Key Points:

What:

Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences, level 7.

Where:

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Auckland University of Technology (AUT) city campus.

Contact:

(09) 921 9999, 0800 AUT UNI or 0800 288 864.

Email:

courseinfo@aut.ac.nz

Web:

www.autuni.ac.nz

Entry requirements:

NCEA University Entrance, including 24 level 3 credits in maths. Non-native English speakers also need an IELTS of 6, with no band less than 5.5.

Application deadlines:

February 22 or July 21, 2008. Earlier is better.

Length of course:

Three years full-time, equivalent part-time

2008 course costs:

Domestic: $4300-$4400. International: $19,600.

Starting salary:

$36,750-$43,000.

The study of applied mathematics can lead to a number of careers in finance, engineering, sciences, computer science and sociological roles.

AUT's Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences offers majors in applied mathematics, statistics and computer science; many students choose to do a double major.

Key skills developed include the ability to analyse data, apply data analysis to solving practical problems, draw conclusions and recommendations from data, and undertake mathematical modelling of processes such as predicting customer electricity demand or monitoring sports performance.

Depending on your choice of major, papers range from linear algebra, physics, software engineering, data structures and algorithms and statistical forecasting, to game and entertainment systems, industrial mathematics, probability theory and applications, operations research and geographic information systems.

In the final year, students complete a research and development project that typically involves developing a commercial solution for an industry client or doing supervised research in a selected area. This is equivalent of a half-year course load and can be done over one or two semesters. Entities involved include Statistics New Zealand, Fisher & Paykel and Fonterra.

THE GRADUATE
Stephanie Ye (25)
Statistical analyst, Statistics New Zealand

I completed a Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences, doing a double major in statistics and applied maths in November 2006. I'm now working for Statistics New Zealand as a statistical analyst.

As part of the producer price index team, I manage data quality and analyse data to highlight key points.

With a price increase, I might be looking at why an increase has happened. If, say, the quality has changed, I need to assess this and make adjustments accordingly. I also write quarterly media releases for the public and answer queries from a range of people.

I have always been interested in statistics and mathematics.

When I came from China to do a university foundation course at the Auckland Academic College Group (ACG) five years ago, I got a positive impression of the importance of statistics for business and the community through my teacher. That's why I decided to study statistics at university.

After finishing the one-year foundation course, I met the entry requirements for university. I chose AUT because of its good reputation and teaching approach.

I've learned a lot from university study. Most of our assignments were practical and our classes were small, which I really liked. It was not just about calculating figures but applying them to real-life situations - I found the computer applications paper and the communications papers really useful. As a statistical analyst, answering queries is a main part of my job and the communications paper helped me develop many ways to communicate with people.

The final-year industrial project, which lecturers help to organise, was particularly interesting and challenging. My project involved providing statistical consultation to a bio-technology research institute.

At Statistics New Zealand, we work in teams and all have different skills which complement each other. The hardest part of my work is working in English, my second language, but my manager and team help me a lot.

THE EMPLOYER
John Morris
Statistics NZ manager of Prices Business Unit

We build teams with different skills so we don't tend to recruit for just accountants or statisticians, but from a wide range of disciplines. While we need people with a certain degree of comfort with numbers, we don't expect everyone to have a degree in maths or statistics.

Stephanie applied through our generic recruitment route and we were impressed with the course she'd done and the grades she had.

We were also intrigued by her final-year project. As well as having statistical skills, she had been exposed to applying that knowledge to solving problems.

This is the only place in New Zealand where this kind of work is done, so we need people who are open to new ideas and keen to continue to learn.