Published: 06 October 2021

Meet our Department of Mathematics

A close community where each student counts, a research-active department where pure and applied disciplines intersect for real-word applications, and award-winning professional training and graduate employment...

Who we are

“Based on the fourth floor of the Thomas Telford Building, we’re a small and friendly research-active department,” says Gianne Derks, Head of our Department of Mathematics.

“We run a lively range of undergraduate courses and students can study a core maths curriculum – or combine this with economics, statistics, finance, physics and music.

“Our teaching and research are well integrated, and our academic interests include pure and applied maths. We often focus on real-world areas where these two disciplines combine."

Meet Gianne Derks, Head of the Department of Mathematics.

“A prime reason to choose Surrey is that we’ve created a close community where each student counts,” adds Gianne. “You’ll be valued and your interests will be nurtured. If you come here, your studies will involve numbers – but you won’t be one.

“You’ll benefit from a personal tutor, small group teaching in your first year, and smaller groups in lectures as you choose module options later in your degree.”

Another positive is a supportive student body, where senior undergraduates help juniors. You can also get involved in research through summer projects. These will enable you to develop as a mathematician and researcher.

We also boast an active Maths Society and we're the proud holder of an Athena Swan Bronze Award, a global initiative promoting gender equality in higher education.

Discover what a typical week looks for a first year student.

A key part of Surrey’s successful formula for delivering employable students is our award-winning Professional Training placements. These help undergraduates secure work experience across a range of sectors and prestigious firms.

Examples of well-known companies where our students have trained include:

  • British Airways
  • Disney
  • IBM
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • McLaren

We also boast a strong record of companies offering placement students jobs at the end of their degree.

Read about what Keryn Landey and Ffion Phillips say about their very different Professional Training placement experiences at Lloyds Banking Group and Cummins Turbo Technologies.

The strength and value of a maths degree from Surrey has helped our graduates succeed in a variety of careers. And it's not just us saying that...

According to the 2021 Guardian University Guide, 97 per cent of our former students are in graduate-level employment or undertaking further education within 15 months of graduation.

Employers include prestigious City firms and the civil service, plus various industries who need the logical thinking and problem-solving that comes with studying maths at degree level. These include science and technology-related fields, actuarial sciences, data analytics, management consultancy, law and business management.

Recent graduates work for:

  • Accenture
  • BAE Systems
  • BBC
  • Civil Service
  • The Economist
  • Ernst and Young
  • Friends Provident
  • HSBC
  • KPMG
  • Liverpool Victoria Insurance.
  • Lloyds Bank
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • QinetiQ
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • UniChem
  • Thames Water
  • TSB Group
  • Virgin Trains

Read about Surrey maths graduates Elizabeth OpeagbeAnand Sahota and Kim Holding.

Another addition that prospective students wishing to continue in academia find attractive is our active postgraduate research community, which has seen students present work at the Houses of Parliament.

Those who wish to continue to masters-level study may take our taught Mathematics MSc or our more specialised Mathematical Data Science MSc.

If you fancy undertaking PhD research, our academic staff have a broad range of interests, which includes both pure and applied maths. One of our key strengths is that our research often focuses on areas where pure and applied maths intersect, such as:

  • Black holes 
  • Circadian rhythms
  • Crime
  • Medicine
  • Meteorology
  • Physics
  • Quantum theory


Read more about our five distinct research groups.

Learn more about undergraduate degrees in our Department of Maths

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