Should I study maths?

Hand holding chalk writing on a blackboard

Recent data from UCAS indicates that the number of students studying science subjects at university who have studied maths A-level (or equivalent) are increasing.

Not surprisingly, virtually 100% of students studying maths at university have a post-16 Maths qualification; but did you know that nearly 20% of those studying Physical Geography and 12% of students studying Law have also studied maths?

For science and engineering students the numbers who have studied maths are high and are increasing.

Data from 2009 has been compared with 2006; for some subject areas the increase has been dramatic - for physiology 30% of students admitted in 2009 have studied maths post-16, up from just under 20% in 2006. Other subjects with large increases are Geology (29% increase), Biology (26% increase and Molecular Biology (27% increase).

Which subjects have high proportions of students who have studied maths?

For entrants in 2009, the numbers of students who had studied maths post-16 were:

  • Mathematics 100%
  • Physics 96%
  • Engineering 80%
  • Medicine 65%
  • Chemistry 63%
  • Molecular biology 54%
  • Pharmacy 49%
  • Architecture 47%
  • Computer science 38%
  • Geology 34%
  • Biology 34%
  • Physiology 30%

Does studying maths increase your chance of being accepted for a particular course?

This isn't proven but it does seem to increase your chance of being accepted onto courses which are very competitive for entry such as medical degrees.

Some universities are considering stating maths as a requirement for entry for more of their courses. Make sure you are studying the right subjects for the course you want to take!