PgDip / PgCert Graduate Certificate in the Mathematical Sciences

Key information

Mode of delivery
Delivery type
Start date
1 year
PgDip / PgCert


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The Graduate Certificate is designed for applicants who wish to study one of our MSc programmes but who have not studied a sufficient level of mathematics or statistics at University to meet the entry requirements.

Following this programme will allow you to gain the required knowledge and skills of mathematics and statistics to prepare you for undertaking one of the following MSc programmes.

Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics Department

MSc in Actuarial Science; MSc in Financial Mathematics; MSc in Quantitative Financial Risk Management, MSc in Quantitative Financial Engineering.

Mathematics Department

MSc in Applied Mathematical Sciences (all streams); MSc in Computational Mathematics; MSc in Mathematics, MSc in Quantitative Finance and Mathematics.

Most students will follow a non-graduating programme of study and do not complete the higher level requirements for the award of a PG Certificate or PG Diploma, although this is possible provided you have qualifications in mathematics equivalent to level 8 or beyond.

The exact courses you will study will depend on:

  1. the level of mathematics you have studied at University level to date;
  2. the specific MSc you are planning to study the following year.

If you are an applicant from Scotland, the UK or EU It is possible to be issued with a combined offer for the Graduate Certificate followed by your chosen MSc in the following year. Progression to the MSc in the following year will require an overall average of at least 65% in all examinations taken - unfortunately if you are joining this university on a Tier 4 visa this option is not available to you. Nonetheless, Tier 4 applicants can use the graduate certificate pathway as an entry qualification for a separate follow up application to one of our many MSc programmes.

Programme duration

9 months

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September 2024 entry

The deadline for applications from UK students is 30 August 2024. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by 2 August 2024.


Course content

Year 1

Students will study a minimum of 6 courses and an overall average of at least 65% in the examinations taken is required to progress to one of our MSc programmes the following year.

Students will typically study a mixture of Level 7, Level 8 and Level 9 courses (non-graduating) as follows:

For Entry to MSc in Actuarial Science:

Semester 1


  • Introduction to Statistical Science A (Level 7)
  • Probability and Statistics A (Level 8)

Optional (at least one from)

  • Calculus A (Level 7)
  • Multivariable Calculus and Real Analysis A (Level 8)
  • Linear Algebra (Level 8)
  • Applied Mathematics A (Level 8)

Semester 2


  • Introduction to Statistical Science B (Level 7)
  • Probability and Statistics B (Level 8)

Optional (at least one from)

  • Calculus B (Level 7)
  • Multivariable Calculus and Real Analysis B (Level 8)
  • Numerical Analysis A (Level 8)
  • Pure Mathematics A (Level 8)

For entry to MSc in Applied Mathematical Sciences (all streams), MSc in Computational Mathematics or MSc in Mathematics:

Semester 1


  • Linear Algebra (Level 8)

Optional (at least one from)

  • Multivariable Calculus and Real Analysis A (Level 8)
  • Applied Mathematics A (Level 8)
  • Probability and Statistics A (Level 8)
  • Vector Analysis (Level 9)

Semester 2


  • Numerical Analysis A (Level 8)
  • Ordinary Differential Equations (Level 9)

Optional (at least one from)

  • Multivariable Calculus and Real Analysis B (Level 8)
  • Probability and Statistics B (Level 8)
  • Complex Analysis (Level 9)
  • Numerical Analysis B (Level 9)
  • Applied Mathematics B (Level 9)

Go Global

Some of our Postgraduate Taught Masters Programmes are eligible for Inter-Campus Transfer. Please contact for further information.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Tuition fees
Status [footnote 1] Full-time
UK 9152
Overseas [footnote 2] 19056


  1. Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
  2. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.

Entry requirements


Entry requires a good first degree, of at least UK 2.1 standard or equivalent, containing some maths and/or statistics content.

Applicants who apply for an MSc programme but don't meet the entry requirements (in terms of relevant maths/statistics content) will automatically be considered for the Graduate Certificate as an alternative, where appropriate.

The programme is not suitable for graduates who have not studied any maths and/or statistics at degree level.

Please contact the School if you wish to discuss your suitability for the programme in more detail.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we'll need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme:

  • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)

Why Heriot-Watt?

Ranking (Mathematics, The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024)

We are ranked 2nd in Scotland and 6th in the UK for Mathematics by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Maths Gym

Maths Gym is a cross-campus initiative which aims to support all Heriot-Watt students, across all our campuses, to strengthen their mathematical and statistical skills and to boost their mathematical confidence.

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At Heriot-Watt we have an extensive programme of over 90 sports clubs and societies to get involved in. You can try as many as you like or start one of your own!

Edinburgh campus accommodation

Living on our beautiful Edinburgh campus is a great way to meet others from all over the world. Our student accommodation is within easy reach of the teaching buildings, sports facilities, catering venues and the Student Union

Edinburgh Campus facilities

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Heriot-Watt Student Union

There's more to university life than simply getting your degree, and Heriot-Watt University Student Union is all about helping you to have the best possible experience while you study here.

Living in Edinburgh

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Sport facilities

Oriam, Scotland Sports Performance Centre offers state-of-the-art sports facilities, for all levels of sport and ability

Your career

Employers around the world actively seek out our graduates because they are work-ready. All our degrees are career-focused and relevant to the needs of industry. Around 95% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

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