"Studying Maths at Reading is so much more than just learning the subject; you acquire experiences, life skills and memories that you will cherish for a lifetime."
Sam Middlicott's passion for maths was first fuelled by the satisfaction he gained from solving problems. After opting to take his studies to the next level with a maths degree at the University of Reading, he found the opportunities that came with this to be far more wide-ranging than he had ever imagined.
Enabling mathematical discovery
At Reading, our degrees offer students variety, flexibility and choice. Our courses contain numerous optional modules from pure and applied mathematics, allowing students to choose those which interest them most.
Sam relished the chance to choose modules in topics he had strengths in and the opportunity to explore those he had not yet had the chance to.
“Before starting at Reading calculus was my main area of interest. Since starting my degree, I've really enjoyed learning about statistics and data analysis. These are highly applicable in the world we live, and I love discovering trends and patterns.
"One stand out feature of the course has been the inclusion of programming in several maths modules. This has developed my understanding of the basis behind coding and I feel this acquired skill increases my job prospects later in life.”
In his first year Sam was enrolled as a BSc Mathematics and Meteorology student; allowing him to combine a subject he had experience of with one he'd always been interested in growing up.
Towards the end of his first year Sam decided that he'd like to focus on maths as a single honours to really hone his skills in this area, and transferred onto the BSc Mathematics. He found the process of changing course "smooth" after a meeting with his personal tutor.
“One of the main reasons for choosing Reading was the highly diverse range of courses on offer that utilise mathematics in the real world.
"Throughout my first year, I really enjoyed the Probability and Statistics module. I learned that my interest really lay in this field, and data analytics was a career path that inspired me. I decided to dedicate more of my time to maths and to study further statistics modules.”Despite no longer taking meteorology as part of a joint degree, Sam still has the option to take modules from outside the Department, including the second year module: The Science of Climate Change in the Department of Meteorology which he has opted into.
"My interest, particularly in climate change, comes from the fact that it is a current field of study of huge importance to the world.
"Our weather and climate are such intricate systems with many circulations and variables controlling what happens in our world. It absolutely fascinates me and I'm glad I have the chance to learn more about this and see how I can make a difference."
A department that cares about your experiences and future
Students studying maths at Reading will be assisted throughout their studies to stretch themselves, to tackle any challenges and to shape developing interests and ambitions. Sam has truly valued the learning environment he's experienced at Reading, especially when transitioning to online learning.
"The staff at Reading staff are incredibly friendly, approachable, and have always been there to help me - be this academically or personally. For me this cements this idea of a community here at Reading.
"Many support services specialise in different fields to help with any problems you may have along your university career which is a huge reassurance to have, especially when classes moved online.
"The size of the Department means you always see familiar faces making the place feel like home, which is especially welcome when moving to a new location."
Sam has a real interest in applying mathematical knowledge and theory into the real world, and will be able put this into practice through a placement year at the Government Operational Research Service (GORS). His role will involve conducting analytical research on behalf of the government.
When applying for placement spots, Sam was grateful for the support and experience of the staff in the Department.
"The process involved applying to placements that were found online and suggested by the staff in the Department. I invested a couple of hours a week into searching for placements so, in practice, it was very manageable alongside my studies.
"I was advised to make sure I look for placements as early as possible to ensure I could focus more on exams in the Spring term.
"Before starting at Reading, I did not realise quite how much was on offer outside of the classroom such as placements, volunteering and work experience. These offer prestigious life skills you'll carry forever.
"My placement will help me to try out a new style of working, develop my skills and discover what industry I'd like to work in in the future.”