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Maths at Uni
41

Gottalovesummer · 12/12/2020 15:17

My DD is in year 11 so applying for college places to do A levels.

She's interested in doing Maths at Uni. She's Obviously picked maths A level, but my Q is: does anyone whose child is studying maths at Uni know if further maths at A level is also required? Thanks.

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Badbadbunny · 12/12/2020 15:30

Depends on the Uni. Some Unis have it as a requirement, but others don't. My son didn't do it, so his choice of Uni was restricted (ie Durham, Warwick require FM), but he's now doing a Maths degree at Lancaster (in top ten for Maths degrees) and managing very well.

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Gottalovesummer · 12/12/2020 15:33

Thanks Badbadbunny

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noblegiraffe · 12/12/2020 15:35

It’s not a requirement for a lot of uni courses because a lot of schools don’t offer it. If it’s offered, she’d be mad not to take it if she wants to study maths.

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titchy · 12/12/2020 15:51

If she doesn't want to do FM why on earth is she thinking about a Maths degree?

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ErrolTheDragon · 12/12/2020 16:22

Have a look at the course details for a few places which seem to be in the right ballpark for what at this point she thinks her A level grades may realistically be.

Some may have some form of words indicating that if the sixth form offers FM then the applicant should have done it. Or there may be a list of preferred or strongly preferred subjects apart from the required maths. In some cases if FM A level isn't possible the applicant might be expected to have done the AS.

It's usually pretty easy to find the details if you Google something like ' maths requirements'.
If in doubt, she can contact some admissions tutors - again, their email address/phone number should be easy to find on the website and they are there to help. My DD had similar questions re FM for engineering, she had some lovely responses when she emailed a few in yr 11.

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Ironoaks · 12/12/2020 16:35

If the sixth form / college doesn't offer Further Maths A-level then there are universities who understand that some applicants don't have access to this course. Once she has covered the Maths A-level content, she could work through some of the Further Maths material in her own time. DS taught himself Further Pure 1 (which wasn't offered by his school) in the summer after his A-levels.

If the sixth form / college does offer the opportunity to do Further Maths A-level then she should take it.

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Witchend · 12/12/2020 19:35

If she doesn't do further maths than basically she'll have to expect to be doing the entire syllabus very rapidly at the start of term.

If she's at a school that doesn't offer it, then some unis are sympathetic, but if her school does offer it, then I think she's unlikely to get anywhere offering maths, especially if she wants a top one.

I would suggest that if she is at a 6th form that doesn't offer FM, then she finds a tutor who can do at least the pure side in the summer holidays in the upper 6th or she's going to feel she's behind right from the start.

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BefuddledPerson · 12/12/2020 19:37

She needs to do FM really.

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GlacindaTheTroll · 12/12/2020 19:42

If her sixth form doesn't offer it, then she can probably still get an offer, especially if she can demonstrate plenty of maths enrichment activities (but preparing for STEP or MAT might be tricky)

If the college/school does offer it, then it could look bad if she does not take it. And makes me wonder if she is really cut out for doing maths beyond A level - those with a love of maths will naturally gravitate towards it.

It's really useful for engineering, physics and computer science as well

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Abetes · 12/12/2020 20:10

If she wants to do maths at Uni, she should take further maths if her school offers it. It will give her a better understanding of what higher level maths is all about and make the start of her university course much more straightforward.

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Star21 · 12/12/2020 20:22

My son is studying Maths at Nottingham, he said those who hadn’t done FM at Alevel were at a definite disadvantage in the first year and had to work harder to keep up.

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MarchingFrogs · 12/12/2020 21:38

This might be of some use, if FM actually isn't available? (Or even if it is and she actually does it).

amsp.org.uk/students/about

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Gottalovesummer · 12/12/2020 21:42

Thank you all. We've started looking up Uni requirements but it's so useful to have your views. Thanks so much.

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Badbadbunny · 13/12/2020 11:16

@titchy

If she doesn't want to do FM why on earth is she thinking about a Maths degree?

Perhaps, like my son, they're not 100% certain what they want to study at Uni? My son didn't do FM because he wanted to keep his options open. At 15 years old, he didn't have a clue about what he wanted to study. Even when he submitted his UCAS application, he wasn't 100% certain and so chose different subjects at different Unis. He spoke to the Uni admissions tutor (for the Maths degree he finally decided on this Summer) who told him not doing FM wasn't a problem for the Maths degree at that Uni. As it turns out, it's all been fine.
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Badbadbunny · 13/12/2020 11:19

@Witchend

If she doesn't do further maths than basically she'll have to expect to be doing the entire syllabus very rapidly at the start of term.

If she's at a school that doesn't offer it, then some unis are sympathetic, but if her school does offer it, then I think she's unlikely to get anywhere offering maths, especially if she wants a top one.

I would suggest that if she is at a 6th form that doesn't offer FM, then she finds a tutor who can do at least the pure side in the summer holidays in the upper 6th or she's going to feel she's behind right from the start.

Lancaster doesn't require FM and is 9th for Maths in the Uni league tables.
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noblegiraffe · 13/12/2020 11:21

Not requiring further maths doesn’t mean that you don’t actually need further maths, it means that they need bums on seats.

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Ellmau · 13/12/2020 11:33

Physics may be useful as well.

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ErrolTheDragon · 13/12/2020 11:40

Yes, you're right badbunny - FM does require careful consideration, especially if the sixth form doesn't allow for 3 other subjects (at least initially), and/or the student isn't yet sure what they want to do after.

So ... yes, fm is a good idea for maths degrees (and physics and engineering) but taking it isn't necessarily a no-brainer.

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Badbadbunny · 13/12/2020 11:40

@noblegiraffe

Not requiring further maths doesn’t mean that you don’t actually need further maths, it means that they need bums on seats.

I don't think Lancaster would be ranked 9th in the country for Maths, if they just wanted bums on seats would they?
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Paddy1234 · 13/12/2020 11:49

When choosing maths A level - my son was asked if he was going to study further. If he was then the school insisted on further maths.
He isn't doing it but says those doing further are in a separate class and way ahead.

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titchy · 13/12/2020 11:54

I don't think Lancaster would be ranked 9th in the country for Maths, if they just wanted bums on seats would they?

Of course it would! Rankings are based on research (UGs have no bearing on research quality) and NSS largely. (Plus a few others.) And NSS scores correlate to ease of assessment not quality of teaching.

I'm sure Lanc is fine, but don't assume that a decent ranking means they aren't also struggling to recruit.

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BefuddledPerson · 13/12/2020 11:56

Also just because a uni doesn't require something - FM in this case - doesn't mean they won't choose a student who has it over one who doesn't.

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Schoolchoicesucks · 13/12/2020 11:59

If her school offers it and she would be taking it as a 4th A level, then yes she should do it. (Ie don't have maths, further maths plus one other A level). It is perfectly possible to do maths at uni without having done further maths a level. I did further maths a level and found some repetition of it in my 1st year at uni. I also did very poorly in further maths a level but went on to get a 1st in my degree. Some schools aren't able to teach it well.

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museumum · 13/12/2020 12:02

Worth looking at Scottish universities as the longer degree (4years) and broader post 16 education mean students aren’t expected to have the same depth at the start of the course (also students are usually offered 3 subjects in first year which can help her read around her subject before committing finally to the exact degree).

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noblegiraffe · 13/12/2020 12:09

I don't think Lancaster would be ranked 9th in the country for Maths, if they just wanted bums on seats would they?

Most of the unis above it in the rankings require FM and from what I can see, none of the ones below it do. So yeah, their ranking suggests that they can't afford to require FM.

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