Mathematics and Philosophy


UCAS code: VG51
Typical offer:
Three years

International students
Don't meet our
entry requirements?
Pathway programme at our International College

Spend a year on placement – and pay reduced fees:

How to apply and other entry requirements

Other dual subject degrees:

See also: Maths courses

About the course

Mathematics and philosophy have a lot in common, as both disciplines emphasise logic, reason, and the ability to think abstractly and intricately. This course includes modules taught by experts in the University of Sheffield's Department of Philosophy, so that you can learn advanced mathematics skills as you further train yourself to approach abstract problems in a reasoned, logical way.

Throughout your degree, you'll have the same choice of Philosophy modules as undergraduate students based in the Department of Philosophy, so that you can focus on the subjects that interest you most. Topics range from religion, ethics and politics, to feminism, the arts and death, to major thinkers such as Plato, Kant and Hegel.

Your mathematics modules will cover a range of topics across pure mathematics, applied mathematics, and probability and statistics. You'll start by building on your existing knowledge, studying subjects including calculus, differential equations, geometry, algebra, and numbers and groups. In second year, you'll continue to build a powerful toolbox of mathematical techniques, which you can apply to increasingly complex problems, by studying advanced calculus, algebra and analysis.

There is a vast range of optional mathematics modules for you to choose from in third year. Topics range from number theory, and knots and surfaces, to codes and cryptography, and the history of mathematics. This gives you the freedom to focus on the topics that interest you the most and develop specialist knowledge for your chosen career. Lots of modules include project work, so that you get the chance to put your mathematics skills into practice in lots of different scenarios.

Course structure

Below are some examples of topics covered in this degree from the current academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course.

You can find module descriptions on our webpages for current students: Module list

First year

Compulsory modules:

  • Mathematics Core I
  • Mathematics Core II
  • Numbers and Groups

Optional modules:

  • Death
  • Elementary Logic
  • Film and Philosophy
  • History of Ethics
  • History of Philosophical Ideas
  • Knowledge, Justification and Doubt
  • Matters of Life and Death
  • Mind, Brain and Personal Identity
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Philosophy of Sex
  • Reason and Argument
  • Modules from other departments in the University

Second year

Compulsory modules:

  • Advanced Calculus and Linear Algebra
  • Algebra
  • Analysis

Optional modules:

  • Ethics: Theoretical and Practical
  • Feminism
  • Formal Logic
  • Philosophy of Education
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of the Arts
  • Plato
  • Political Philosophy
  • Reference and Truth
  • Religion and the Good Life
  • Theory of Knowledge
  • The Rationalists
  • Modules from other departments in the University

Third year

Optional mathematics modules:

  • Codes and Cryptography
  • Combinatorics
  • Complex Analysis
  • Differential Geometry
  • Fields
  • Game Theory
  • Graph Theory
  • Groups and Symmetry
  • History of Mathematics
  • Knots and Surfaces
  • Measure and Probability
  • Metric Spaces
  • Operations Research
  • Topics in Number Theory
  • Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme in Mathematics

Optional philosophy modules:

  • Aristotle
  • Advanced Logic
  • Feminism
  • Free Will and Religion
  • Global Justice
  • Metaphysics
  • Pain, Pleasure and Emotions
  • Phenomenology
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Philosophy of Medicine
  • Philosophy of Psychology
  • Philosophical Problems 1/2
  • Philosophical Projects 1/2
  • Plato's Symposium
  • The Radical Demand in Logstrup's Ethics

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Degree with Employment Experience

If you're studying this degree programme, you can join the University of Sheffield's Degree with Employment Experience programme and do a year-long work placement between your second and third year. This makes the degree four years long, rather than three. You'll pay reduced fees for the year you're on placement and you'll still have access to your tutor and the support you need from the university. Most students earn salaries during their placements too.

It isn't something you apply for before you get here and placements aren't guaranteed – it's your responsibility to secure one but we'll do everything we can to help.

Complete your placement successfully and we amend your degree title to reflect your experience: BSc Mathematics and Philosophy with Employment Experience.

Our students have done placements at organisations that include:

  • Unilever
  • IBM
  • Virgin
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Department of Work and Pensions

Placement years and employment experience

Nicola, pictured, spent a year of her course working for the Department for Work and Pensions as an Operational Researcher.

Nicola Brant

"I have built on the analytical skills that I have learnt in my degree so far... I am now a lot more aware of what I am looking for in my future career, whether I apply back for this position or explore another opportunity."

Nicola Brant, Bsc Mathematics  READ MORE