Mathematics – Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) will give you the skills to solve problems in areas such as computer programming, climate modelling, and transportation.

Where you can study

Auckland campus
Distance and online
Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand

Specialise in Mathematics for your Bachelor of Science at Massey

From securing sensitive communications using cryptography to calculating the geostationary orbit of a satellite - mathematics is a product of human ingenuity that allows our modern world to exist. It is fundamental to our lives.

Real-world skills

Our strength in applied mathematics means you’ll get to combine your learning with other science disciplines to gain extensive experience in a range of applications. You’ll use your knowledge to solve problems in the areas like computer programming, climate modelling and transportation.

Learn from the leaders

You will have access to some of the world’s top mathematical minds. You will graduate well-grounded in the basic mathematic principles, but you’ll also be stimulated by your exposure to the latest research and discoveries.

Our mathematics qualification is taught by leading researchers encompassing the modelling of geothermal processes, cell growth, dynamical systems, scientific computing, combinatorics, topology, epidemiology, celestial mechanics, neuroscience, industrial mathematics, number theory, geometry and analysis. This versatility demonstrates the variety of job areas available to mathematically-skilled scientists.

The skills you’ll need

The task of the mathematician is to find ways to collect appropriate data for analysis and problem-solving. Mathematics draws much of its following and strength from its ability to solve problems in a wide variety of areas, such as the sciences, engineering, commerce and industry. These are all areas of expertise at Massey. As part of your study, you will learn the ability to communicate and explain concepts effectively with non-mathematical colleagues. This is also a crucial skill, with many careers taking you into a team environment.

The BSc (Mathematics) will help you build up a wide variety of skills and techniques you will need to be part of projects like these, especially in calculus and algebra. You need to be able to formulate, solve, restate, and resolve problems and interpret results. Most students achieve a mix of application courses and courses that explore mathematics.

It is also increasingly important to complement your analytical skills with some knowledge of computational and simulation techniques on computers. We suggest supporting minor subjects including physics, computer science, finance or statistics.


Some of the topics taught in mathematics courses include:

  • differential equations
  • analysis
  • algebra
  • combinatorics
  • mathematical modelling
  • discrete mathematics.

A Bachelor of Science in Mathematics is a good fit if you:

  • think logically and analytically
  • are a problem solver
  • enjoy mathematics at school.

Planning information

If you study full-time, in your first year, you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.

If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.

The first year structure is designed to provide you with a broad knowledge and skill set which will equip you to go on to more advanced courses in the second and third years.

You must pass at least 90 credits from the BSc Schedule A, including any compulsory courses, in your first 120 credits of study towards the Bachelor of Science.

Mathematics has similar first year core courses to several other majors available in the Bachelor of Science, allowing students to change their major before their second year. Note that changing your major may incur an increase in completion time.

Suggested structure

100-level courses

Take these in any order:

Plus choose three 100 level elective courses. One of these electives must be from the BSc Schedule A courses. The remaining two electives can be from a subject area other than Science.

200-level courses in the major
300-level courses in the major


Completing a minor is optional. Minors increase the breadth of your degree. They give you extra knowledge, attributes and capabilities.

A minor must be in a different subject from your major.

A Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) with a minor

You may choose a minor from any University undergraduate degree that has recognised minors. If the minor is from another undergraduate degree, the regulations of that qualification will apply.

Some BSc minors that are particularly compatible with mathematics include those shown below. Timetabling will prioritise these combinations to minimise clashes.

  • Computer Science (Courses: 159102)
  • Statistics
A Mathematics minor (for students who are studying a different degree)

If you are not studying a Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) and wish to complete a Mathematics minor see the BSc regulations for the requirements of this minor.  

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Core courses for the Bachelor of Science

As well as the specialisation courses listed below, this qualification has core courses that you will need to complete.

Bachelor of Science core courses

Mathematics courses

200-level courses

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 160203 Multivariable Calculus 15 credits

The techniques of 100-level calculus are applied and extended in the study of infinite series, vector-valued functions and functions of two or more variables. Topics include convergence of power series, partial derivatives, double and triple integrals with applications to surface area and volumes, line and surface integrals.

Prerequisites: One of 160101, 160112, 160133 or 228172

View full course details
Course code: 160204 Differential Equations I 15 credits

An intermediate level course in the analytical and numerical study of ordinary differential equations, with an emphasis on their applications to the real world. Exact solution methods for ordinary differential equations. Systems of differential equations, matrix methods, phase plane techniques. Applications of differential equations. Numerical methods for differential equations.

Prerequisites: 160101 or 160112 or 160133 or 228172

View full course details
Course code: 160211 Linear Algebra 15 credits

Vector spaces, linear transformation, matrix representation, inner product spaces, isometries, least squares, generalised inverse, eigen theory, quadratic forms, norms, numerical methods.

