There are three main branches of study under the umbrella of mathematics including, operational research, statistics and mathematics itself.
Operational research (OR) is also known as management science and focuses on the analysis of decision-making processes – especially in large companies or the military. Well-known areas include the analysis of voting systems or game theory.
Statistics is driven by real-world problems, mostly issues that can’t be broken down into simpler parts and statisticians can make difficult decisions by carefully examining the data. Statistics, as an example, allows the effectiveness of a product, or a new drug, or the predictions of flooding easier to determine.
Mathematics is at the heart of the world that we know, and mathematics is interested in shapes, space and numbers and how to break complex problems into smaller and simpler ones.
Studying mathematics at A-level is essential for enrolling onto the course at undergraduate degree course. Exact university entry requirements will differ from each institution, and students are advised to check with their chosen institutions and degree programmes to ensure they understand what they need to gain admission to the course. Most universities will require students to hold an A-level in Mathematics in a grade B, and above, as well as a high UCAS tariff points score.
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Maths can be divided into two sections when studied at undergraduate level; pure mathematics degree and applied mathematics degree. Applied maths involves real-world problems, while pure maths is concerned with theory. Most degrees in this area will cover both of these areas, but allow individuals to narrow their focus and choose their modules in the second and third year to tailor their degree to their interests.
The majority of maths degrees will be three years in length; however, some universities offer MMAth (Masters of Maths) courses which are integrated degrees. Integrated degrees are four years in length and are a combination of a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree (undergraduate, and postgraduate). Also, other degree options include a combined degree where students can study two areas in depth, and these tend to be similar subjects that complement each other, such as; economics, finance, physics, and psychology.
Students will learn through many modules and classes, and the subjects tend to include: calculus, mechanics, computational mathematics, statistics, number theory and group theory.
Studying mathematics is not easy, and if students are finding it difficult to comprehend the work, they should contact their personal tutors and lecturers for help. Maths will also involve problem-solving and probably feel as if the issue will never be resolved – which can be frustrating.
There will be lots of deadlines and coursework set during undergraduate study, and one difficult task is being able to manage these as well as attend lectures, study and have a social life.
These subject areas are usually taught – meaning it is through coursework, essays, examinations and presentations.
This type of course, will equip individuals with a range of critical thinking abilities, logical thinking and design and analyse skills. Communication skills will be established as well as problem-solving and assess risk.
Students who attend university gain skills in organisation and time-management through the completion of coursework and working towards a deadline, as well as social skills through group work and presentations.
Also, mathematics, statistics and/or develop skills in numeracy and the ability to present complex and technical ideas, whether it be in writing or verbally. These skills will aid graduates in mathematical sciences after obtaining their degree.
Math can be a satisfying subject to study as there is always a right answer to find! It is perfect for those who are naturally talented at solving puzzles, working through problems, and like to apply logical thinking.
Math is also a universal language, providing international career opportunities from the get-go. Additionally, it overlaps and connects with other sciences and number-based subjects, such as biology, physics, economics and engineering.
Job prospects tend to be quite rewarding for maths graduates, with the opportunity to work within the accounting, banking and finance sectors, as well as, marketing and law.
The skills of logic and reasoning, analysis and problem-solving are highly sought after by organisations seeking graduates. These skills are transferable throughout the employment industry as many job roles will benefit from this range of talents.
Graduates will be employable in areas such as teaching, financial services, technical careers, consulting, management and computing. There will also be graduate schemes available in banking, accountancy and insurance sectors too. Logical and analytical skills are attractive to the energy, deficiency and healthcare industries.
Students who want to continue with their studies after they graduate can complete a Masters of Science (MSc), Masters of Research (MRes), and Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) in related courses, as well as studying a PGCE, which allows individuals to teach.
Britain’s Rachel Riley, who is in charge of the numbers on Countdown obtained four A grades at A-level and went on to study Mathematics at the University of Oxford! Also, Dara O’Briain, the comedian who has appeared on Mock the Week and QI studied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at University College Dublin in Ireland!
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