What you’ll learn
Familiar with fractals? Study a degree in maths and you soon will be. Broadly speaking, maths degrees should give you the basic ideas of pure mathematics (linear algebra, geometry, etc), applied mathematics (calculus, mathematical methods, modelling and numerical analysis), and statistics (including probability and operational research).
Your first year will usually give you an overview of the subject. This should build on what you studied at A-level. The next two or three years will give you the chance to specialise, perhaps in cryptology, group theory, fluid dynamics, mathematical biology or Bayesian statistics.
Mathematics can be studied as a single honours degree, or paired with other subjects such as economics, accounting, languages, sciences or education.
If you study mathematics with a language, some universities offer placements abroad.
How you’ll learn
You’ll be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and computer workshops. You will gain knowledge of key concepts and topics, know how to use maths to solve problems, and learn how to present your findings clearly.
Expect most of your assessment to take the form of written exams, but there will also be coursework and projects.
Selective universities require maths, and sometimes further maths. Physics and computing or computer science are likely to be useful. Entry levels vary, but remember your maths degree programme may be a challenging step up from A-level study.
What job can you get?
Mathematics graduates often gravitate towards a career in industry, business and commerce, where employers will value their reasoning along with their problem-solving skills.
There are lots of sectors which look favourably on prospective employees with a head for maths, including banking, construction, engineering, the civil service and computer science. Salaries are often competitive.
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