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Mathematics

Could you predict an economic crisis? How many prime numbers are there in a certain interval? How do we calculate the limit of an infinite series of function values?

Mathematicians love difficult questions and models underpinned by theoretical foundations. Over the centuries, mathematics has made an important contribution to technological progress, and it is still a crucial part of research into important issues such as the climate crisis.

Obviously, parts of the degree programme in Mathematics are similar to the mathematics that you studied at secondary school. However, you will also discover new areas such as algebra (number theory and coding), dynamical systems (how predictable is the weather?) and systems theory.

Some people choose to study Mathematics because its diversity appeals to them. Others recognize the social relevance of mathematics, and choose to do research. Other students enjoy Mathematics simply because it involves solving abstract problems.

The University of Groningen offers degree programmes in both Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. The first year is largely the same for both Bachelor’s programmes, during which you explore the programmes and gradually work towards your specialization. It is possible to switch programmes at the end of the first year.

Within the degree programme in Mathematics, you can choose between two specializations:

- General Mathematics
- Probability & Statistics

This three-year programme in Mathematics is an international Bachelor’s degree programme. All of the course units are taught in English, which gives Mathematics an extra dimension as many of your fellow students and lecturers will come from abroad.

Facts & Figures
Degree
BSc in Mathematics
Course type
Bachelor
Duration
36 months (180 ECTS)
Croho code
56980
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
Science and Engineering
Studie in Cijfers
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • In Groningen, you can study Mathematics or Applied Mathematics.
  • You can switch to the other programme at the end of the first year.
  • Mathematics is an international degree programme, which gives you a substantial advantage at the start of your career.
  • The Faculty of Science and Engineering is home to the Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, Ben Feringa, and the Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Frits Zernike.
Programme
Courses
Analysis
Calculus 1,2
Computer-assisted Problem-solving
Electives (e.g. Mechanics and Relativity 2, OR Modelling or Introduction to Logic) (optional)
First-year project
Kaleidoscope Mathematics
Linear Algebra 1,2
Linear Systems
Mechanics and Relativity 1
Probability Theory

Curriculum

The degree programmes in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics have a common first year. This gives you time to familiarize yourself with the two programmes, so that you can make an informed decision at the end of the first year. During the first year, you take course units that are relevant to both Mathematics and Applied Mathematics.

You also become familiar with abstract mathematics – through course units such as Analysis – and the various specializations within Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, through the course units Probability Theory, Computer-Aided Problem Solving, Linear Systems and First-year Project Mathematics or Applied Mathematics.

During the second and third years, as well as following common course units in Mathematics, you choose a specialization. The common course units include subjects such as Statistics, Group Theory, Partial Differential Equations, Complex Analysis, Functional Analysis and Numerical Mathematics. You complete your Bachelor's degree programme with a research project.

Talented students have the opportunity to receive a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics as well as a Bachelor's degree in Physics. This normally requires one additional year. More information can be found here: https://www.rug.nl/ocasys/rug/vak/showpos?opleiding=4569

Credits per year: 60 ECTS; most courses are 5 ECTS.

Programme options
General Mathematics (specialization)

In General Mathematics, the emphasis is on the theoretical aspects of mathematics.

Topics that you already know from secondary school are treated in more depth and breadth. For example, the mathematical foundation of continuity, differentiation and integration is explained, also for functions of more than one variable. You learn to analyze series of terms and prove theorems regarding their convergence. You are also introduced to new fields of mathematics, such as number theory and coding, numerical mathematics and dynamical systems.

Statistics & Probability (specialization)

The Statistics & Probability specialization focuses on applications and advanced knowledge in the field of probability and statistics.

In short, you learn how to analyse data. For example, you learn how to calculate the probability of an event and how to estimate and test a hypothesis regarding the data. This data may be taken from the medical sciences, industry or pre-election polls. The acquired knowledge can be applied to answer questions such as: 'If 10% of the sample population lives in an industrial area and they have a 20% higher risk of a certain disease, what can you say about the average health of the total population?' You also learn how to process 'big data' and how to use search algorithms to find relevant information in large datasets.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
  • Maximum of 30 EC

Exchange: All our science and engineering programmes offer study abroad possibilities at a number of partner institutions. Our partners include top-100 universities in Europe (for example in Germany, UK, and Sweden) and in the USA, China, South-East Asia, and South America. Our exchange programmes have a typical duration of one semester and count toward your final degree.

Entry requirements

Admissible Dutch diploma profiles

  • Natuur & Techniek
  • Natuur & Gezondheid

    wiskunde B

  • Economie & Maatschappij

    wiskunde B

  • Cultuur & Maatschappij

    wiskunde B

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Een voldoende op je vwo-Engels is aan te bevelen omdat de opleiding Engelstalig is.

other admission requirements

BEFORE YOU APPLY!

