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Value in taking Mathematics and Language course?

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Why bother with a post grad? Are they even worth it? Have your say! 26-10-2016
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    A fair few universities offer courses such as Mathematics with Modern Languages, one example being UCL offering Mathematics with Japanese. My question is whether the quality of the course is worth studying? As two completely different disciplines, would they be more of a hindrance to each other?
    I've read that often such completely different courses would make it hard to study them, as they do not really complement each other.
    Also, would the depth of study be worth taking a joint honours vs a single honours and side lining the interest in languages. Any kind of answer would be greatly appreciated!

    Well a "X with Y" degree means a strong focus on X and a little of Y. This is different to "X and Y" which is a more 50-50 approach.

    Some unis, like Heriot Watt, do a Maths and French degree with a year abroad learning maths at a French uni (I presume you can find this kind of thing with other languages). This seems like it would be a good course if you wanted your two subjects integrated. Other unis will allow any "X with Y" or "X and Y" combo as long as there are no timetable clashes that affect compulsory modules. Though these will lack integration and you will find you have to manage the split focus largely on your own. There's a reason combos like French and Spanish, and Physics and Maths are so common: they integrate very naturally

    I would say if you're taking maths to go into research then just take maths: the extra modules will be invaluable for further study. It may also be best to focus on your personal study area of interest as well (i.e. pure, applied or stats). However, if you want to work in almost any other field then I think a joint degree would be very useful as you'll acquire a wider variety of skills.

    Thoughts on the language choice

    Just pick your language carefully and know why you want to learn that particular language! Is it sought after? Is it very unusual? Do you have a lot of experience in it already? Would you like to move somewhere where it is widely spoken? Romance languages will be easier for someone who is a native English speaker whereas something like Japanese can be very difficult and you can't hope to acquire the same level of fluency in the same amount of time.

    Some other options

    Many universities offer night classes in languages which could be great if you want to increase fluency without academic study. Also consider joining relevant cultural societies. There are some good apps that teach traditional romance languages like Duolingo which I used to keep up with my French. It's relatively easy to self teach a language so if you're not desperately interested in academically studying the literature, film, etc. just watching, reading and listening to podcasts, news and things can help you learn.


    I wanted to take Maths and French but I chose St Andrews and couldn't take the right modules so I settled for Maths. I'm about to start a PhD so clearly it all worked out! I have no experience of taking a maths and language course I just know what I found out while researching and my own opinion.

    Hope it helped a little!
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