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The University of Bath recognises the value of level 3 (advanced) maths qualifications through the use of alternative offers. These alternative offers reduce one of the entry grades required; for example, where the typical A level offer is AAA, the alternative offer would be AAB.

All degrees that do not require A level Mathematics, such as Architecture, Business Courses, Biosciences, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Education, Health and Sport degrees, Languages, Politics, Psychology, and Social Sciences, include alternative offers based on achieving a grade B in a Core Maths qualification, AS or A level Mathematics or AS or A level Statistics, when it is studied in addition to three other subjects.

Degrees that do require A level Mathematics, such as Civil, Chemical, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, Economics and Accounting & Finance, include alternative offers based on achieving a grade B in AS or A level Further Mathematics where this is studied in addition to three other subjects.

In this interview with David Howells, Head of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Bath, he explains why the University of Bath values level 3 maths qualifications and what the University is doing to encourage participation in it.

Why is studying level 3 maths so important? What is valuable about these qualifications?

Mathematics skills underpin a wide range of university subjects, including the obvious such as Chemistry, Physics or Engineering, but also research methods and analysis across Social Sciences, Health and Biosciences. In a data-driven world, having recent experience of using mathematics at an appropriate level can really help prepare a student for success at university and beyond, even where it isn’t essential to have it.

What are the reasons for the University of Bath promoting Core Maths, AS and A level Mathematics, and AS and A level Further Mathematics?

Because maths is useful! What’s important is that students have the right preparation in mathematics for them and their chosen courses. Further Mathematics A level can be really useful for students wanting to study mathematical-intensive courses such as Mechanical Engineering or Mathematics itself, but the more practical and applied nature of Core Maths qualifications will give students who want to study Psychology or Business the general numerical skills they will find useful on their course. Our approach at Bath is to recognise that extra study in the right kind of maths can be really beneficial to students, and we want them to know that.

What approach has your university taken to recognising the value of maths in your admissions offers? Why were these measures chosen?

We make alternative (reduced) offers to A level students who choose to take additional maths study at level 3, tailored to their course. That might be Core Maths or it might be an extra A level in Mathematics or Further Mathematics (course dependent). This matches our approach to Extended Projects, as we want to recognise that different students will have different ways of demonstrating their preparation for a degree though extra study.

What do students need to know about the importance of studying maths at level 3?

Even where it isn’t essential, maths is still useful for a wide range of degrees. It doesn’t have to be advanced algebra or calculus either – having a comprehensive and fresh understanding of statistics is valuable in academic research across all of science, management and social sciences.

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