Make sure to visit 'BSc Application Procedure' at: http://www.rug.nl/fwn/fmns-programme/admissions/bsc/ for all the necessary information about the procedure and admission requirements.

If you apply, you participate in the mandatory matching process of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. More information: https://www.rug.nl/fse/education/matching

Choice of degree programme check

The degree programme will organize a matching procedure. Attendance is compulsory. The advice is not binding.

Explanatory notes

More information about matching: https://www.rug.nl/fse/education/matching

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202101 September 2021
EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021

Choice of degree programme check

More information about matching: https://www.rug.nl/fse/education/matching

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
additional subject

Mathematics (Physics is recommended)

This is merely an indication of required background knowledge. The admissions board determines whether the specific contents of this/these course(s) meet the admission requirements of the bachelor programme for which you applied.

language test

Proficiency in English is an admission requirement for all English-taught degree programmes. Please find our English language requirements (IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge and more) on this page: https://www.rug.nl/fse/programme/admissions/bsc/language

previous education

Secondary education equivalent to Dutch pre-university education is required.

This is merely an indication of the required general level of applicants' previous education.

FOR MORE INFORMATION please visit the 'BSc Application Procedure' pages at: http://www.rug.nl/fwn/fmns-programme/admissions/bsc/

Language requirements

ExamMinimum score
C1 Advanced (formerly CAE)B2
C2 Proficiency (formerly CPE)B2
IELTS overall band6.5
TOEFL internet based90

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202101 September 2021
EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2020-2021€ 2143full-time
non-EU/EEA2020-2021€ 14000full-time

The Dutch government is halving tuition fees for first-year students in higher education.

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Once you have finished your studies, especially your Master's degree, there are many possibilities for your future career. You can continue in the academic world or opt for a career in the business world, either in the Netherlands or abroad. Research, business, consultancy or teaching… there are many fields open to you!

Business
Having finished your degree programme in Mathematics, many opportunities will be open to you for a career in the business sector, for example with an insurance company or a consultancy firm. Multinational companies such as Shell, Philips and ABN Amro also welcome mathematicians enthusiastically, as do smaller and medium-sized enterprises.

During the degree programme, you learn to think logically and to structure your reasoning. An analytical approach becomes second nature – a skill that is highly welcome in the business world. After all, you are able to identify the structure of a large organization, to separate the main issues from the side-issues, and to produce a model to predict how the organization will change as a result of internal and external influences.

Research
Once you have your Master’s degree, you may choose to carry out PhD research at a university. Your Master’s degree will also qualify you for positions at research institutes such as TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research) and the KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute).

Teaching
There is a great demand for mathematicians to work as teachers in secondary education. After the Bachelor’s programme in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics, you can follow the Master’s degree programme in Science Education & Communication (Dutch-taught education track, English-taught communication track).


Job examples

  • Consultant
  • Analyst
  • Positions in the financial world
  • Teacher
  • Researcher
Research

Our Bachelor's degree programme in mathematics is connected to the Bernoulli Institute.

The mission of the Bernoulli Institute is to perform outstanding academic research and teaching in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Artificial Intelligence, and to maintain international leadership herein; to foster these disciplines as a living body of knowledge, and to make it relevant to society in its broadest sense. The symbiosis between pure and applied science, and between mono- and multidisciplinary research and teaching, is a distinguishing characteristic of our institute. As an important part of this mission we aim to transfer our results to other areas of science and technology, and initiate and expand inter- and multi-disciplinary research collaborations.

The following research groups within the institute focus on Mathematics:

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact
Campus TourNijenborgh 9More information
Online Bachelor's WeeksMore information
Student for a Day - Mathematics & Applied MathematicsMore information

Contact

  • Ask Our Students! (Like to talk about the programme and student life with someone currently studying Maths?)
    Email: mathstudents rug.nl
  • sciencebachelors@rug.nl (For international students who are interested in a Campus Tour or have other practical questions)
    Email: sciencebachelors rug.nl
  • Academic Advisors FSE
  • 
						Testimonial of Leo Van Kampenhout

    Studying ice caps

    – Leo Van Kampenhout
    Read more

    Leo wanted to do practical work after graduating in Applied Mathematics. He spent two years with Alten, a technical and engineering consultancy, where he developed software in Fortran and C++ for Shell. Last year he set a new course and he now works at Utrecht University where he is studying the changes in the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps using climate models.

