xx_princesca_xx
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I am currently in my first year of A Levels and am doing Maths, History and English Lit. Recently I have been thinking I really want to do a Maths degree. I am thinking of doing Further Maths in a gap year in 2023. However, will my Science/humanities combinations put me at a disadvantage? Thanks
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k86754
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(Original post by xx_princesca_xx)
I am currently in my first year of A Levels and am doing Maths, History and English Lit. Recently I have been thinking I really want to do a Maths degree. I am thinking of doing Further Maths in a gap year in 2023. However, will my Science/humanities combinations put me at a disadvantage? Thanks
Generally, you'll be fine having maths and further maths as this is all that is required. However, it could depend on what unis you want to apply to e.g. Oxbridge, Imperial, Warwick and other top unis may ask for a more scientific combination of subjects. Perhaps check a few university websites to see if they specify but overall, you should be fine with those subjects and even if some top unis require scientific combinations, you won't really be at a disadvantage anyway.
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xx_princesca_xx
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Thanks for the reply. I've looked at some Uni websites and almost all just ask for Maths or some with Further Maths, however as many going on to do Maths degrees seem to have Physics, I was a bit worried about that.
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k86754
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(Original post by xx_princesca_xx)
Thanks for the reply. I've looked at some Uni websites and almost all just ask for Maths or some with Further Maths, however as many going on to do Maths degrees seem to have Physics, I was a bit worried about that.
I do all 3 of those subjects at A Level and doing A Level physics won't give you any advantage for a maths degree as the mathematical content is mainly top GCSE standard so don't really require any use of maths or further maths content. Therefore, whilst doing A Level Physics may add to a more scientific combination of subjects where you may apply maths, there isn't any advantage in terms of choosing it to develop your mathematical skills and knowledge.
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xx_princesca_xx
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Thanks, thats really helpful
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k86754
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(Original post by xx_princesca_xx)
Thanks, thats really helpful
No worries. Best of luck with whatever you choose to do!
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_gcx
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You'll be fine. The most common "physics" content you'll have is maybe a mechanics module in the first year, which will draw more from your mechanics work at A-level than stuff you do in A-level physics.

It's a common choice just because a lot of people who like maths also like physics, doesn't give you any real advantage.
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artful_lounger
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No, the only disadvantage would potentially be lack of FM, which you are remedying in a gap year, so no real issue there that I can see. Just be aware that the maths done in a maths degree is very different in style and substance to the kind of maths you'll be using in A-level Maths (and FM, for the most part). Degree level maths is very abstract, and usually proof based. A-level Maths is really what would be called "mathematical methods" at degree level - more the kind of maths you find in e.g. engineering, physics, economics, CS degrees etc.

While you do usually do some "methods-y" type modules at degree level, but it's not such an extensive part of the course and usually after 2nd year there is very little in that vein. Also even the more methods-y applied maths modules tend to not be quite the same style as A-level, since the kinds of problems you are solving are usually a lot less structured and/or constrained and a bit more open ended.

So that is something to be aware of - I'd suggest seeing if you can get ahold of an introductory analysis (or sometimes called "advanced calculus" in US contexts) textbook, which should be accessible to you post A-level, to get a feel for the style of maths done at uni level. Alternately an introductory rigorous/abstract linear algebra textbook, or any introductory (modern/abstract) algebra text would also give you a similar idea of how things are, although unlike the intro analysis stuff you won't really have any specific background to relate the more abstract material to (whereas analysis is essentially the "theory" of calculus) and it is helpful to have some grounding for that more abstract pure maths content, at least initially.
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xx_princesca_xx
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(Original post by _gcx)
You'll be fine. The most common "physics" content you'll have is maybe a mechanics module in the first year, which will draw more from your mechanics work at A-level than stuff you do in A-level physics.