Prerequisites: 160102, 160112, 160133 or 228172

View full course details
Course code: 160212 Discrete Mathematics 15 credits

Sets, logic, mathematical induction, functions and equivalence relations. Partial orderings, algebraic structures and morphisms. Error correcting codes and public key cryptography. Graph theory.

Prerequisites: One of (160101, 160102, 160103, 160105, 160111, 160112, 160132, 160133, 228171 or 228172) and one of (159101, 159171 or 230112)

View full course details

300-level courses

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 160301 Real and Complex Analysis 15 credits

Real analysis: inequalities, the continuum property, induction, sequences, functions and limits, continuity, contraction mappings and fixed points, differentiation, mean value theorems and Taylor's theorem. Complex analysis: geometry in the complex plane, limits and continuity, holomorphic functions, line integrals, Cauchy's theorem and some elementary consequences, singularities and Laurent's theorem, the calculus of residues and some applications.

Prerequisites: 160203

View full course details
Course code: 160302 Modern Algebra 15 credits

Group theory - basic properties, permutation groups, finite Abelian groups, cosets, normal subgroups, homomorphism theorems, representation. Ring theory - integral domains and fields, ideals, homomorphism theorems, factorisation, extension fields.

Prerequisites: 160211 or 160212

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Course code: 160314 Combinatorics 15 credits

Permutations and combinations, binomial coefficients, the inclusion-exclusion principle, generating functions, recurrence relations, Polya’s theorem, topics in graph theory.

Prerequisites: 160212

View full course details
Course code: 160318 Differential Equations II 15 credits

An advanced course in the analytical and numerical study of ordinary and partial differential equations, building on techniques developed in Differential Equations I. Ordinary differential equations: power series and Frobenius series solutions, special functions, Fourier series, Sturm-Liouville problems, qualitative analysis of nonlinear systems. Partial differential equations: classification of second-order equations, separation of variables, Fourier transforms, explicit and implicit numerical schemes.

Prerequisites: 160204

View full course details

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this qualification, outside of university admission regulations. However there is some expected background knowledge.

Expected high school preparation

Knowledge gained in the following NCEA subjects (or the equivalent in Cambridge International Examinations, International Baccalaureate, or similar) will give you the expected background knowledge to take this major.

  • At least 16 credits in NCEA Level 3 Mathematics from the following list of standards 91573, 91574, 91575, 91576, 91577, 91578, 91579, 91587, including at least two of the following standards: 91577 (algebra), 91578 (differentiation), 91579 (integration)

If it’s some time since you have studied mathematics at school you can find out if you have the required background by taking this maths quiz.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Can't meet the entry requirements?

The following pathways will get you prepared to study this major. If you have not studied NCEA Level 3 Mathematics (or equivalent) but have studied at least 16 credits in NCEA Level 2 Mathematics from the following list of standards: 91256, 91257, 91258, 91259, 91260, 91261, 91262, 91269 take the following course first:

  • 160105 Methods of Mathematics

If you have not studied NCEA Level 2 Mathematics (or equivalent) take one of the following courses first:

  • 124103 Biophysical Principles or
  • 160104 Introductory Mathematics for Science

These courses (or equivalents) are available in the summer semester and will count towards credits in your degree.

If you need to do a course before you start your qualification, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

Mathematicians work in a wide range of professional careers including food, finance, manufacturing, and technology.

Mathematicians work in industry for manufacturers, insurance companies, finance companies (Wall Street hires mathematicians), banks, market research companies, and as public and private consultants.

Most government departments recruit graduates of mathematics at the bachelor level for general staff, or at honours level for their research sections. Large industries and Crown Research Institutes recruit mathematics graduates with a special interest in applications. The increasing demand for research in the mathematical sciences provides an opportunity for those who enjoy mathematics at an advanced level.

Many mathematicians with advanced degrees seek university teaching positions, but there are also many other exciting and fulfilling positions available with an undergraduate degree in mathematics.

New Zealand organisations that have hired mathematicians in recent years include:

  • AgResearch
  • New Zealand Treasury
  • New Zealand Defence Forces
  • Mobil Oil Ltd
  • New Zealand Post
  • Westpac
  • 3M
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • MetService
  • Compudigm International.

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates showed that those who complete a qualification in a science, agriculture, technology, computer science, engineering or mathematics field of study have high relative earnings after they complete their study compared to the national median. Earnings can be substantially more than other graduates.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

What our students say

“I love detail and complexity. I love pulling apart systems and the underlying logic to see what really makes them tick. I find it absolutely exciting to develop models which emulate real-world behaviours.”
Jay Ta'ala

Bachelor of Science (Mathematics)

Accreditations and rankings

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