    Na mijn studie wilde ik heel graag praktisch aan de slag. Zodoende heb ik twee jaar lang in Capelle a/d IJssel gewerkt als consultant bij Alten, een bedrijf in technische consultancy en engineering. Hier deed ik hoofdzakelijk ontwikkeling van software (Fortran, C++) voor Shell.

    Dit heb ik met veel plezier gedaan, maar het begon op een gegeven moment weer te kriebelen en ben ik iets nieuws gaan zoeken. Tegenwoordig ben ik promovendus aan de Universiteit Utrecht, waar ik onderzoek doe naar veranderingen in de Groenlandse en Antarctische ijskappen in het recente verleden (1850-nu). Voor dit onderzoek maak ik gebruik van data-assimilatie technieken en klimaatmodellen.

    In beide banen heb ik veel profijt van mijn goede wiskundige basis en de programmeervaardigheden die ik tijdens mijn studie Technische Wiskunde heb opgedaan. Verder heb ik één jaar van mijn master doorgebracht in Zürich, Zwitserland. Ik heb daar verschillende interessante dingen geleerd, maar het is tevens een terugkerend gespreksonderwerp geweest bij sollicitatiegesprekken. Het is, vermoed ik, op veel plaatsen een pre als je cv niet helemaal standaard is.

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Stijn  de Vos

    Find out more about depression

    – Stijn de Vos
    Read more

    'I am exploring statistical models that we can use to find out more about depression, together with other experts such as physicians, psychologists and epidemiologists. This makes the work pleasantly varied'.

    During my Master’s programme I specialized in probability and statistics, which is obviously very useful for this job. Thanks to my mathematical background, I learn new techniques easily. What you don’t learn in Mathematics are skills such as meeting and communicating with other scientists. I don’t think you need to offer all these skills in a degree programme; you can learn them by participating in activities outside your programme. I was a member of a study association and a student association, where I learnt organizational skills, and also enjoyed the social side of student life. This was very important for my personal development and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!’

    Stijn de Vos - PhD student with the UMCG's psychiatry department

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Vinnie Ko

    Talk to the people who are already working in the field

    – Vinnie Ko
    Read more

    I like maths since I was a child. Unlike other subjects, it's more 'doing' and less memorizing facts.

    At this moment. I’m working as a PhD candidate in mathematical statistics. I spend around 75% of my time on research: reading articles, trying things out, programming and appointments with my supervisor. 25% of time is spent on teaching: preparing exercises/solutions for the class, giving tutorials, and grading assignments/exams. I also often go to presentations/seminars/conferences.

    As a PhD candidate, I daily use the mathematical and statistical knowledge that I learned during my study. But, I think the most valuable thing that I learned during my study is how to think critically and logically. In my Bachelor’s thesis, I analyzed social, geographical, and lexical influences on Dutch dialect pronunciations. For this, I used ‘generalized additive mixed model’ which is a flexible method that can be used to analyze non-linear relationships.

    When I was a student, I wondered how it would be to work at a company/university and what kind of skills I would need. Now looking backwards, the way I imagined it was very different from how it’s really like. Try to get a real glance of things that you want to do after your study. You can for example talk to the people who are already working in that field.

    Vinnie Ko - PhD University of Oslo

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of

    Mathematics fascinates me

    Read more

    'Mathematics fascinates me. I love it when a seemingly far-fetched relationship actually works in practice.

    I enjoy the tutorials the most, because you can try things out for yourself. Learning mathematics is really a question of practice. Some of the theorems are very challenging, so it’s really satisfying if you manage to figure them out. We often work together on more difficult problems, which is a good way to get to know each other. I’ve also met a lot of people through the FMF study association and my student association. Although it’s not compulsory, I go to all the lectures and tutorials. This keeps you busy and helps you understand the theory, which makes the exam a lot easier.’

    Close

Study associations

FMF

The FMF is an association for the Bachelor's programmes Applied Mathematics, Mathematics, Applied Physics, Physics, Astronomy and all of the subsequent Master's programmes at the University of Groningen.
The association pursues three objectives. The first objective is that it wants to contribute to the broadening of the scientific education of its members. This is done by organizing various activities in the scientific field, such as study excursions, lectures and symposiums.
https://www.fmf.nl
Read more
(Binding) study advice
  • A minimum of 45 EC in the first 12 months (binding)

You will be issued a study advice at the end of your first year of study. You can expect a positive study advice if you have earned at least 45 ECTS credit points (out of a total of 60 ECTS; most course units are 5 ECTS). If you have earned fewer than 45 ECTS and are issued a negative study advice, you will not be allowed to continue your degree programme.

You will receive a preliminary study advice in December to make sure that you know where you are. Please contact your study advisor as soon as possible if you have any questions about the BSA system.

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