Mathematics

In Short

Maths is a compulsory option (though for Bio students Mathematical Biology can be alternatively taken). It counts 75% as much as one of your other three options. The course is very broad covering a wide range of content, helping to ensure that everyone is at the same standard at the end of the year, whatever their previous experience. This means that often content is gone over very quickly (though the pace slows down a bit after first-term!).

Course A or B?

When first arriving at Cambridge you will be asked whether you want to take course A or B maths. Though at the end of the year you sit the same exam, course B is paced slightly faster and covers more topics. In the exam you you only need to answer six questions, doing course B gives you a slightly larger pool of potential questions to choose from.

Whether or not it is recommended to do either course often varies from DoS to DoS (you will be given the most up-to-date advice when you arrive!). It is standard advice that you should have got at least 95% in all your Further Maths A-Level modules, though this should be taken only as a guide. You can move from course B to A at any time, so don’t think you decision will bind you for the whole year!

Practicals

Throughout the year there is a six-lecture introduction to scientific computing with MATLAB. During the lecture you work on a small program which is submitted at the end of the session, this is marked out of two and contributes to your end of year grade.