# Applied Maths at uni

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I'm applying to university next year for maths and I am much more interested in applied maths than pure maths.

Does anyone know which uk universities are the best for applied maths? I can only find rankings for maths in general.

Does anyone know which uk universities are the best for applied maths? I can only find rankings for maths in general.

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#2

What is this applied maths of which you speak? Very few people who have studied Maths properly call it applied maths, it's mostly teachers who don't know any better. You'll have to be more specific. E.g. I hate algebra (one of the big research areas) or I hate Number theory or analysis bores the socks off me.

If you want more 'applied' stuff pick things like operations research or statistics degrees. Or engineering.

If you want more 'applied' stuff pick things like operations research or statistics degrees. Or engineering.

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Hi,

Its not that I particularly dislike any area of maths, it's just for a future career I'm more interested in its applied uses, e.g. mathematical biology and it's uses in other areas like physics. I want to take a maths degree instead of engineering or something like that because I don't particularly want to pigeon-hole myself into that particular area of applied maths.

Its not that I particularly dislike any area of maths, it's just for a future career I'm more interested in its applied uses, e.g. mathematical biology and it's uses in other areas like physics. I want to take a maths degree instead of engineering or something like that because I don't particularly want to pigeon-hole myself into that particular area of applied maths.

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#4

(Original post by

I'm applying to university next year for maths and I am much more interested in applied maths than pure maths.

Does anyone know which uk universities are the best for applied maths? I can only find rankings for maths in general.

**olliesimmons19**)I'm applying to university next year for maths and I am much more interested in applied maths than pure maths.

Does anyone know which uk universities are the best for applied maths? I can only find rankings for maths in general.

There's a misconception that doing an 'applied' Maths degree will make you more employable. It is not true, and all Maths related degrees will be treated exactly the same. Most graduate jobs will not ask for a specific degree subject.

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#5

(Original post by

What is this applied maths of which you speak? Very few people who have studied Maths properly call it applied maths, it's mostly teachers who don't know any better. You'll have to be more specific. E.g. I hate algebra (one of the big research areas) or I hate Number theory or analysis bores the socks off me.

If you want more 'applied' stuff pick things like operations research or statistics degrees. Or engineering.

**marinade**)What is this applied maths of which you speak? Very few people who have studied Maths properly call it applied maths, it's mostly teachers who don't know any better. You'll have to be more specific. E.g. I hate algebra (one of the big research areas) or I hate Number theory or analysis bores the socks off me.

If you want more 'applied' stuff pick things like operations research or statistics degrees. Or engineering.

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#6

I'm an 'applied' Mathematician, and I took some pure maths modules first year, and then dropped all the others for following years. Most top uni's will want to give you a solid grounding in 'theory' so you know why you are doing what you're doing, and then its the later years where you can specialise and be more applied.

A warning would be that at uni its much less of a 'learn a technique and copy it' situation, and there will be theories and proofs in all modules.

To agree with the above, I would have a quick look at other degrees which would also provide an 'applied' side. Examples would be engineering (civil really attracts competent mathematicians), MORSE, Maths and Stats, and possibly applied physics. Having said that I'm an applied maths person and I wouldn't change what degree I did...

This might be too general a statement, but in some ways the further down the league table you go, the less 'pure' it will seem, as they know they are training people who want skills, not academic pure maths lecturing jobs

Also look at the modules on offer for first year and see how much choice you have. Have a look at the uni you want first, then what the modules are. Some unis have specialism which give a different variety. My undergrad for example was Exeter, which has lots of stuff on weather, so I took like three applied weather modules in my4 years. But most unis will have a 'numbers' and 'algebra' module in first year, hard to avoid!

Good luck!

A warning would be that at uni its much less of a 'learn a technique and copy it' situation, and there will be theories and proofs in all modules.

To agree with the above, I would have a quick look at other degrees which would also provide an 'applied' side. Examples would be engineering (civil really attracts competent mathematicians), MORSE, Maths and Stats, and possibly applied physics. Having said that I'm an applied maths person and I wouldn't change what degree I did...

This might be too general a statement, but in some ways the further down the league table you go, the less 'pure' it will seem, as they know they are training people who want skills, not academic pure maths lecturing jobs

Also look at the modules on offer for first year and see how much choice you have. Have a look at the uni you want first, then what the modules are. Some unis have specialism which give a different variety. My undergrad for example was Exeter, which has lots of stuff on weather, so I took like three applied weather modules in my4 years. But most unis will have a 'numbers' and 'algebra' module in first year, hard to avoid!

Good luck!

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#7

(Original post by

How arrogant! I know a lot of university lecturers and professors who call some topics 'applied' maths - topics such as fluid dynamics, quantum mechanics, for example.

**Muttley79**)How arrogant! I know a lot of university lecturers and professors who call some topics 'applied' maths - topics such as fluid dynamics, quantum mechanics, for example.

