Faculty of Science - Leading creativity and innovation in the sciences

Undergraduate majors in Mathematics

Subject description


The subject of Mathematics has many faces: it can be challenging, beautiful, powerful, fascinating, even mysterious to some people, but above all it is useful. Mathematics interacts with other disciplines and makes essential contributions to science, medicine and commerce as well as to many important contemporary areas of technology such as communications, linguistics and genetics. Wherever problems need to be solved, Mathematics has a role to play. For this reason, Mathematics is an excellent major in its own right, or as a second major or supporting subject for many other disciplines.

Undergraduate Mathematics

First-year courses in Mathematics are designed to provide you with a range of concepts, theoretical results, and analytical, computational and modelling skills that may be applied in a wide variety of areas. By studying Mathematics you gain increased analytical ability, comprehension of abstract concepts and creative thinking. These skills are highly valued in the business, financial, industrial, social and academic worlds.

FoS infographic - Mathematics is ranked in the top 100 worldwide (QS World University Rankings by subject 2016)

Postgraduate Mathematics

Postgraduate study in Mathematics opens up a world of possibilities. It can enable you to indulge your academic enthusiasm or satisfy your intellectual curiosity, at the same time providing you with advanced knowledge and problem-solving skills applicable in any number of fields. The University of Auckland has the largest university mathematics department in New Zealand and is among the best in Australasia. A full range of courses are taught at postgraduate levels, with particular research strengths across the spectrum of mathematics, from algebra, combinatorics, complex analysis and differential equations to mathematical modelling, functional analysis and operator theory, history of mathematics, numerical analysis, and topology. Many of the staff are leading figures in their area, with strong international reputations for their research. Honours graduates from the Department of Mathematics at the University of Auckland are sought after by some of the top universities in North America and Europe.



Bachelor of Science (BSc) - Mathematics major

Single or first major must include:

Second major must include:

Note that students intending to continue to postgraduate study must include MATHS 332 and one of MATHS 320 and 328 in their Mathematics major.

Stage I courses

There are several Stage I courses available, entry to which is guided by your preparation, ability and goals. Functioning in Mathematics (MATHS 102) is for students with little mathematical experience. General Mathematics I (MATHS 108) is for students with broad interests, including commerce and the social sciences. Mathematics for Science (MATHS 110) is a gneral entry to Mathematics for the physical sciences, including Chemistry.

Students who intend to major in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics should take MATHS 150 and MATHS 162 to ensure the greatest range of options at later stages.

For students who do not have a strong background in mathematics, the Student Learning Centre runs mathematics skills workshops which may be suitable for you.

Check out the handy diagram below to help you decide which Stage I course is suitable for you, based on your NCEA achievement standards. You can also download the diagram as a PDF, with more information about how to calculate your rank score.

Plan your degree with our Mathematics planner

NCEA achievement standard pathways diagram.
NCEA achievement standard pathways for success in Stage I Mathematics

Career opportunities

With a good degree in quantitative methods (mathematics, statistics, operations research and computing), career opportunities may include industry or government, computer development, insurance, meteorology, traffic engineering, systems analysis, computing programming, statistics, biometrics or operations research, and many other fields.

There is also currently a strong demand for mathematics teachers. You should aim for a balanced mathematics programme and bear in mind that versatility may be of more value to an employer than deep knowledge of one or two specialised topics.

Recent career paths of Mathematics graduates include information analysis (MSD), information systems or computer science, operations research, biostatistics, chemistry, ecological modelling (AgResearch), resource accounting analysis (Landcorp), electrical or computer engineer, scientist-modeller/statistics (NIWA), statistical analysis (Statistics New Zealand), meteorology (Metservice), commercial banking graduate programmes, research, analysis with policy focus, business analysis, sustainability analysis (Landcorp).


Help and advice

For further information, refer to the Mathematics Undergraduate Handbook.

Alternatively, staff at the Department of Mathematics, located on Level 2 of Building 303 (38 Princes Street), can help you with general enquiries and refer you on to the relevant academic advisors.

Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 85886
Email: ugadvice@math.auckland.ac.nz
Web: www.math.auckland.ac.nz

Undergraduate Advisers Mathematics

Padraic Bartlett
Level 2, Building 303, 38 Princes Street
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 82448; direct dial +64 9 923 2448
Email: ugadvice@math.auckland.ac.nz

Tanya Evans
Level 2, Building 303, 38 Princes Street
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 88783; direct dial +64 9 923 8783
Email: ugadvice@math.auckland.ac.nz