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Why study more mathematics or statistics?

Mathematics is about the future - in more than one way. Increasingly, our world is described using theories that have a mathematical basis, or in terms of large sets of data. To understand and analyse these it is essential to have a mathematical training. Among other things this can help us  predict what will or may happen in the future. This applies not just to physics and engineering, but to the biological and biomedical sciences, as well as to economics and commerce.

To complement your studies in science or technology, and continue your career in science or related areas, it is very important to have suitable mathematical training. Mathematics and statistics will help you to:

  • think logically and clearly, and apply a range of problem-solving strategies;
  • use data and other quantitative information effectively;
  • understand our world and universe;
  • model, analyse and improve systems;
  • appreciate the beauty and perfection of theory in nature and the sciences;
  • obtain employment at a good starting salary.

Studying mathematics supports studies in almost every technical field, and will assist you in any related career. Improving your mathematics skills during your course, even by taking just a couple of units, will help you keep ahead. Or consider taking a minor, major or extended major in mathematics as a strong foundation for an interesting and challenging career.

What types of units are available?

The School of Mathematical Sciences offers a broad range of mathematics and statistics units for students in courses offered by the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Information Technology, and Business and Economics. These include foundational units as well as programs of study towards a minor, major or extended major. They can also be taken as electives towards other courses. A full list of units taught by the School of Mathematical Sciences is provided at the List of units offered link on the left-hand menu.

Individual units in mathematics and statistics, including foundational studies, can be undertaken by current students enrolled through any faculty, subject to having completed the listed prerequisite requirements and with the permission of the course advisor or managing faculty for that program. Students not currently enrolled in a course at Monash should follow the process for Single unit study.

For students seeking to take one or two units as support studies in mathematics, for example at first-year level, see the advice and information on the First-year and support studies link on the left-hand menu.

Majors and minors in mathematics and statistics

For students in the Bachelor of Science or related courses (including double degrees), a major and/or extended major can be completed in either of the following:

Minors are also available in Mathematics and Mathematical statistics, which are often completed as support studies to related science disciplines such as astrophysics, atmospheric science, computational science and physics, or by prospective secondary school teachers who are undertaking a degree in education. Depending on their course requirements, and after having received permission from their faculty, students in other courses may also be able to complete minors or majors in mathematics as elective units.

After completing a major or extended major in an area of mathematics you may find yourself working in banking, finance, insurance, consulting, at the Australian Bureau of Statistics or the Bureau of Meteorology. Alternatively, you could work in primary, secondary or tertiary education, or pursue a research career in an organisation such as CSIRO or DSTO. Have a look at careers.amsi.org.au for further careers information and inspiration.

Students planning to undertake one of these minors, majors or extended majors should refer to the linked University Handbook page for detailed information on their requirements. Additional course advice and information is available at the Planning minors and majors link on the left-hand menu.

Support available for students undertaking mathematics and statistics units

Most undergraduate mathematics and statistics units taught by the School of Mathematical Science are based on attending three one-hour on-campus lectures per week over a twelve-week semester, held within the range 8am-6pm on normal university working days. In addition, students are expected to attend one support class per week, typically of duration between one and two hours per week (depending on the unit). One-to-one assistance is available during these support classes or at the lecturer's posted 'consultation hours' (or by appointment). 

In addition to this targeted support, the School has a Mathematics Learning Centre that  is open from 11am to 2pm from Monday to Friday throughout the semester and over the examination period. No appointment is necessary and students can ask any individual questions of the staff in attendance. For more details, see Mathematics Learning Centre on the left-hand menu.