Typical intake per year: 14
- Typical offer: A*A*A for A Level or 40-42 points with 776 at Higher Level for IB, and grades 1,1 in STEP II and STEP III
- Required subjects: Mathematics and Further Mathematics for A Level or Higher Level Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches for IB
- Admissions assessment: No, not required at Queens'
- Submitted work: No, not required at Queens'
Mathematics at Cambridge is widely considered to be very tough; and correspondingly rewarding. The range of courses offered within mathematics is exceptionally wide: you can learn about everything from black holes to the most abstract problems in logic.
In the first year, there are two options to choose from:
- Pure and Applied Mathematics, for students intending to continue with Mathematics
- Mathematics with Physics, for students who may want to study Physics (within Natural Sciences) after the first year
You will be asked to indicate which option you wish to take as part of the application process, though it is possible to change when you start the course. You can still continue with Mathematics in the second year if you take Mathematics with Physics.
Information about the course structure, departmental teaching arrangements, offered topics and options can be found on the University of Cambridge website: Mathematics Course Outline
Mathematics at Queens'
The thing that makes Queens’ mathematics special is the community aspect, we have social events a few times a year which bring the students together as well as frequent talks from our own maths society. This really helps you get to know your classmates in other contexts. Outside of maths, Queens’ has a large variety of sports and events to keep you occupied.
In the first year, most students at Queens' choose the Pure and Applied Mathematics option, but around one or two each year choose Mathematics with Physics, which leaves open the possibility of continuing to Physical Natural Sciences in the second year.
During the first two years at Queens', mathematics students usually have two supervisions per week. Students are generally in pairs for supervisions, which are usually for an hour at a time. Typically, the work set for each supervision requires eight to ten hours’ preparation (in addition to time reviewing notes from lectures). Queens' takes great care to make the best possible arrangements for supervisions, and most of the college teaching in the first two years is done by members of the College, mainly by Fellows who cover a range of different areas of mathematics between them. In the third year, when students take specialised options, supervisions are organised amongst a group of eleven colleges so that the particular expertise of all the mathematicians in these colleges is pooled and used effectively.
Queens’ is unusual in having a system of ‘examples classes’. The supervision arrangements are similar between all colleges, but we supplement this by having classes where the whole year group of Queens’ mathematicians and a supervisor discusses common issues, works through problems on the whiteboard, and answers questions with more practical detail than feasible in lectures. There are two of these per week in the first year, and in the second year it depends on which courses each student takes.
We welcome students from a range of different educational backgrounds. To help the transition to university learning, we offer extra teaching in the first term, for example to introduce ideas such as methods of mathematical proof, and focus on how to write mathematics in a style appropriate to university. For students who enjoy extra challenges and when they are ready to pull ahead of the course, Queens’ supervisors are always keen to offer extra, more advanced problems, or students may, in consultation with the Director of Studies, take courses from higher years (there is absolutely no danger of running out of interesting mathematics to study!).
Mathematics at Queens' is supported by the Paul Barber Fund.
Queens' regards a gap year for mathematicians more positively than some other colleges. If you want that time to do something before you come to university, whether academic or not, this need not be a detriment to your ability to study later. Indeed the extra life experience is often valuable preparation for your time at university. You can either apply before your gap year for deferred entry, or we are also happy to receive applications from students after they have completed their schooling.