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What is Mathematics?

Mathematics is the abstract science of number, quantities, space, and change. Students interested in careers in mathematics will study subjects such as calculus, algebra, and statistics. 

What 3rd Level Courses are Available?

  • Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:
    • Mathematics – the abstract science of numbers, space, and change. 
    • Statistics – the practice of collecting and analysing numerical data.
    • Physics – the study of the nature and properties of matter and energy.

Studying Mathematics in College

Most first year study involves an overview of the subject. This will offer students an introduction to the foundational principles of Mathematics including algebra, calculus, and number theory. 

In subsequent years of study, students will combine practical work, written exams, and projects as benchmark assessments of their course progression. 

Most undergraduate Mathematics courses run for three or four years and in certain cases universities will facilitate work experience. 

It is common with all science-based subjects that students are expected to engage in a high number of contact hours with lecturers and tutors, ensuring their successful completion of a rigorous curriculum and preparing them for careers in Mathematics after university.

A bachelor’s degree is adequate for some non-research jobs. For example, graduates with a bachelor’s degree may start working as accountants, information technologists, or in business. 

Career Options

Graduating from college with a degree in Mathematics will serve you well as it equips you with a unique and marketable skill set. A science degree teaches students to think critically and creatively as well as equipping them with invaluable problem solving and communication skills. 

Many recent graduates have gone into ‘entry-level’ careers in Mathematics working as bankers, financial advisers, and meteorologists. 

Other careers in Mathematics that require a higher degree of responsibility will typically require further education, training and/or experience to qualify for, eg teaching, research and consulting positions.

 Related jobs include:

  • Actuarial Scientist
  • Political Scientist
  • Journalist
  • Business Consultant
  • Sociologist
  • Banker
  • Financial Services Agent
  • Information Technologist
  • Educator
  • Meteorologist
  • Accountant

Further study

An undergraduate Mathematics degree is often the first step to go onto further postgraduate study often involving specialization in particular fields and areas of Mathematics and/or undertaking work in new, sometimes interdisciplinary fields.

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  • What points do I need to study Mathematics?
    • Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always best that you check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.
    • Many universities also require a Leaving Cert grade H4 in Mathematics.
  • Are there any particular qualities you need to study Mathematics?
    • Students interested in careers in Mathematics will need to enjoy math and science as well as their application in the real world. They will need to be innovative, creative, and collaborative as well as being able to communicate their own ideas and opinions. 
  • Where can I study Mathematics?
    • Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • The word ‘hundred’ comes from the Norse word ‘hundrath’ which actually translates to 120 instead of 100!
  • Every odd number has the letter ‘e’ in it!
  • The term ‘jiffy’ is actually equivalent to an amount of time measuring 1/100th of a second!


Ethan Moser

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