It's a common choice just because a lot of people who like maths also like physics, doesn't give you any real advantage.
Ahh ok, yes I was mostly concerned with being at a disadvantage because of subjects Science subjects, but seems I should be fine.
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xx_princesca_xx
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
No, the only disadvantage would potentially be lack of FM, which you are remedying in a gap year, so no real issue there that I can see. Just be aware that the maths done in a maths degree is very different in style and substance to the kind of maths you'll be using in A-level Maths (and FM, for the most part). Degree level maths is very abstract, and usually proof based. A-level Maths is really what would be called "mathematical methods" at degree level - more the kind of maths you find in e.g. engineering, physics, economics, CS degrees etc.

While you do usually do some "methods-y" type modules at degree level, but it's not such an extensive part of the course and usually after 2nd year there is very little in that vein. Also even the more methods-y applied maths modules tend to not be quite the same style as A-level, since the kinds of problems you are solving are usually a lot less structured and/or constrained and a bit more open ended.

So that is something to be aware of - I'd suggest seeing if you can get ahold of an introductory analysis (or sometimes called "advanced calculus" in US contexts) textbook, which should be accessible to you post A-level, to get a feel for the style of maths done at uni level. Alternately an introductory rigorous/abstract linear algebra textbook, or any introductory (modern/abstract) algebra text would also give you a similar idea of how things are, although unlike the intro analysis stuff you won't really have any specific background to relate the more abstract material to (whereas analysis is essentially the "theory" of calculus) and it is helpful to have some grounding for that more abstract pure maths content, at least initially.
Thank you for the reply and the further insight into what to expect. That's really useful😊
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Muttley79
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(Original post by xx_princesca_xx)
Thank you for the reply and the further insight into what to expect. That's really useful😊
It's not completely accurte though - the content of a Maths degree varies considerably between universities. Some do a lot of options like fluid dynamics, quantum mechanics, relativity as well as OR/Stats -

My advice would be look at content and pick a degree with options from all branches ...
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xx_princesca_xx
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(Original post by Muttley79)
It's not completely accurte though - the content of a Maths degree varies considerably between universities. Some do a lot of options like fluid dynamics, quantum mechanics, relativity as well as OR/Stats -

My advice would be look at content and pick a degree with options from all branches ...
Ah yes I hadn't thought about that
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Muttley79
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
No, the only disadvantage would potentially be lack of FM, which you are remedying in a gap year, so no real issue there that I can see. Just be aware that the maths done in a maths degree is very different in style and substance to the kind of maths you'll be using in A-level Maths (and FM, for the most part). Degree level maths is very abstract, and usually proof based. A-level Maths is really what would be called "mathematical methods" at degree level - more the kind of maths you find in e.g. engineering, physics, economics, CS degrees etc.
That isn't very accurate - have you looked at the content of Maths degrees or studied one?

The content varies enormously ...
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Muttley79)
That isn't very accurate - have you looked at the content of Maths degrees or studied one?

The content varies enormously ...
I was previously studying a maths degree and spent a lot of time looking at a lot of different degrees, and no matter what for any reputable maths department the degree will a) contain a lot of pure maths which is wholly proof based and b) even the applied maths content will be necessarily abstract to a point and not purely methodological.
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
I was previously studying a maths degree and spent a lot of time looking at a lot of different degrees, and no matter what for any reputable maths department the degree will a) contain a lot of pure maths which is wholly proof based and b) even the applied maths content will be necessarily abstract to a point and not purely methodological.
That just isn't true - it varies enormously ...
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Muttley79)
That just isn't true - it varies enormously ...
If you choose to believe that degree in maths is just an extension of A-level Maths and 3 years of doing more complicated computations then you may do so. To represent it as such to prospective applicants is misleading and disingenuous though, because they will study a lot of very abstract maths in a maths degree, because that is the point of mathematics as an academic field and hence those skills will necessarily be developed through a degree in mathematics.

If OP wants to spend all day doing calculus and finding particular solutions differential equations of certain physical problems then they should do a degree in engineering, maths, economics, etc. If OP wants to learn about why calculus works and prove that from first principles, and then use that to analytically understand how different classes of differential equations etc might be solved, they should do a maths degree. The former is similar to A-level Maths, the latter is very much not similar to the general scheme of A-level Maths, with only one or two topics really being in that vein.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
If you choose
You do know I teach Maths so send a large number off to uni every year - there is a huge variation
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