I rofl laughing when I get asked whether I did a lot of 'pure' maths on my degree by those casually interested enough to ask. I've had people say well aha you did a 'pure' maths degree as you didn't do so much 'stat's and 'mechanics', so how come you did mathematical physics stuff, it doesn't compute? My brain hurts! The answer is that there isn't such thing as 'pure' maths, there's just maths and that's it. All right so GH Hardy hasn't helped us on that one and if someone who has actual maths degrees wants to call it 'pure' then fair dos they can call it what the hell they like, even math and not maths, just like I insist on calling it 'stuff'.

To answer there are some universities like the University of Sheffield that claim to do a third 'each'. If you do a postgraduate master's degree then there are some degrees in so called 'applied' mathematics.

Quantum Mechanics being applied maths lol, that's really, really funny, since most people I've ever met have moaned about how incredibly mathematical it is (of course - done three courses myself).

I think the advice I gave was useful and insightful enough, if you don't like the tone then a shame. If the OP doesn't dislike any areas of Maths then they are going to be fine.

The researching individual modules is great advice, you don't have to drill down too much into the detail to find out. Don't be afraid of having proper chats with admission tutors.

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#8

I would echo sentiments above to just select any reputable maths course, as you will inevitably cover at least some "applied" maths and realistically the majority of maths courses will have a majority of applied options anyway (e.g. Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial, Warwick, the latter perhaps less obviously; these of course at the very "top" end of the spectrum but are in general the ideal model for what you want to be looking for...). In general to be an "applied mathematician" you need a good background in what is nominally pure mathematics i.e. at

It is better to have a broad and thorough background in all those relevant areas of mathematics to prepare you for a career as an applied mathematician, or potentially a pure mathematician or something else entirely, than to try and pigeonhole yourself into a round hole and find you're a square peg halfway through the course. If you have a

Given you aren'y sure about what area you may want to end up working on in particular I would again reiterate the comments above of just looking for a good "general" maths course. I would also highlight that the definition of "pure" vs "applied" for school mathematics has no correlation to how these terms are used in degree elvel mathematics; most of what degree level mathematics would refer to as "applied" is similar to what is known as "pure" mathematics in A-level - it primarily contends with general, analytical solutions and being able to rigorously prove that solution is in fact the (or a) solution - or that there is no solution. What is actually referred to as pure mathematics in a degree is much more abstract than anything from the A-level course...but applied mathematics in university mathematics does not mean "we solve a problem and get a neat numerical answer"; that is the realm of engineering and (to a lesser extent) physics.

If you just want to solve equations for problems, physical or otherwise, all day, get a degree in engineering, or perhaps mathematical/theoretical physics; you can apply the many methods in your "toolbox" by the end of that degree to any number of varied academic fields including e.g. biology, economics, etc, etc (many people go from backgrounds in engineering and/or physics to work in those areas). If you want to

*minimum*"core" analysis and (abstract) linear algebra at the undergraduate level.It is better to have a broad and thorough background in all those relevant areas of mathematics to prepare you for a career as an applied mathematician, or potentially a pure mathematician or something else entirely, than to try and pigeonhole yourself into a round hole and find you're a square peg halfway through the course. If you have a

*specific*area of interest in mind (for example mathematical/theoretical physics; theoretical computer science; etc) then a joint honours course in the relevant "other" subject usually gives a suitable background, balancing the more abstract, but still ostensibly "applied" maths options with the core teechnical content of the "other" subject. Some examples are Warwick and UCL's Discrete Mathematics or Mathematical Computation courses, respectively; Birminghams Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics course; or Bristol's Engineering Mathematics course, among others.Given you aren'y sure about what area you may want to end up working on in particular I would again reiterate the comments above of just looking for a good "general" maths course. I would also highlight that the definition of "pure" vs "applied" for school mathematics has no correlation to how these terms are used in degree elvel mathematics; most of what degree level mathematics would refer to as "applied" is similar to what is known as "pure" mathematics in A-level - it primarily contends with general, analytical solutions and being able to rigorously prove that solution is in fact the (or a) solution - or that there is no solution. What is actually referred to as pure mathematics in a degree is much more abstract than anything from the A-level course...but applied mathematics in university mathematics does not mean "we solve a problem and get a neat numerical answer"; that is the realm of engineering and (to a lesser extent) physics.

If you just want to solve equations for problems, physical or otherwise, all day, get a degree in engineering, or perhaps mathematical/theoretical physics; you can apply the many methods in your "toolbox" by the end of that degree to any number of varied academic fields including e.g. biology, economics, etc, etc (many people go from backgrounds in engineering and/or physics to work in those areas). If you want to

*do*mathematics, rather than just*use*it and thus actually be a mathematician (in the general sense, rather than academic) then mathematics is probably the area you want to look at in all it's varieties (i.e. including pure mathematics, which is a core part of any mathematicians training as stated above).
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