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Department of Mathematical Sciences

Career Options and Employability

The overall aim of our honours mathematics programmes is to train our students as members of the community of professional mathematicians. Our programmes aim to develop students' capacity for critical thinking, problem-solving and independent learning, which will enable our students to meet a variety of challenges. We seek to develop both the generic and subject-specific skills required to equip our students to pursue a range of careers.

Opportunities for students to develop their understanding of mathematics as a professional practice and to prepare for work are not only provided by the formal degree programme. The department works closely with its students through the undergraduate MathSoc to attract exciting external speakers for its undergraduate colloquium programme.

“Attributes gained from a Durham University degree include critical thinking, an analytical approach and ability to reason with information; alongside experience in building relationships and leading teams. These skills are put into daily practice in Professional Services and is why, year on year, we return to Durham University to recruit such talented individuals into our Firm.”

Christopher Ninnes, Deloitte

Of those students that left in 2016:

- 88% of Mathematical Sciences leavers secured employment and/or have gone to further study within 6 months of graduating

Of those in employment:

- 96% are in graduate level employment
- Median salary £27,954

Of those in further study:

- 93% are in graduate level study

(These statistics are based on the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2015/16 graduates. The DLHE survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing six months after graduation. Full definitions for the DLHE Record can be found here:

A significant number of Mathematical Sciences students progress onto higher level study following their degree. Some remain within their academic field of interest and pursue higher level research, notably at Durham but also other prestigious institutions including Bath, Cambridge, Imperial College London, Leeds and Sheffield. Others take a different route and pursue postgraduate programmes in related and non- related areas such as statistics, financial management, I.T software, environment/ conservation and teaching . 

“We have found Durham students to be adaptable, eager to learn and probably most important, able to get on with people very easily”

Stephen Weatherseed, Executive Partner, Grant Thornton (Hong Kong)

Employability development opportunities

  • Careers presentations Presentations are delivered within the Department for the whole range of students, from the first year to penultimate and final year undergraduates.
  • Employability skills workshops These are delivered by employers on a range of skills related topics to give you the best chance of success in your internship and graduate job applications. More information is available here.
  • Student led activities The department encourages and initiates student led careers activities. They include the invitation of external speakers in the undergraduate colloquium as well as relevant workshops (recently on interview and assessment training and presentation skills). There is also a web page on careers created by students.
  • Careers information online A DUO resource has been created with information for undergraduate and graduate students as well as staff. There are also forums for students to discuss experiences and for the department to publicise vacancies and opportunities.
  • Departmental advisors As part of their general advice to students, departmental careers advisors encourage students to plan for their future careers, and can help students needing additional support who are encouraged to attend 1:1 Careers interviews.
  • Careers Centre website This is a very useful resource which details the full range of services available, along with excellent tips and advice to help you investigate the range of careers available.


Durham University Mathematical Sciences graduates progress into a diverse range of careers and employment sectors. The public, and private sectors are all represented with graduates entering professions such as Accountancy, Actuarial Consultancy, Tax Adviser, Software Engineering, Teaching , Retail Management, Investment Analyst, Insurance, Operations Research, Statistician, Recruitment Consulting, Armed Services Officer and Public Health Information Analyst.

Examples of high profile recent employers include Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, RAF, Mars, NHS, HMRC Lane Clark & Peacock, Co-operative Group, BT, Deloitte.

Employer Testimonial

"We have found Durham students to be adaptable, eager to learn and probably most important, able to get on with people very easily."
Stephen Weatherseed,
Executive Partner,
Grant Thornton (Hong Kong)