There are several reasons for completing honours in Mathematics. Firstly, because you like Mathematics or Statistics. Secondly, because you are good at it. Thirdly, because you enjoy a challenge. And fourthly, a very practical reason, which could turn out to be of crucial importance after you graduate: an honours degree in Maths or Stats is the standard qualification for entrance to a Ph.D program, both in New Zealand and overseas.
See Florian Beyer if you are interested in enrolling in the honours program in Mathematics.
Honours programs are also available in Statistics.
Entry into the Honours program
The entry requirements for a BSc(Hons) or BA(Hons) in Mathematics are: a BSc or BA with a major in Mathematics including at least five 300 level papers, with an average grade of B+ over the 300-level Mathematics papers.
Students take four 20-point papers and the 40-point project paper MATH490. Students may be permitted to take one 20-point paper in another discipline. In Mathematics, every 20-point paper consists of two modules, each of around 20 hours’ class time.
The project is the full-year paper MATH490. The project is an independent study conducted under the supervision of one or two staff members. The main assessment item is a written report. Students also give two seminars: a preliminary ten-minute description of the project in Semester 1, and a final twenty-minute report near the end of Semester 2.
You should discuss possible topics with lecturers and with the honours coordinator, well before the start of Semester 1. Ideally, you should know your supervisor(s) and topic by the start of academic year. The written report is due by the end of the lecturing period in Semester 2.
The length and format of the written reports vary widely, depending on the area of study, the nature of the project, and on the subject matter. (All of this is taken into consideration by the examiners.) You should plan your report carefully in consultation with your supervisors: it can take longer than you might think to do the actual writing. You are also welcome to seek guidance from the honours coordinator at any stage.
Each module will give a mark out of 100. These will be averaged in pairs by the examination committee to give marks out of 100 for the papers. The final honours mark is the average of the marks for the various papers, with the best 3 having a weighting of 1, the 4th a weighting of 0.5, and the project a weighting of 2.
The class of honours is determined by your final grade:
- First class is 80+
- Second class (Division I) 70–79
- Second class (Division II) 60–69
- Third class 50–59.