School of Mathematical Sciences
   
   
  

FAQ

Is it better to do a three or four year course?

Our single honours Mathematics course runs in three-year BSc or four-year MMath versions. The three-year course aims to provide you with a broad mathematical education and allows you to study a wide range of topics. The four-year course allows you greater opportunity for specialisation and self-reliance, as well as giving you experience of research methods. The final choice is made towards the end of your second year, with transfer between the three-year and four-year courses being straightforward in the first two years.

We treat applicants to both versions in the same way during the admissions process, so there is no need to worry if you are unsure at this stage which option is better for you.

 
Do I need Further Mathematics (either at AS level or at A level)?
The more mathematics you have studied at school/college, the better appreciation you may have of what mathematics is like at university. So we encourage you to study AS level or A level Further Mathematics wherever possible. Our offer is designed to reward, and not penalise, attempts at Further Mathematics. However, we recognise that not every school/college offers Further Mathematics, or supports it to the same extent, so we do not insist on it. We start our teaching from a common base, and we do not assume that you have done any particular modules beyond the A level Mathematics core. If you would like to take Further Mathematics but your school does not support it, you should consider the Further Mathematics Network .
 
What qualifications do you accept?

There are only a few A-level subjects that we do not accept: currently these are General Studies, Critical Thinking and Citizenship Studies. Occasionally we may add new subjects to this list, but this is very rare. We generally accept all A-level equivalent qualifications, including the Baccalaureate (Welsh, International and European), vocational qualifications (which may not appear in your offer if you are doing them alongside more traditional subjects), Scottish Highers, Advanced GNVQs, Irish Leaving Certificate and BTEC National Diploma.

 
Can I visit the university to see what it's like?

Yes, there are plenty of opportunities to visit the University, and we encourage you to do so. There are university-wide open days in June and September each year. We also run tours of University Park Campus on some Wednesdays throughout the year. For further information about opportunities to visit click here.

If you receive an offer from us, you will be invited to a UCAS visit day, which is an opportunity for you to see the school and the university for yourself. You will hear about the school and its courses and will also be given a short tour of the campus by current students.

Finally, if you wish to make an informal visit to the university prior to applying here, you should contact us in advance if you wish to visit the school or speak to an admissions tutor.

 
What will the offer be?
Please take a look at the course pages for the most up-to-date offer.
 
Do you accept applications from mature students?
Yes, our principal criterion is whether or not we think you are likely to thrive on our course. In certain circumstances, candidates may be called for interview before an offer is made.
 
I'm thinking of taking a gap year, does this matter?
No, we will consider your application in the usual way, and you will normally get the same offer. A year out can be very good for personal development, but it is also a year when mathematics can get rusty. So it depends on you, on your social and financial circumstances, and on what you intend to do in the gap year.
 
What happens if I miss the grades asked for?
If you don’t meet the offer, the consequences depend on many factors. We can generally take some of the applicants who have narrowly missed the required grades, but the number varies from year to year. Our first consideration is always whether we think you might do well on the course. We will look at how narrowly you have missed the grades, at your performance in subjects other than those in your offer, and at your personal statement and reference.
 
Should I ring on results day?
There is no need to call us if you have met the conditions of the offer; we will be in touch with you in due course. If you have missed your grades, then you should first visit the UCAS website to view any decisions that have been made about your application. If matters are not clear after you have done this, then you are welcome to contact us, by calling the university hotline (the number will be prominently advertised here on the day). If your exams have been affected by personal circumstances (illness, bereavement, etc) then you need to tell us before your results are known rather than after (for example by emailing us).
 
How much work do I have to do?
In a typical week in first year, you should expect to have around 12 hours of lectures, and 5 or 6 hours in other directed teaching, such as tutorials. You should spend about the same time in private study, eg in the dedicated facilities in the Mathematical Sciences Building or in the Library, and doing coursework and revision. In total, think of "student" as being quite similar in workload to a full-time job elsewhere (but more flexible).
 
How is the work assessed?
Most of the assessment is based on traditional exams at the end of each module. But other styles of assessment, including project reports, are also used.
 
I haven't done any mechanics/statistics/complex numbers, does that matter?
No. If a topic is not required for the core modules in A level Mathematics, then it is not required by us either.
 
Is there a book list?

There is no book list. You will be told by the lecturer which, if any, books are recommended, normally during the first lecture of each module. Our advice is not to buy books before lectures start. However, you may find it helpful to bring along any A level Mathematics textbooks you have as well as having a look over your A level Mathematics notes before starting here.

 
Is there a chance to study abroad?
Yes, students are able to study abroad if interested. Full details are on our study abroad pages .
 
Can I take modules from other schools in the university?
Yes, although the precise details vary between courses. As a guide, after first year, up to one sixth of every single honours course can be taken outside of the School of Mathematical Sciences if desired.
 

School of Mathematical Sciences

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

For all enquiries please visit:
www.nottingham.ac.uk/enquire