry into your everyday thinking to build your confidence in learning and using mathematics.
  • Researching Mathematics Learning – The study of the teaching and learning of mathematics for anyone involved – from classroom assistants and teachers to lecturers and parents.
  • Exploring Mathematics – Gain an understanding of the nature and scope of mathematics and a solid foundation for higher-level mathematics and physics courses.
  • Dissertation in Mathematics – The study of the history of modern geometry or advances in approximation theory.
  • Pure Mathematics – An introduction to the main topics of pure mathematics: Group Theory, Linear Algebra and Analysis.
  • Ways of Knowing: Language, Mathematics and Science in the Early Years – Explore how children develop and learn in (and through) the areas of language, mathematics, and science, and examine the principles and values underpinning curriculum frameworks.
  • Using Mathematics – Develop your understanding of recurrence relations, matrices and vectors, calculus, statistics, and using a computer to solve practical problems.

Studying Mathematics in college

There are many Mathematics courses that take place over 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification. You could also consider work experience or volunteering to help academic staff with a research project or internship over the summer.

Internships and placements can potentially be helpful in securing a graduate job, however, this is dependent on the organisation. Approach professionals at careers events or enquire about work shadowing where possible. Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

If you want to train as a teacher once you’ve completed your degree, you’ll need experience working with children in a classroom or other related setting. Classroom experience, whether as an observer, classroom assistant or volunteer, is essential.

Career options

Mathematicians and statisticians are in demand across a range of sectors and employment opportunities are commonly found in a number of fields such as education, engineering, finance, banking and accountancy firms, government, insurance companies, IT, business consultancy and operational research companies, market research and marketing companies, medicine and health, petroleum and nuclear industries, publicly-funded research institutes, space science and astronomy.

Working hours will depend on whether you are employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various facilities or companies. The hours are usually full time, Monday to Friday. You could expect to work some evenings to meet deadlines, although weekend or shift work is uncommon in this industry.

Self-employment and freelance work is possible but very unusual, as most positions in the field are in large financial institutions.

Opportunities to travel vary between employers. An insurance company with offices around the country or abroad may require travel from time to time depending on your position. Visits to corporate clients may also be necessary, e.g. for those working in insurance. You will be expected to maintain a smart business dress code, but this varies between employers.

Related jobs include:

  • Mathematician
  • Math Professor
  • Statistician
  • Actuary
  • Operations Research Analyst
  • Investment Risk and Performance Analyst
  • Supply planner
  • Teacher
  • Simulation and Modelling Consultant
  • Optimisation Consultant
  • Demand Planner
  • Lecturer
  • Business Analyst
  • Auditor
  • Data or Research Analyst
  • Computer Programmer
  • Medical Scientist
  • Financial Analyst
  • Cryptographer
  • Economist
  • Financial planner

Further study

After completing a course in Mathematics you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practise in certain career areas such as operational research, medical statistics in pharmaceutical companies, meteorology and engineering design.

Other related areas of work open to experienced mathematicians include investment systems, technical research, commercial activities, financial modelling, software development, valuation work and general administration.


What skills could be helpful for a career in Mathematics?

You should have an interest in investigating, analysing and interpreting data, finding patterns and drawing conclusions. Some skills in information technology could be useful, as well as some ability in advanced numeracy and logical thinking. You should be someone who is used to approaching problems in an analytical and rigorous way, formulating theories and applying them to solve problems.

Dealing with abstract concepts, presenting mathematical arguments and conclusions with accuracy and clarity and analysing large quantities of data will all be very common in any field involving mathematics.

Other general skills that all employers expect from their employees are good communication and time management, organisational skills and working methodically and accurately, decision-making skills, self-management, teamwork and the ability to work independently.

 Where can I study Mathematics?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • Most mathematical symbols weren’t invented until the 16th century. Before that, equations were written in words.
  • From 0 to 1000, the only number that has the letter “a” in it is “one thousand”.
  • Markings on animal bones indicate that humans have been doing maths since around 30,000BC.
  • In 1997 an unwitting crew member onboard the USS Yorktown wrongly entered a zero into one of the ship’s computers. This caused the ship’s software to divide by zero, meaning that it was stranded and unable to move for over two hours.
  • The numbers on opposite sides of a dice always add up to seven
  • Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google studied maths and computer science at university

Mariza Halliday

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