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Is it possible to do a masters in maths after an undergraduate in natural sciences

I am thinking about which university course to apply to, and I'm stuck between natural sciences, maths with physics, or maths. Because I'm interested in maths, physics and chemistry Im trying to keep my options as open as possible, so does anyone know if I would be able to study Natural Sciences and if I then decided I would prefer to go into maths, i could do a masters in that, or something similar? I am also planning to apply to Cambridge (/oxbridge depending on the course i pick) if that would have an affect on the answer.
Original post by Random11_206
I am thinking about which university course to apply to, and I'm stuck between natural sciences, maths with physics, or maths. Because I'm interested in maths, physics and chemistry Im trying to keep my options as open as possible, so does anyone know if I would be able to study Natural Sciences and if I then decided I would prefer to go into maths, i could do a masters in that, or something similar? I am also planning to apply to Cambridge (/oxbridge depending on the course i pick) if that would have an affect on the answer.


Hi

I’m Oliver and am currently a third year in natural sciences at Lancaster University.

From my experience you absolutely can go into a subject specific masters with a natural sciences degree provided you have taken enough modules in that subject in your undergraduate degree. I have many friends that have gone into Masters and PhDs in a wide range of fields all with natural sciences degrees. I know each university does natural sciences a bit differently so definitely worth checking out their specific requirements.

I know Lancaster and many other unis also offer integrated masters (MSci) courses in natural sciences. This is generally a 4 year degree where you take 2-3 science subjects before taking on a final year project in a single subject of your choice. I am actually in the process of choosing my final year project now which is really exciting. I'm planning on taking mine in organic chemistry aster taking chemistry and biochemistry modules for the past three years.
At Lancaster you can also transfer onto the single honours course after first year if you decide early on that you have a strong passion for one of your subjects.

Hope that is helpful and best of luck with your decision 😊Feel free to ask me any other questions if you have any

Oliver (Student Ambassador)
Original post by Random11_206
I am thinking about which university course to apply to, and I'm stuck between natural sciences, maths with physics, or maths. Because I'm interested in maths, physics and chemistry Im trying to keep my options as open as possible, so does anyone know if I would be able to study Natural Sciences and if I then decided I would prefer to go into maths, i could do a masters in that, or something similar? I am also planning to apply to Cambridge (/oxbridge depending on the course i pick) if that would have an affect on the answer.

Hi!

I'm another Natural Sciences ambassador at Lancaster. Just to briefly add to Oliver's post, I graduated from a Natural Sciences BSc at Lancaster last summer and I'm currently in the middle of my Mechanical Engineering MSc (Masters). Like Oliver said, as long as you have studied enough content from that specific subject at undergraduate, you should have no problem getting onto a single subject for Masters since all of your modules show up on your degree certificate.

I originally was thinking of doing a single honours maths degree however Natural Sciences gave me a bit more time to figure out that I'm more passionate about the applied maths in engineering so it's a great idea if you want to keep your options open a bit longer!

-Bethan (Lancaster University Natural Sciences Ambassador)
This depends very much on how serious you are about Chemistry...

For what it's worth, I've completed three years of Physics via Natural Sciences at Cambridge and absolutely hated it. Mainly because there is no "rigor" in the maths that undergraduate (and even actual research) physics teaches. I know many peers who feel the same way. It's not that there isn't a rigorous way to cover these topics, it's just physicists generally don't care.

If you really care about what's physically happening and modelling that and you're happy with A-level style maths (learning various calculational tehniques without truly understanding why they work), then go for physics via natural sciences.

If you want to have a deep understanding of maths while also picking up a lot of physics then go for the maths course. Cambridge is a bit unusual in terms of how much physics you can cover under the maths course (a lot) compared to other universities. Google "Cambridge maths schedules" to see the lecture lists.
(edited 5 months ago)
Reply 4
Original post by My Manic and I

(Original post by My Manic and I)This depends very much on how serious you are about Chemistry...

For what it's worth, I've completed three years of Physics via Natural Sciences at Cambridge and absolutely hated it. Mainly because there is no "rigor" in the maths that undergraduate (and even actual research) physics teaches. I know many peers who feel the same way. It's not that there isn't a rigorous way to cover these topics, it's just physicists generally don't care.

If you really care about what's physically happening and modelling that and you're happy with A-level style maths (learning various calculational tehniques without truly understanding why they work), then go for physics via natural sciences.

If you want to have a deep understanding of maths while also picking up a lot of physics then go for the maths course. Cambridge is a bit unusual in terms of how much physics you can cover under the maths course (a lot) compared to other universities. Google "Cambridge maths schedules" to see the lecture lists.

Okay, thanks thats really helpful to know actually. I think I’m leaning towards a maths degree to be honest, because I can’t see myself ever going into chemistry and it seems like it might give me more options in general. But would you say even if I was to apply to a maths degree at Cambridge, that I should maybe consider other options like natural sciences or a maths and physics course at other unis that might have less physics in their maths courses? Or do you know if it would be a similar situation at other unis
Original post by Random11_206
Okay, thanks thats really helpful to know actually. I think I’m leaning towards a maths degree to be honest, because I can’t see myself ever going into chemistry and it seems like it might give me more options in general. But would you say even if I was to apply to a maths degree at Cambridge, that I should maybe consider other options like natural sciences or a maths and physics course at other unis that might have less physics in their maths courses? Or do you know if it would be a similar situation at other unis

Off the top of my head, generally otherer unis' maths departments will not let you cover so much physics. But this varies - eg Bristol lets you take some modules from the physics department and also runs some "physics" courses within maths. Note that there will be a big difference in style between "physics" courses run by a maths department and courses with the same title run by a physics department. You'll have to look at the available modules to get a picture of this.

Cambridge is just a bit weird because DAMTP exists. There's a joke that the best way to become a theoretical physicist is to study maths at Cambridge. Obviously that claim can't be "true" but it gives some insight.

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