HarrisonAF
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I’m going into year 11 next year, and 6th form is looming

I know what i want to do for 3 of my 6th form subjects:
-Maths
-Politics
-Economics

And for the 4th I’m thinking of doing further maths, as I’m planning on doing a computer science degree and my school doesn’t offer compsci as an option. Will further maths be useful to do or should i pick another subject? I don’t want to spend half my time at sixth form doing maths :P
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lexiwilliamz
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Does ur school let you do an EPQ cause if you can I’d say do 3 and an EPQ involving computer science. Or check your university requirements to see what they want
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Prasiortle
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(Original post by HarrisonAF)
I’m going into year 11 next year, and 6th form is looming

I know what i want to do for 3 of my 6th form subjects:
-Maths
-Politics
-Economics

And for the 4th I’m thinking of doing further maths, as I’m planning on doing a computer science degree and my school doesn’t offer compsci as an option. Will further maths be useful to do or should i pick another subject? I don’t want to spend half my time at sixth form doing maths :P
Computer Science courses at the top universities will require you to take Further Maths if your school offers it, since computer science at university is a highly mathematical and theoretical subject, though there is variation: at places like Oxford the focus is a bit more mathematical than at somewhere slightly less good like Warwick. Either way, if you're applying to any of the top universities for CompSci, many of them actively discourage you from doing CompSci at A-Level, since it's not really a good reflection of what the subject is like at university and beyond - at university, you'll tend to program in languages like Haskell and Scala that aren't used that much in the real world of software development etc., but because of their design, they're good for teaching the underlying principles of programming languages, which is what academic computer scientists are interested in.

To illustrate this point more broadly, it might be helpful to look at some of the course content for e.g. the first year of CompSci at Oxford: there are programming modules which do include practical projects etc., but the key focus is on "programs as viewed as mathematical functions ... an important theme of the course is how to apply mathematical reasoning to programs, so as to prove that a program performs its task correctly, or to derive it by algebraic manipulation from a simpler but less efficient program for the same problem". Similarly, the course on algorithms and data structures has quite a mathematical flavour. It's important to point out that there are also some more practical/less theoretical-mathematical modules, like digital systems and imperative programming, but there are also compulsory pure mathematics modules, because the foundation of computer science is discrete mathematics, and as well as this, there are also modules on continuous mathematics (i.e. calculus and differential equations), formal logic and proof, and probability. Obviously the course content will vary from university to university, but what I hope you get a sense of here is how mathematical the subject is when studied at a higher level.
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HarrisonAF
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(Original post by Prasiortle)
Computer Science courses at the top universities will require you to take Further Maths if your school offers it, since computer science at university is a highly mathematical and theoretical subject, though there is variation: at places like Oxford the focus is a bit more mathematical than at somewhere slightly less good like Warwick. Either way, if you're applying to any of the top universities for CompSci, many of them actively discourage you from doing CompSci at A-Level, since it's not really a good reflection of what the subject is like at university and beyond - at university, you'll tend to program in languages like Haskell and Scala that aren't used that much in the real world of software development etc., but because of their design, they're good for teaching the underlying principles of programming languages, which is what academic computer scientists are interested in.

To illustrate this point more broadly, it might be helpful to look at some of the course content for e.g. the first year of CompSci at Oxford: there are programming modules which do include practical projects etc., but the key focus is on "programs as viewed as mathematical functions ... an important theme of the course is how to apply mathematical reasoning to programs, so as to prove that a program performs its task correctly, or to derive it by algebraic manipulation from a simpler but less efficient program for the same problem". Similarly, the course on algorithms and data structures has quite a mathematical flavour. It's important to point out that there are also some more practical/less theoretical-mathematical modules, like digital systems and imperative programming, but there are also compulsory pure mathematics modules, because the foundation of computer science is discrete mathematics, and as well as this, there are also modules on continuous mathematics (i.e. calculus and differential equations), formal logic and proof, and probability. Obviously the course content will vary from university to university, but what I hope you get a sense of here is how mathematical the subject is when studied at a higher level.
Thanks for the detailed response, i guess I’m definitely doing further maths then, I’m hoping to get into oxbridge or perhaps a top us uni if I get the chance.I have to say though i wouldn’t have thought calculus would be used much in compsci :P
I’ve took some basic computer science courses online and while maths is a part of it, it never seemed to get complex at all
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Prasiortle
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(Original post by HarrisonAF)
Thanks for the detailed response, i guess I’m definitely doing further maths then, I’m hoping to get into oxbridge or perhaps a top us uni if I get the chance.I have to say though i wouldn’t have thought calculus would be used much in compsci :P
I’ve took some basic computer science courses online and while maths is a part of it, it never seemed to get complex at all
Have a read of https://www.quora.com/Why-is-calculu...egree-programs to see why calculus is so important in CompSci.

Doing courses online is quite different to studying a subject as part of a rigorous, demanding course at a top university. You can rest assured that your foundational A-Level knowledge of calculus will definitely be very important.
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