BSc in Mathematical Sciences
The BSc in Mathematical Sciences allows students scope in choosing a stream according to their interest. The stream you choose determine your compulsory major subject in your third year.
In their first year, all streams have Mathematics as a compulsory subject. However, the stream you choose will determine your other subjects, as well as the compulsory major in your third year. These might also include subjects offered by other faculties, such as Economics, Operations Research and Music Technology.
Should you wish to qualify as a high school teacher after you have obtained a BSc degree, you may take the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in the Faculty of Education. However, to do this you should take undergraduate subjects enabling you to teach two school subjects. Depending on your undergraduate subject combination, you could teach the following school subjects: Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Information Technology, Physical Sciences and Life Sciences.
See below for an overview of the various streams and the line of work they prepare you for. See the curricula for the BSc in Mathematical Sciences streams in our Calendar.
Stream: Mathematics
This stream equips you to become a graduate with a thorough understanding of the nature, scope and application potential of mathematics. You will be able to continue with postgraduate studies in mathematics or enter a career where sophisticated quantitative skills and insight are required. This includes careers in the industrial and business sector such as in banking, insurance and investment firms.
This stream leads to an honours programme in Mathematics and also, if applicable elective modules are taken, to an honours programme in Applied Mathematics, Biomathematics, Computer Science, Economics, Mathematical Statistics, Operations Research or Physics.
Stream: Applied Mathematics
This stream trains students to become graduates who have the necessary knowledge and skills in respect of mathematical methods and computer techniques to solve both quantitative and qualitative problems in science and technology. With this theoretical and technical background and experience in various applications, such as the modelling of dynamic processes, image processing, computer security, numerical methods and flow modelling, you will be able to pursue a successful career in industry, banking and the computer industry.
The Applied Mathematics stream leads to an honours programme in Applied Mathematics and also, if applicable elective modules are taken, to an honours programme in Biomathematics, Computer Science, Economics, Mathematics or Operations Research.
Stream: Biomathematics
There is a growing demand from fields such as molecular and systems biology, bioinformatics, and ecology for researchers with solid mathematical skills who can develop and analyse precise models for experimental data. The biomathematics stream meets this demand.
Biomathematics is a broad interdisciplinary field where mathematical, statistical, and computing techniques are used to explain phenomenon and research problems within the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences - from predicting the influence of HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis to the effects of climate change in South Africa.
The Biomathematics stream offers two options of which you choose one:
- a Molecular Biology option that leads to an honours programme in Biomathematics and also, if applicable elective modules are taken, an honours programme in Biochemistry; and
- an Ecology option that leads to an honours programme in Biomathematics and also, if applicable elective modules are taken, to an honours programme in Mathematical Statistics.
As a biomathematician you will be able to work for pharmaceutical companies, the government, health organisations, and the agricultural and environmental sectors as a climatologist, as a future analyst or as a researcher.
Stream: Mathematical Statistics
The purpose of this stream is to train you to become an expert not only in identifying, analysing and interpreting the information contained in data, but also in planning the entire process. The programme will also prepare you for a career that requires a strong mathematical statistics background, for instance in the banking and insurance industries.
This stream leads to an honours programme in Mathematical Statistics and also, if applicable elective modules are taken, to an honours programme in Biomathematics, Computer Science, Economics, Genetics, Operations Research or Mathematics.
Stream: Computer Science
This stream equips you with an extensive knowledge of computer science (including programming, computer systems, databases, networks, operating systems, concurrent programming) that will enable you to study further in order to pursue a career in industry as a programmer.
With a computer science degree you have an international qualification enabling you to find work with or do research for national or international companies. There are many different companies that require technical specialists ranging from financial institutions such as banks that have to guarantee security, to companies that develop mobile solutions for cell phones. If you have an interest in the business world, you can start a business, providing computer solutions, or work as an independent consultant or contractor.
The Computer Science* stream has three options of which you choose one:
- an option where you take Computer Science as major subject in combination with a second major subject (excluding Genetics or Geographical Information Technology) that leads to an honours programme in Computer Science and also to an honours programme in the second major subject you have chosen.
- an option where you take Genetics as second major subject in combination with Computer Science that leads to an honours programme in Computer Science or in Genetics.
- an option where you take Geographical Information Technology as second major subject in combination with Computer Science that leads to an honours programme in Computer Science or Geographical Information Technology.
* A new programme, BSc in Computer Science will be phased in from 2021, subject to accreditation from the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), and will then replace this Computer Science stream offered in the Mathematical Sciences programme.
Stream: Financial Mathematics
The goal of this stream is to develop a good understanding of the nature, scope and application potential of mathematics in the financial sector. With this qualification you will be able to follow a career in banking, insurance and with investments institutions.
If applicable elective modules are taken, this stream leads to an honours programme in Mathematics or Mathematical Statistics.
Stream: Operations Research
Operations research takes a multidisciplinary, scientific approach to decision-making. The aim is to find the best solutions to complicated problems by the optimal allocation of scarce resources. The goal-oriented approach of this stream with its synergistic style delivers graduates who can find solutions to quantitative problems.
You can work as consultant in the industry or as a process or system optimiser. You can also work in the logistics department in die transport and provisioning sectors or as project developer.
This stream leads to an honours programme in Operations Research and also, if applicable elective module are taken, also an honours programme in Applied Mathematics or in Biomathematics or in Computer Science or in Economics or in Genetics or in Mathematical Statistics or in Physics.
Stream: Abstract Mathematics
Abstract Mathematics is intended for students who want to become high school Mathematics teachers, lecturers at university or mathematicians who do research in interdisciplinary fields which rely more on structural mathematics rather than analytical mathematics. It allows you to combine Mathematics as the first major with one of the following subjects as your second major: Applied Mathematics, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Computer Science, Genetics or Physics. There is also the opportunity to have Mathematics as a double major, in which case you will obtain a solid foundation for postgraduate study in mathematics.
This stream leads to an honours programme in Mathematics and also, if applicable elective modules are taken, to an honours programme in Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics, Genetics, Computer Science or Applied Mathematics.
Minimum admission requirements
- Afrikaans or English (Home Language or First Additional Language) 50%
- Mathematics 70%
AND
If you wish to take Chemistry or Physics as a compulsory of elective university subject:
- Physical Sciences 50%