Guidance to prospective Lancaster mathematics undergraduates

We encourage all those with a passion for mathematics to think about applying to Lancaster University to study for one of our degrees.

These guidelines are specifically for applicants sitting A Levels, but we also accept the International Baccalaureate, the European Baccalaureate, Scottish Advanced Highers and a wide variety of international qualifications.

The guidance on this page applies to all the Lancaster degrees for which the Department of Mathematics and Statistics is the administering department: Mathematics; Mathematics with Statistics; Statistics; Computer Science & Mathematics; Financial Mathematics; and Mathematics & Philosophy.

For other combined degrees involving mathematics, our partner department is the administering department and you should contact the partner department for detailed admissions information. This applies to: Accounting, Finance & Mathematics; Economics & Mathematics; French Studies & Mathematics; German Studies & Mathematics; Spanish Studies & Mathematics; Management Mathematics; Theoretical Physics with Mathematics; and Natural Sciences.

Which A Levels should I be studying?

Our minimum requirement for A Level applicants is that you should be studying at least three A Levels including A Level Mathematics. We encourage, but do not require, you to study A Level Further Mathematics as well - our standard offer is slightly lower for those taking A Level Further Mathematics. If it is not possible for you to study A Level Further Mathematics, think about studying AS Level Further Mathematics - the style of mathematics in Further Mathematics, especially Further Pure Mathematics, is similar to university mathematics and will be excellent preparation for further study.

We do not usually accept vocational qualifications like BTEC or Cambridge Technicals, unless you are also studying A Level Mathematics and A Level Further Mathematics. If this applies to you, then we would treat your vocational qualification as equivalent to a third A Level.

What about STEP?

The Sixth Term Examination Papers in Mathematics are a set of three papers, set by Cambridge Assessment and sat in June, which are designed to really test your problem-solving skills. Each paper lasts three hours and contains thirteen relatively long questions, all of which are optional - you answer as many of them as you wish, up to a maximum of six questions. You may enter any combination of the three papers - those applying to Cambridge will usually sit Paper 2 and Paper 3, while those applying to Warwick or Bath will usually sit Paper 1 plus, optionally, one or both of the other papers.

We value the way that STEP develops advanced problem-solving skills and all our standard offers include an alternative, slightly lower offer that includes a pass (Grade 3) in any STEP. Sitting STEP is optional, however, and if you choose not to sit STEP, this won't harm your chances of receiving an offer from us. If you sit STEP and do not pass, please do not worry - we will treat you exactly the same as if you hadn't sat STEP at all.

More information about STEP is at http://www.admissionstestingservice.org/for-test-takers/step/about-step/

What about the Test of Maths for University Admission?

The Test of Maths for University Admission is a brand-new test, set by Cambridge Assessment and sat in November. Like STEP, the Test of Maths for University Admission is designed to test your problem-solving and readiness for university-level mathematics, but the format is very different - it is made up of two multiple-choice question papers, each lasting one hour. Results are available at the end of November - you will receive a grade ranging from 1.0 to 9.0.

A strong performance in the Test of Maths for University Admission is very impressive. If you sit the Test and perform well, achieving a score above 5.0, you may well receive a lower offer from us. Sitting the Test is optional, however, and if you choose not to sit the Test, this won't harm your chances of receiving an offer from us. Indeed:

  • you do not need to tell us that you're sitting the Test;
  • if you sit the test, you do not need to tell us your result; and
  • a poor result will not damage your chances - we will treat you the same as if you hadn't sat the Test at all.

If you inform us of your Test result before receiving an offer from us, and have achieved a score of 5.0 or higher, we will take this into account when we decide on your application, and we may well make you a lower offer than usual.

If you inform us of your Test result after receiving an offer from us, and have achieved a score of 5.0 or higher, we will consider your result, and may well replace your existing offer with a lower one.

More information about the Test of Maths for University Admission is at http://www.admissionstestingservice.org/for-test-takers/test-of-mathematics-for-university-admission/about-the-test-of-mathematics-for-university-admission/

Our standard offer

For applicants to study the following degrees:

  • G100 BSc Mathematics
  • G101 MSci Mathematics
  • G103 MSci Mathematics (Study Abroad)
  • G1G3 BSc Mathematics with Statistics
  • G1GJ MSci Mathematics with Statistics
  • G1GH MSci Mathematics with Statistics (Study Abroad)
  • G300 BSc Statistics
  • G303 MSci Statistics
  • G301 MSci Statistics (Study Abroad)
  • GN13 BSc Financial Mathematics
  • GN1H MSci Financial Mathematics
  • GN1J BSc Financial Mathematics (Industry)

our offer will usually be as follows. Firstly, we require grade A or higher in either A Level Mathematics or A Level Further Mathematics. Secondly, we require that your grades from your best 3 A Levels satisfy one of the following conditions:

    Best 3 A Levels  
    Not including Further Mathematics Including Further Mathematics
STEP Without Grade 3 or higher in any STEP AAA AAB
  With Grade 3 or higher in any STEP AAB ABB

 

For applicants to study the following degrees:

  • GG14 BSc Computer Science & Mathematics
  • GG1K MSci Computer Science & Mathematics
  • GV15 BSc Mathematics & Philosophy

our offer will usually be as follows. Firstly, we require grade A or higher in either A Level Mathematics or A Level Further Mathematics. Secondly, we require that your grades from your best 3 A Levels satisfy one of the following conditions:

    Best 3 A Levels  
    Not including Further Mathematics Including Further Mathematics
STEP Without Grade 3 or higher in any STEP AAB ABB
  With Grade 3 or higher in any STEP ABB ABB

 

A score of 5.0 or higher in the Test of Mathematics for University Admission will usually be treated as equivalent to a Grade 3 pass in STEP.

If this sounds complicated, please do not worry. The majority of our applicants are just sitting three or four A Levels, and if you wish to just focus on your A Levels, rather than attempting either the Test of Maths for University Admission or STEP, that's fine with us. Our philosophy is to give you as many opportunities as possible to demonstrate your abilities.