Programme Description

Mathematics and computation have occupied a central place in the liberal arts curriculum from its earliest history. Across societies, we find mathematics not only in the service of science, government, and ritual, but also for its own sake – an aesthetic of mathematical beauty. In recent centuries, the mathematical sciences have been viewed as fundamental to describing the laws of nature. In the 20th century, statistics enabled the growth of the social sciences. In the present day, computers are not merely aiding in the observation of societies, but evidently reshaping them. Mathematics continues to flourish with powerful applications.

Majoring in Mathematical, Computational and Statistical Sciences (MCS) offers the opportunity to pursue traditional curricula as well as curricula that cut across disciplinary boundaries.

Traditional curricula can prepare students for graduate study in Mathematics, Computer Science or Data Science, as well as specialised careers in industry. Students in the MCS major develop skills in analysis and problem-solving, and in the communication of complicated information. Such skills are highly – and widely – sought after in the workforce.


Class of 2020

Please check the major’s requirements with the Head of Studies.

Class of 2021 onwards

The MCS major requires students to complete 54 Modular Credits (MC) including a capstone project that is worth 10 MC. Students will take three Core Modules, four courses in one of the three Focus Areas, Mathematics, Computer Science and Data Science, and at least 9 MC of electives. At least 4 MC need to be at the 4000 level in addition to the 10 MC capstone.

Core Modules

The required Core Modules are YSC1212 Introduction to Computer Science, YSC2209 Proof and YSC2239 Introduction to Data Science.

Focus Areas

Students need to complete four modules in one of the Focus Areas. Each Focus Areas has three Compulsory Modules and two Specialist Modules from which one should be completed.

Focus Area Mathematics

The Compulsory Modules for Mathematics are YSC3206 Introduction to Real Analysis, YSC2232 Linear Algebra and YSC3240 Foundations of Applied Mathematics. Additionally, one of the Specialist Modules YSC4220 Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations or YSC3237 Introduction to Modern Algebra is required.

Focus Area Computer Science

The Compulsory Modules for Computer Science are YSC2229 Introductory Data Structures and Algorithms, YSC3232 Software Engineering, and YSC3208 Programming Language Design and Implementation. Additionally, one of the Specialist Modules YSC3236 Functional Programming and Proving or YSC2244 Programming for Data Science is required.

Focus Area Data Science

The Compulsory Modules for Data Science are YSC2243 Probability, YSC3249 Statistical Inference and YSC2232 Linear Algebra. Additionally, one of the Specialist Modules YSC4216 Machine Learning or YSC2244 Programming for Data Science is required.


At least 9 MC of elective modules are required. These modules can be selected from MCS module offerings and approved NUS modules. Recent MCS module offerings are available here. At least 4 MC must be at the 4000 level unless already taken as a focus module. 2 MC MCS modules do not count towards the major.


The capstone experience offers each student an opportunity to learn a subject in great depth, to apply and reflect on previous coursework, and to reach out to other disciplines. It also serves to develop further skills in technical exposition, both written and spoken. Graduating students will enjoy the self-confidence and initiative that comes from having successfully conducted an independent research inquiry. Sample topics include: topological field theory and physics; robotics; number theory and cryptography; survival statistics; social network analysis; computer graphics; smartphones as a distributed computing platform; neuroimaging.

Students may also opt to do an internship-based capstone. For this option, students will complete around 240 hours of work in an MCS-approved placement and produce a final report. These internships must have an MCS focus and be organised or approved by the Head of Studies or designate.

In addition to the project, the capstone includes a weekly seminar. Combined, the Capstone bears 10 Modular Credits.


An MCS minor offers students the opportunity to engage with advanced topics in mathematics, computation, and statistics. This can be an excellent supplement for students pursuing a major in quantitative social sciences, natural science, philosophy, etc. We encourage students to pursue an MCS minor to enhance their major, to explore their curiosity, and to develop skills for future employment.

Class of 2020

Please check the minor’s requirements with the Head of Studies.

Class of 2021 onwards

To minor in MCS, a student must complete the 3 Core Modules YSC1212 Introduction to Computer Science, YSC2209 Proof and YSC2239 Introduction to Data Science plus 10 MC of elective MCS modules. MCS faculty are pleased to assist students to design a suitable programme of study for the minor.