Why should you study maths at college, what jobs can you get, and how hard is it to get a place?

Mathematics and statistics are essential to the world’s economy, especially as the age of big data gallops forward. A degree in these subjects will equip you with extensive expertise in probability and statistics, with options to specialise in pure mathematics or applied mathematics. The basis of the course is typically structured around algebra and calculus, then you can specialise in topics such as codes and cryptography, fluid mechanics and even mathematical biology.

Your problem-solving and decision-making tools will be exercised throughout the course, and you will gain experience using relevant software packages, conducting statistical investigations and presenting your findings. A bachelor’s degree in mathematics and statistics typically lasts three or four years, with a master’s lasting one or two years. You will be introduced to key concepts and the latest research in lectures, while working through problems and honing your specialist knowledge in small group tutorials. Independent and group projects are a key part of the degree and you may be asked to deliver presentations and write up coursework in this area of study. Assessment is carried out through written or oral exams, coursework and projects.

A degree in mathematics and statistics helps you develop skills in finding patterns, drawing conclusions, dealing with abstract concepts, analysing large quantities of data and approaching problems in an analytical and rigorous way. Many graduates apply the numerical skills gained to work within the financial sector, but there are a wide range of options for students who can process and analyse large data sets, solve problems with mathematical precision and make informed decisions through the interpretation of figures. Mathematics and statistics graduates are increasingly desirable in new areas of data science, health, technology, education and industry.

Why should you study maths at college, what jobs can you get, and how hard is it to get a place?