Master of Science in Mathematics

The UNamur (University of Namur in Namur) and the UCL (Université Catholique de Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve) jointly offer the master programmes (120 ECTS) in Mathematics as described below.

These programmes are different because of the UCL’s resolutely fundamental approach and the UNamur’s applied approach. The two institutions offer a research focus based directly on their specificities; in addition, the UNamur offers a professional focus entitled “Professional perspectives in applied mathematics”. A teaching focus is offered in both programmes.


UNamur: “The foundations of applied mathematics”

Mixing the analytical and numerical approaches, the programme is centred on applied mathematics, with a particular attention on modelling.

The principal research disciplines include numerical analysis, optimisation and control, statistics and dynamic systems, in many application sectors (transport, chemical reactors, space, biology, meteorology, classification, data analysis).

These four disciplines are taught comprehensively and their algorithmic and numerical aspects are covered by tutorials; elective courses cover more specific or applied aspects (30 ECTS). Fundamental mathematics is not neglected and there is also an ethical reflection linked to the discipline. The master thesis starts in the first year and finishes at the end of the first four-month period of the second year.

The second year offers students the choice between a research focus, a teaching focus, and a professional focus on “Professional perspectives in applied mathematics”.

The programme for this professional focus includes two separate options (18 ECTS each):

  • statistical data analysis, which treats the main fields of statistics used in the private sector, the banking world, and in business
  • mathematics for business, which is treated by a multiple approach of a project to be resolved in a group, including training, practical work, and presentations.

UCL: “Pure mathematics and their perspective

The principal disciplines of the research are the analysis of differential equations, measuring theory, algebra and the theory of categories, algebraic topology, geometry, and mathematical physics. The masters in mathematics has the objective of providing training in these disciplines while putting the accent on the most recent aspects of theories, on their application, and their relationships with other disciplines, notably with physics.

Several fundamental disciplines are prioritized in the programme:

  • The calculation of variations, harmonic analysis and the qualitative theory of differential equations
  • The geometric theory of measures
  • Algebraic topology, its relationship with three dimensional geometry and the theory of knots
  • The theory of polynomial equations and algebraic groups
  • Differential geometry and its relationship with mathematical physics
  • Integratable systems, random matrixes and complex geometry
  • The theory of categories as a global vision of mathematics

Half of the first year is made up of a common core curriculum which includes compulsory foundation courses and the other half is optional courses in fundamental mathematics, applied mathematics (leading to an application area such as cryptography, coding, meteorology, optimisation, or statistics), or the didactics of mathematics.

The second year includes, in addition to the thesis, teaching activities related to the teaching focus or the research focus in fundamental mathematics.


Those students that so desire have the opportunity to undertake an Erasmus study visit during the first year of the masters; in the second year they can also follow an optional course in another university in the French Community of Belgium or in northern France.