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Course Guides
Mathematics Degrees

It’s perhaps strange that for a subject that relies so strongly on mathematical proof, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to answering the question, “what is mathematics?” Aristotle defined mathematics as “the science of quantity”, while Isidore Auguste Comte preferred calling it “the science of indirect measurement” and Benjamin Peirce “the science that draws necessary conclusions”.

The answer changes depending on the philosophical stance of the definer, and on the branch of mathematics s/he wishes to focus on. And, as new branches of mathematics are discovered and developed, the definition also continues to develop, adapt and change accordingly.

This is all, of course, part of the appeal of mathematics degrees. Follow our guide to find out more about the world’s top universities for mathematics, high-level mathematics topics and potential careers with a mathematics degree.

Key Skills

Common skills gained from a mathematics degree include:

  • Specialist knowledge of mathematical theories, methods, tools and practices
  • Knowledge of advanced numeracy and numerical concepts
  • Advanced understanding of mathematical and technical language and how to use it
  • Understanding of complex mathematical texts
  • Ability to analyze and interpret large quantities of data
  • Ability to interpret mathematical results in real-world terms
  • Ability to work with abstract ideas, theories and concepts with confidence
  • Ability to construct and test new theories
  • Ability to design and conduct observational and experimental studies
  • Ability to communicate mathematical ideas to others clearly and succinctly
  • Ability to construct logical mathematical arguments and conclusions with accuracy and clarity
  • Proficiency in relevant professional software
  • Ability to work on open-ended problems and tricky intellectual challenges
  • Logical, independent and critical thinking skills
  • Creative, imaginative and flexible thinking skills
  • Excellent problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Excellent skills in quantitative methods and analysis
  • Understanding of statistics
  • Good knowledge of IT and scientific computing
  • General research skills
  • Organizational skills, including time management and presentation skills
  • Team-working skills