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Student Article - What to expect from a Maths degree at Derby
Author: Adam Smyth
I am currently a second year student studying maths, and in my opinion, I have the best idea of what taking a maths degree is all about.The whole idea of starting higher education is very daunting by anyone's standards, but especially if it is to pursue a career in Maths. Students opting to do maths at Derby, will go to their induction week often feeling as intimidated as I did, when I first walked into our meeting room and saw all the aspiring mathematicians. You all must realise that there is no need to panic or to worry at all, because at Derby, they do not throw you in at the deep end. You'll get there and meet a programme leader, who will help you chose your modules for your first year of study. They will help you choose the best modules according to your strengths, to give you the best chance of getting a great grade at the end of your first year. However, don't be fooled by the level of difficulty your first semester provides, "Basic Math Techniques, Patterns of Problem Solving", these are examples of some of the "easier" modules that you do when you arrive at Derby, just to get you up to speed with where they recommend you should be. Don't underestimate the volume of the coursework at the end of year one, as the work load soon becomes vast as the lecturers start to set assignments, make sure you start them as early as possible to give yourself the best chance of finishing in time. The trick is not to panic and stress over it all, as the first year does not count towards your final grade, however, having said that, you will need 6/8 modules passed, to get into your second year. It's very important to do your best to get good grades in your first year(even though they count for nothing), because your second will be following up on some of the first year modules, for example math methods 2 follows math methods 1, statistical techniques is followed by data analysis. The most important thing is to take everything you can on board with you and enjoy yourself, that way you'll gain the perfect university experience and also give you an amazing gateway to post graduate opportunities. Going into your second year, you'll find that quickly the difficulty starts to get harder and harder, as the lecturers build on first year techniques and show you new ways to approach mathematical problems using highly advanced methods. This year, you'll be introduced to the mathematical thinking behind management science. There will be 2 modules on this, so it is important that you pay extra care to these modules, as they will become very handy for not only passing the second year, but for future employment, as management techniques are a very good quality. There is a special module called "math group project". This is especially designed to simulate real life problems. Our project this year was based on machine problems at a factory within Bosch and we were asked to optimise them, using all our knowledge in maths and management. You get the opportunity to present your findings in front of the class and the people from the business who set you your project, this is a brilliant opportunity, so do not turn down this module! At the end of year two, you'll chose whether you do your third year or a placement year. Please think about the placement year before you go straight into your third year. This is an amazing opportunity to get hands on experience in the business world before you graduate, which will most likely give you first pickings at jobs when you graduate. However if you decide to go straight into your third year, this can be great for you too, because it provides a perfect academic route that may lead to masters/phd. Please remember to fully focus on this course as it is very demanding, but also incredibly enjoyable and an amazing experience. Thank you for reading and have a great start to you degree!
 

 
 
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