Applied Mathematics


Modern science relies absolutely on applied mathematics. It is the job of an applied mathematician to show how mathematical techniques can be applied to science and technology to answer interesting questions. Our goal is to use mathematical equations to study real-world problems rather than to study equations for their own sake.

Areas of Study

The Department of Mathematics uses mathematics to study such diverse areas as physiology, ice flow, floating runways, astronomy, quantum chemistry, nonlinear systems, the human genome and many other areas. Elements of these research areas are incorporated into our courses wherever possible.

Each of the courses in the Applied Mathematics programme deals with some aspect of the "Mathematical Models" that are used for describing problems from a variety of areas within Science and Technology.

You can study Applied Mathematics in the following programmes:

What you will learn

Stage I courses are designed to provide you with a range of concepts, theoretical results and analytical, computational and modelling skills that may be applied in a wide variety of areas - in biological, information and physical sciences, economics, engineering and finance for example, as well as other branches of mathematical science. Stage II and III courses build on these, covering more advanced topics, with the aim of helping you to acquire a broader base of skills and a deeper understanding of the concepts involved.

The core skills taught in these courses are:

  • How to build mathematical models
  • The mathematical ideas most useful for modelling
  • Solution of models, often by computation

Career opportunities

With a good degree in quantitative methods (mathematics, statistics, operations research and computing), career opportunities may include industry or government, computer development, insurance, meteorology, traffic engineering, systems analysis, computing programming, statistics, biometrics or operations research, and many other fields.

There is also currently a strong demand for mathematics teachers. You should aim for a balanced mathematics programme and bear in mind that versatility may be of more value to an employer than deep knowledge of one or two specialised topics. 

Recent University of Auckland graduates work as/in:

  • Actuaries or actuarial associates
  • NIWA scientists
  • AgResearch
  • Investment Banks
  • Financial, Business and Risk Analysts
  • National Institute of Health, USA
  • Biotech companies
  • Academic careers

A useful introduction to career opportunities in Applied Mathematics can be found on the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics website.

More information


For more information see Applied Mathematics.