Other Degrees

This page provides information on a number of other degrees for which an AS or A level qualification in Mathematics or Further Mathematics would be beneficial.



Computer Science

Studying an A level Mathematics is excellent preparation for a degree in Computer Science as it introduces a range of mathematics skills and concepts that you are very likely to need during your study.

In 2015, 25% of Computer Science degrees required an A-level in Mathematics and a further 15% expressed a preference for students who had studied A-level mathematics. This is because in A-level Mathematics you will, amongst other things, be introduced to the mathematics which is needed to describe 2D and 3D space which is essential for computer graphics, you will improve your existing mathematical skills which will help you greatly if you choose to study topcis such as cryptography and internet security, and if you study decision maths at A-level you will encouter algorthims used to help you navigate networks.

To find out more about mathematics in computer science degrees click here for additional information



Economics

Studying A level Mathematics is something that should be considered by anyone thinking about applying for a degree in Economics as the nature of the subject means that you are likely to encounter mathematical ideas and concepts throughout your studies.

In 2015 24% of Economics degrees required an A-level in Mathematics and a further 10% expressed a preference for students who had studied A-level Mathematics. This is because in during your studies for a degree in Economics you will most likely meet concepts such as calculus, geometric progressions, logarithms and exponentials, all of which you will learn about in A-level Mathematics. If additionally you have studied some Further Mathematics you will have met sigma notation and matrices which may also prove useful in your studies.



Geography

Studying Mathematics to at least AS Level, including some Statistics, is recommended in preparation for a Geography degree as it is a subject in which quantitative methods are an essential tool. In 2015, ten Geography BSc degree courses specifically mentioned Mathematics in their entry requirements. The majority of programmes include descriptive and inferential statistics, computer modelling and the use of statistical software. As well as being essential tools in the degree course these quantitative methods provide transferable skills that can be important in the workplace. Case studies to support this have been developed by the Royal Geographical Society.

‘In a survey of all first-year geographers in a leading Russell group university, 66% strongly agree that learning quantitative methods is important to understand research and 50% strongly agree that it was important for their education and …43% …to get a job.’
Quantitative Methods in Geography: Making Connections between Schools, Universities and Employers: RGS/IBG. Harris et al. 2013.

The same report recommends that ‘All geographers should be conversant with a range of analytical strategies including…data manipulation; quantitative analysis…and modelling strategies’.

‘The most popular combination of three A-levels taken by students on a Geography degree in 2011 was Geography, Biology and Mathematics’
Skills in Mathematics and Statistics in Geography and tackling transition :Catherine Souch, Katharine Fitzpatrick and Richard Harris. HEA 2014

This page gives examples of the mathematics in Geography degrees.



Psychology

Studying A level or AS level Mathematics, ideally including some statistics, is excellent preparation for a Psychology degree as it introduces a range of mathematics skills and statistical concepts that you are likely to need during your study.

In 2015, nineteen Psychology BSc degree courses specifically mention Mathematics in their entry requirements, six of which actively encourage students to take Mathematics. However, any degree accredited by the British Psychological Society requires training in the analysis of data and are likely to include concepts such as descriptive statistics (summarising your findings), inferential statistics (drawing conclusions from data), ability to generate research questions, explore patterns of data and analyse research findings.



Teaching

Teaching offers a wide range of opportunities to inspire and guide young people to enjoy and succeed in mathematics and other related subjects. With a starting salary of £22 244 (£27 819 for inner London), teaching is competitive with many other graduate professions and provides many opportunities for pay increases and promotions.

Good mathematics teachers are in high demand, with more teacher training places allocated to secondary mathematics in 2015/16 than for any other subject. There is also a high level of demand for teachers of biology, chemistry and physics and these four subjects, along with others including computing, are priority subjects for trainee teacher recruitment.

There are a range of routes into teaching including:

  • A three or four year university degree with qualified teacher status (QTS).
  • A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) following the completion of a degree.
  • School-led training via SCITT (school-centred initial teacher training) or School Direct schemes.
  • The Teach First scheme for graduates

There are also salaried School Direct training programmes, available to graduates with at least three years’ work experience since graduating.

Subject knowledge enhancement courses are available for students who want to teach secondary mathematics and who have an A level in Mathematics but a degree in a different subject. In addition to training as a specialist secondary mathematics teacher, for students with an aptitude for mathematics there are also opportunities to qualify as a mathematics specialist in primary education.

See Careers in Teaching for more information on routes into teaching mathematics and the financial support available during training. Alternatively, visit the Get into Teaching website, which includes details of the Future Teaching Scholars programme for A level Mathematics and Physics students interested in progressing to a career in teaching.



Sports Science

There are a wide variety of sports related degree courses available and many of them feature quantitative studies, analysis of athletic performance and research methods. Taking Mathematics to at least AS Level, including Statistics, will support study in these areas.

Typical modules in Sports courses include Biomechanics, which looks at Kinetics (the analysis of the forces acting on the body) and Kinematics (the analysis of the movements of the body).

Research and analysis modules require students to select and utilise appropriate data analysis techniques for specific topics in sport, health science and coaching. Statistical inference techniques such as paired data tests (t-tests) and correlation analysis often feature. Computer-based packages such as SPSS are frequently used and students are required to interpret the results. Students will undertake research projects such as testing the effectiveness of a particular treatment (in Sports Rehabilitation) and set up hypotheses to test their ideas formally.

In their 2004 book Mathematics and Science for Exercise and Sport: The Basics, Craig Williams, David James and Cassie Wilson devote a chapter to the numerical (non-statistical) techniques that students should be familiar with such as quadratics, simultaneous equations and Calculus. They emphasize very strongly that students need to have a strong grasp of measurement including SI Units, Scientific Notation and the accuracy of measurements.



Business and Management

Studying Mathematics to at least AS level would be beneficial preparation for a degree in business studies or a related subject, as the nature of the subject means that you are likely to encounter mathematical and statistical ideas throughout the course.

Many aspects of business decision making are underpinned by detailed data analysis. A good understanding of the quantitative techniques for collection, analysis and interpretation of data are necessary in order to ensure that the best decisions are made. One key aspect of this data analysis is the use of statistics to summarise data and make predictions, and spreadsheets are often used to make this process easier.

Undergraduate degree courses also often include modules in accountancy. Confidence at working with numbers is essential to analyse and interpret financial statements accurately.

You might also be interested in researching degrees involving Operational Research (OR) or similar course content. OR involves using advanced mathematical and analytical techniques to improve decision making and find the optimal solution to a problem.

To find out more about the skills needed in business studies degrees and the mathematics that might be involved, visit the Top Universities, UCAS and Prospects websites.