Home' The Good Universities Guide : The Good Universities Guide 2016 Contents Mathematics
What majors can I study?
The following are just some of the majors you can study in this
· Applied mathematics
· Computational mathematics ·
· Financial mathematics
· Industrial mathematics
To find out which institutions have courses with these specialisations, use
the Index on page 427.
What you're in for
If you are considering studying mathematics at university you've
probably studied it throughout school and are reasonably
proficient. You may also know of its main subdivisions: pure
mathematics (subjects like differential and integral calculus,
mathematical logic and linear programming, as well as areas like
environmental or financial mathematics); applied mathematics
(such as vector calculus, dynamics and probability); and statistics
and operations research (including sampling theory, nonparametric
statistical inference and stochastic processes).
See www.mathscareers.org.au for more information about
careers in mathematics and statistics. If you are interested in
mathematics, you may also consider some of the specialisations
within accounting, business and management, computing and
information technology, economics, education and training, and
engineering and technology. Gaining a broader qualification or
combining mathematics with another area of study could also
make life easier when the time comes to find a job.
Courses and specialisations
Mathematics courses are more readily available than you might
expect considering it is such a specialised field. Student numbers
are quite small though, despite countless reports suggesting that
mathematics teachers are in dire shortage and that there are
limited mathematics practitioners (statisticians and mathematical
The student body and graduate ratings
scientists, for instance) to undertake future research and
technology efforts. Of course, if you are contemplating university-
level mathematics you might also be interested in this subject in
its own right, not as a means to an occupational end.
Where to study
If you think you might want to go on to do postgraduate research,
it is an advantage to do your first degree at one of the universities
with an established research track record. Courses at the newer
universities are usually at the more 'applied' end of the spectrum.
While cut-offs vary, entry is not all that easy in this field overall,
and you can expect to find mathematics as a prerequisite. To
compare entry difficulty at different institutions, see the 'How
tough is it to get in?' tables in Section 4.
There is currently a serious shortage of secondary school
mathematics teachers in Australia and a decline in tertiary
students completing degrees in these areas. A number of
programs have been introduced to address these problems.
Mentoring programs such as the federal government's
Mathematicians in Schools aim to engage students at a young
age to encourage them to consider a career in mathematics. The
program pairs mathematicians with teachers and students to
provide students with a fresh, applied approach to maths
education. University programs, such as the University of
Sydney's Institute for Innovation in Science and Mathematics
Education (IISME), also promote new ways to learn mathematics.
The Teach for Australia Program allows mathematics graduates
and professionals to gain a fast-tracked teaching qualification by
completing two years of practical experience in the classroom,
while the New South Wales Government's teaching scholarships
provide students with a $23,000 financial incentive to train as a
THE STUDENT BODY GRADUATE RATINGS
Total students % International % Domestic Estimated average Teaching quality Generic skills
students schoolleavers tuition costs for
The fees shown are for the whole course and are approximate. Confirm with the institution concerned. For an explanation of abbreviations, see page 424.
136 GOOD UNIVERSITIES GUIDE
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