Choosing your major in mathematics and statistics

Each October we host a Majors Info Session at Advanced Mathematics Day, where we provide info to guide our students in the next steps of their studies.

For those who haven't yet selected a Major, we provide all the info you need to make the decision an easy one. For students who have already selected, this event provides insights into the path ahead and help to ensure you have made the decision that is right for you. Our 2023 Majors Info Session was held on Friday 13 October.

The information on this page is tailored to first and second year Advanced Maths students, to assist in choosing a major. This info should also be helpful to those in later years who are still considering their major. 

A student's perspective

"Choosing a major can be daunting, especially since there are a lot of options to explore within each major. There are a few things that I took into consideration when choosing mine. Firstly, I thought about what I want to get out of the experience, which was to learn more mathematics and practice my computing skills. There are obviously many possible areas I can look into in applied mathematics and statistics, and since I did not know what career paths I wanted to pursue at the time, I talked to a couple of past lecturers, family and friends, and also attended the Advanced Mathematics Day to know more about the different streams.
A lot of areas in mathematics are interrelated. My advice is to choose the courses that you find interesting in first and second year, and consult with lecturers or tutors that you trust. Do keep in mind that it is possible to select a different maths stream in Honours, as long as you are willing to learn. After all, the mathematical thinking skills you honed in undergraduate mathematics can be applied in many ways!" 

Alina Sari
Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics)/Computer Science - Honours in Applied Mathematics (2021)

Welcome and overview

Professor Adelle Coster, Head of School, presents "Choosing Your Major" 

Professor Coster delivers an overview to first and second year Advanced Maths students with guidance on choosing a major.

Pure, Applied or Statistics? Watch our videos below for some insights...

Presented by A/Prof Daniel Chan,
Head of Pure Mathematics.

Pure Mathematics 

"Join me on a quick tour of the Pure Mathematics curriculum as taught here at UNSW. In this video, we'll sample some delightful mathematical morsels from our core courses MATH3711: Algebra, MATH3611: Analysis, and MATH3701: Differential Geometry and Topology, as well as many others.

Hope you enjoy this glimpse into the fascinating world which is Pure Mathematics." 

Professor Daniel Chan,
Former Head of Pure Mathematics

Presented by Prof Josef Dick,
Former Head of Applied Mathematics.

Applied Mathematics  

“Have you ever asked yourself or been asked by a friend the use of the mathematics that you learn? Don't worry if the answer is "yes" and you are not able to find a decent answer. You are not a special case. In this short video, Prof Josef Dick, former Head of Applied Mathematics, shows many different applications of mathematics and what you can expect from an Applied Maths major.”

Professor Thanh Tran,
Head of Applied Mathematics

Presented by Prof Jake Olivier,
Head of Statistics.


"Jobs requiring statistics and data science skills are routinely rated amongst the best. Statisticians provide answers to important questions of today and tomorrow across a wide range of disciplines.

In my presentation, I outline the degree structure for our statistics major that will prepare you for a statistics career." 

Professor Jake Olivier,
Head of Statistics


If you have any questions for our Heads of Department, you're welcome to email them. Our Contact page lists their details.

Already thinking about Honours? 

Feel free to check out our webpage about the Honours year

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