When you entered school, parents and teachers made the decisions for you. You were told where you had to sit in class, what clothing attire you had to wear (which was, unfortunately, uniforms for the lot of us) and when you were allowed to take breaks from the long hours of listening to the teacher speak in class. Now that you’ve left school and said goodbye to the days of being incessantly told what to do, you’ve entered a new phase of life - young adulthood. We at Superprof congratulate you!
As exciting as being a young adult is, it is also a time for you to finally make those BIG decisions on your own. This can be a challenge, but making decisions is crucial to navigating through the many facets of this phase of life, including your pursuit of higher education. We’re here to break down the tips and tricks for pursuing your further studies in math.
What to expect when taking a math degree
Maths continues to be a relevant field of study in the country today, and effort continues to be made even during the pandemic to ensure that students are well-equipped with mathematical knowledge, or to a more general extent, in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) topics. Even with disruptions in education during this difficult time, schoolchildren are supported via online portals and taught STEM topics. This demonstrates how maths is considered important in Malaysia, and it goes without saying that graduates are encouraged to take up degrees in the fields of mathematics.
While you might have an idea of what mathematics is, it’s also important to know what is actually taught in a math degree to see if it really is the right field of study for you. Every university that offers maths courses each have their own curriculum and will differ from one another, so remember to read up on the information regarding the math courses from these universities before making a choice about where to study. Read here for more details on studying maths in Malaysia.
Here are some examples of the subjects that are taught in a university math degree:
- Computer literacy
- Linear algebra
- Differential equations
- Vector and advanced calculus
- Linear programming
- Functional analysis
- Fluid mechanics
- Research methodology
- Quantum mechanics
What you need to study to get a math degree
Do you know which subjects you need to learn to get onto a degree in maths? If you are looking to take up a math degree, you should know that there are some entry requirements before proceeding into a degree. In Malaysia, there are various pathways you can take to qualify for a degree in mathematics. The entry requirements for a mathematics course include the following:
- A-Level/STPM: Full passes or Grade C in two relevant subjects, that must include mathematics
- SAM: ATAR 70 and a minimum of Grade B in one mathematics subject
- CPU: average of 70% in 6 relevant subjects, including a minimum of 70% in one mathematics subject
- UEC: at least Grade B in 5 relevant subjects, that must include Advanced Mathematics
- Foundation: minimum of 2.67 CGPA
- Diploma: in a relevant field recognised by the university
As you can see, it is not at all an easy pass to get onto a math degree. Students must be knowledgeable in the field, such as knowing how to solve tricky math problems, which can be a challenge without the help of an experienced tutor. To excel in these relevant subjects, a great physics and maths tutor may be just what you need - and well, you’re in luck!
Superprof brings you a wide catalogue of tutors to choose from, and more importantly, who can help you increase your understanding and skills in the math-related fields. You can read up on each tutor’s experience in teaching and qualifications when you click into their profiles, and that means you can find a tutor who suits your learning style and meets your expectations. Not only that, you can choose to study math-related subjects in a group with your friends, or ask for one-on-one sessions. You can even take the first lesson with a private tutor for free!
How to apply for a math degree
Have you become an amazing math solver now that you’ve learned with a Superprof math tutor? Great! It’s time to apply for a math degree.
Of course, even after you’ve completed the entry requirements for a math degree, there are some things you need to prepare for in advance to make your university degree application successful. Here are some things you’ll need to equip yourself with when making applications to universities that are offering degrees in mathematics:
- An outstanding resume - this is the time for you to let your past academic and extra-curricular achievements shine! Most universities will require you to send in your resume, which should list down not only your maths test scores but also activities that aren’t math-related, such as being part of a sports club committee. A resume that showcases your involvement in a variety of activities throughout your school life would definitely have better appeal amongst regular university applications.
- Payment of fees - you will also need to consider the financial aspect of getting onto a math degree. Most public universities in Malaysia charge their students RM 8,000 to RM 30,000 for an undergraduate math degree while private universities are slightly higher, starting from RM 9,000 to RM 45,0000. These costs should be accounted for early on to avoid any unnecessary stress later when you have to make payments.
- Scholarships, loans and grants - reach out for help if you need financial assistance. There are many government bodies, NGOs, companies and universities that provide financial aid to students, especially those in need and those who are performing well academically. The government also offers PTPTN, which is a study loan specifically for Malaysian students who are pursuing their tertiary education.
- Check out university websites - collect any information regarding university applications because the requirements may change across different universities. For instance, there may be other entry requirements apart from taking a pre-university course, such as taking an English exam to fulfil the institution’s language requirements.
- Contact the university - now that you’ve narrowed down your list of potential universities, it’s a good idea to directly email or call these universities. Asking the administrator questions could help clear up queries that are not found on the university website.
What else might you need to prepare for a degree in maths?
Best universities for studying mathematics
What about where to apply for the best math degree? Owing to its popularity and high demand for math-related skills in the workplace, many universities in Malaysia are offering math degrees to students. More often than not, a degree in mathematics will take about 3 years to complete, and if you are interested in pursuing a Masters or PhD in mathematics, those would take roughly 4 years to complete.
There are many types of math-related degrees to choose from, such as applied mathematics, computational mathematics, mathematical sciences and financial mathematics. You can expect that similar core course structures will be provided in all these degrees but you will graduate with different specialisations depending on the degree you have chosen. This means it is important to read up on the different types of math degrees offered by different universities so that you can decide on which specialisation you would like to pursue.
Here is our list of the 10 best universities in Malaysia for a math degree:
- University of Malaya (UM)
- Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
- Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)
- Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
- Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)
- International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)
- Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)
- University of Nottingham Malaysia
- Sunway University
- Heriot-Watt University Malaysia
Take a look here for more details on the best universities in Malaysia for a maths degree.
What can I do with a math degree?
Perhaps you have a knack for cool math games, or maybe you just have an overall talent for excelling in your math subjects - but can you land a stable job simply with a degree in mathematics? Interestingly, the career prospects of graduates who have majored in mathematics are wide and vast across many fields and continue to be high in demand. Additionally, it may be worthwhile to note that the career prospects of a math graduate also depend on the specialisation of the math course taken.
Below are some career options for graduates with a math degree:
- Data analyst
- Investment analyst
- Quality control officer
- Math teacher/lecturer
- Data scientist
- Survey researcher
Anyone could probably get answers to simple mathematics questions from any website that answers math problems, but the role of a practitioner in the field of mathematics remains vital to solving complex variables and functions in the real world. Like the famous “Human Computer” and Indian mathematician, Shakuntala Devi, once said: “Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.”
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