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How can maths support my career as a climate or research scientist?

Higher-level mathematics is fundamentally intertwined with science, supporting understanding, modelling, and addressing challenges within all aspects of science and research.

  • Mathematics is key in developing models to predict patterns and assess potential impacts on ecosystems and human societies.
  • Statistical methods are crucial for analysing large datasets, identifying trends, and understanding the variability in climate variables over time and space.
  • Calculus and differential equations are fundamental in understanding the processes and changes in climate systems.
  • Maths aids in analysing and interpreting data collected from various sources such as satellites, weather stations, and climate models.
  • Advanced mathematical concepts underpin machine learning and AI algorithms used in data analysis and predictive modelling.

At the heart of tackling climate change and other scientific challenges is a robust foundation in mathematics.

At AMSP, we are devoted to guiding aspiring scientists on a transformative educational journey starting with post-16 maths.

Start your higher-level maths journey today…

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Discover the advanced maths qualification that’s best for you

Studying a post-16 maths qualification is a fantastic choice because of the wide range of applications of the subject. If you gain a good pass in GCSE Mathematics by the end of Year 11 you should consider taking maths further. This document explores the post-16 maths qualifications available to help you decide which one is best for you.

Studying maths at A level will support your future study and career

These postcards outline the benefits of choosing A level Mathematics, on its own or along with A level Further Mathematics, to supporting you with future study and career options.

AS/A level Mathematics
A level Further Mathematics

Which is the right maths qualification for me?

The subjects you choose for your A levels are very important when it comes to applying to university or for a higher/degree apprenticeship. Before you choose, make sure you look into the typical requirements for the university courses and higher and degree apprenticeships that interest you. A great place to start is the Russell Group Informed Choices guide.

A level Mathematics is a particularly useful subject. Research has found that it makes the biggest difference to the offer you’ll receive from a top university, even if it’s not required for the course you’ve applied for.

If you’re thinking of taking a degree in maths or a degree apprenticeship programmes that involves a lot of maths, consider also taking AS/A level Further Mathematics. Not only is it preferred for many maths degree courses, it can also help with the mathematical admission tests, required by some more selective universities. It introduces you to new maths topics and supports a smooth transition to degree level maths. It provides enjoyable, more challenging material and the chance to explore more sophisticated mathematical ideas. Interestingly, it’s also been found that if you study AS/A level Further Mathematics it can help you improve your results in AS/A level Mathematics.

Of course, as well as thinking about your aims for the future, you also need to consider how much you enjoy maths, and what you’ve achieved with it so far.

If you’re on track for a grade 4 or better in GCSE Mathematics, and decide not to take maths at AS/A level, consider taking Core Maths. Studying Core Maths helps you develop skills in applying maths and solving problems. It can usually be studied alongside 3 A levels, and it’s a great way to keep your maths skills fresh, support your other subjects, and develop skills that will be really useful for study, work and life in general. It is valuable preparation for the quantitative skills needed for many degree courses, particularly subjects such as psychology, geography, business-related courses, sports and social sciences, and natural science courses that do not require AS/A Mathematics. It can also lead to reduced offers for a wide range of degree subjects.

If you’re predicted grade 5 or higher, think about taking AS/A level Mathematics, and if it’s grade 6 or higher, consider taking both AS/A level Mathematics and AS/A level Further Mathematics. Be sure to ask the school/college at which you intend to take A levels about their entry requirements for each of these courses, as different schools/college may have different policies.

WHY MATHS Video collection

Watch our WHY MATHS videos and hear from other young people how studying maths has helped them with their other subjects and lead them into really interesting and varied careers.

Careers with maths

Here are a few websites that will give you some ideas about where studying maths can take you in the future:

  • Mathscareers provides information about careers that studying maths can lead to.
  • Prospects details potential careers following a maths degree, and other careers that require A level Mathematics.
  • StatsLifeOpens offers guidance on careers using statistics.
  • The OR Society – if you enjoy maths but you’re not sure how you’d use it in a career then Operational Research (OR) could be for you.

Several Higher and Degree apprenticeships offer routes into careers that are rich in maths, including accountancy, actuarial science, architecture, engineering and data science.

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