Mathematics is essentially the science of numbers, and all the wondrous things you can do with them. Included in the broad bracket of Mathematics you have areas such as, algebra, trigonometry, statistics, mechanics, calculus, differential equations, geometry etc.
Mathematics is one of the few subjects that can deliver exact, clear-cut answers, giving us a base of fact on which to operate. It’s the foundation that underpins the sciences, and it is considered a universal subject in that it transcends language barriers and cultural beliefs.
What you’ll study at university is the theory and manipulation of numbers, and applying those numbers to real-world problems.
And a Mathematics degree isn’t just for show. There are plenty of job prospects for Maths graduates and some of the biggest companies in the UK specifically hire from well-qualified Maths graduates.
Here’s more about studying Mathematics at university.
At undergraduate level, you’ll probably study for a Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Mathematics.
Typically Mathematics degree programmes involve a combination of pure (theory and abstract) mathematics and applied (practical application to the world) mathematics. Some universities also offer pure and applied mathematics as separate degrees, so you can choose to focus on just one.
You might also want to consider combining your Mathematics degree with another subject for joint honours. Popular subjects to combine with Mathematics include:
In your first year you’ll follow a similar curriculum regardless of the university you attend to learn the basic principles of Mathematics. Topics include Calculus Analysis, Linear Algebra & Geometry, Number Theory & Group Theory, Probability, Statistics, Mechanics, and Computational Mathematics.
In your second and third years you’ll specialise further with modules such as Mathematical and Professional Skills, Discrete Maths and Algebra, History and Philosophy of Mathematics, Maths and Operational Research, Modelling and Mechanics, Graph Theory and Applications, Medical Statistics, Topology etc.
If you want to study Mathematics at university then it’s pretty obvious that you’re going to need to have studied it at A Level.
Some universities may also want you to have taken Further Maths at A Level. Even if they don’t, it would still be advisable to consider taking that and a science based subject.
Other subjects commonly taken at A Level by potential Mathematics students include IT, Chemistry, and Business.
The exact entry requirements for Mathematics vary between universities but the grades they ask for are usually at the higher end of the spectrum. For example, Reading asks for ABB/AAC (including an A in Maths) whilst De Montfort asks for at least 280 UCAS points (including a B in Maths).
Are there any other entry requirements for a Mathematics degree?
For entry to Cambridge, Warwick and some other top universities, the STEP examination (Sixth Term Examination Papers) is either a requirement or gives you added advantage.
You’ll also need a strong personal statement explaining why you want to study Mathematics beyond A Level and for some of the top universities you might also be asked to attend an interview.
Mathematics is offered at nearly every university in the UK so it’s just a question of finding a university that matches what you want from your education to the university’s entry requirements.
Some universities that offer Mathematics are:
It’s important to remember to research each university carefully and be sure it’s the right choice for you. Don’t apply for a university just because it has a good reputation or because someone has told you that you’ll have a great time there.
Mathematical experts are in demand across all kinds of industries, the world over so you won’t be short of a job after graduation.
A large number of roles are based within business or science and technology-related sectors, with math graduates occupying roles such as accountant, actuary, statistician, technician, economist or market researcher.
However, less typical careers that use your Mathematics degree include engineering, meteorology, teaching, and software testing.