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Undergraduate Admissions


The Cambridge Mathematical Tripos

The undergraduate mathematics course at The University of Cambridge is known as the Mathematical Tripos. It is widely regarded as one of the most rewarding - and also demanding - undergraduate mathematics courses available. You will have to work hard, but will enjoy the opportunity to explore an exceptional range of interesting and beautiful mathematics, and to interact with other enthusiastic and talented mathematicians. 

What the Cambridge Mathematics course can offer you

  • Excellent academic support throughout your degree. All lecture courses  in the first three years are complemented by small-group teaching sessions ('supervisions'), normally consisting of two students and one supervisor. 
  • Great flexibility and exceptional breadth. After the core courses in the first year, the choice of subjects increases each year reaching around 80 in the fourth year, from which most students choose 6-8.  The non-modular structure of the exams in the first three years means that you don't need to obtain some threshold level in any specific course or any number of courses. Therefore many students in the second and third year choose to studymore courses than they prepare for exams.The flexible workload allows you to choose what suits your own work pattern and your interests, rather than being driven by exam considerations.
  • World-leading taught Masters course in the fourth, optional year, leading to a BA with MMath. This fourth year is renowned as a a breeding ground for future leaders in mathematical research. Cambridge undergraduates in the fourth year are joined by students from other universities in the UK and from all over the world.
  • Excellent career prospects. Our graduates are highly sought-after by employers in all sectors, and go on to a wide variety of rewarding careers, including many in academic research. Their career paths range from IT, finance and banking, insurance, to teaching, weather forecasting, cryptography, medical applications, telecommunications, avionics, and many other fields. 


Structure of our course 

First year (Part IA)

All students follow a common, core course which provides an introduction to both pure and applied mathematics. This gives you an excellent foundation for any further specialisation, and allows you to keep all your options open until after you have experienced a wide range of mathematics at University level.  There are two options:
              (a) Pure and Applied Mathematics;
              (b) Mathematics with Physics (specific information about the first year option with 25% physics is available here).

Second year (Part IB)

The course becomes broader and deeper. There is some choice in the number of courses you take, and you can start to specialise in pure or applied mathematics if you wish. There is also the opportunity to take a Computational Projects course, which most students take.

Third year (Part II)

With typically 35 or more courses to choose from,of which most students choose 8 to 10, and a free choice of the areas of mathematics you study, this is when you really choose your specialisation in, for example, Pure Mathematics, Theoretical Physics, Statistics.  Again, there is also the opportunity to take a Computational Projects course. 

The first three years lead to a BA in Mathematics.

Optional fourth year (Part III)

The fourth year is an optional integrated Masters with 80 or so courses available.  Most students choose 6 to 8 courses, to study a subject in depth. There is also the opportunity to write an essay, chosen from the 100 or so possible set titles, or on a topic proposed by you and agreed with one of the lecturers.

The four year course leads to a BA with MMath.