I’m going to be truthful, many students will find this module boring and unnecessary. I mean, what’s the point of learning about the history of Maths? That’s what many of you will be thinking. But if you squeeze past that mind-set and instead, think a bit more like a historian, you might just find this module interesting.

Maths & Society is not as difficult as other modules. I only had one lecture a week. As for the lecture itself, it may be dull at times but you don’t have to write notes since all the facts you are taught can be find online. That’s right, you are not taught any complicated mathematical formulas, just a bunch of history. And last but definitely not least, you may use the internet in your exam! Don’t underestimate the exam, it can be difficult to find the answers on Google so best to go in prepared with some notes. (yes you can bring notes in too)

Let me give you an idea of what kind of mathematical history you will be learning about:

- How the Mayans wrote very large numbers and dates
- Who derived the quadratic formula
- Newton’s discovery about Gravity (by watching an apple fall from a tree)
- The start of differentiation
- How Maths nearly destroyed the world (apparently)

If this doesn’t appeal to you, just remember that this module demands the least effort and time. I started revision three days before the exam and still passed. (not that I encourage this)

Signing off

Leon

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• Your two compulsory modules will be Calculus & Analysis and Linear Algebra. So, if you feel confident with integration and solving equations, this might be your cup of tea! But be warned with Calculus, it requires more analysis than integration

• How strong is your memory? I hope the answer is “very” because you will be required to memorise lots and lots of proofs. A proof is an argument explaining how and why a theorem is true, such as Pythagoras Theorem

• Teamwork is key. Unless you are like Will from the movie “Good Will Hunting”, you cannot be a genius at every Mathematical aspect so communicate with your fellow students, solve math problems together

• Lectures did not appeal to me at first because I wanted to do some Maths, not hear about it, but you will adapt to it. If you are receptive and a good listener, you will process information in lectures quicker than others

• Microsoft Excel is used frequently in Maths so expect a lot of computer work. Don’t worry if you’re not good with computers, you will learn how to be but it requires your commitment to attend weekly computer classes

This may feel like a lot of information threw at you but don’t worry. At the beginning of the year, you will be allocated to a small group of Maths students, all in your year. Every group has their own personal tutor, a feedback leader (someone who reports back to you on homework) and surgery leaders (students in higher years helping you solve and understand a certain aspect of Maths). Plus, you can all work together in your groups as you will be meeting weekly.

If you still find yourself struggling, talk to your lecturers. Every lecturer has a ‘Office Hour’ where they dedicate one hour of their time to answer questions from students. There is also an option called “Peer Mentoring” where a group of students studying Maths gather together to support each other. There are also students from higher years who attend with the sole purpose of assisting first year Math students.

And of course, you can always leave a question for me and I will try my best to find the answer. So now that I’ve given you some pointers, hopefully you have some idea of what it will be like studying a Maths degree.

Thank you for reading

Leon

Your source of funds is very important, choosing the right method for you will help suit your financial needs. Essentially, there are two ways to obtain funds, by using your money or someone else’s money. Here are some tips on how to make your own money.

**Making money**

- Get a part-time job. I recommend you start looking and applying now because this is a great option. You simply spend what you earn and best of all, it’s your money, so don’t feel guilty when you are treating yourself to a Domino’s (unless you’re looking to eat healthy).
- Start selling. Remember that book you finished reading or that game you completed? Go on eBay and start scrapping up all the money you can get. It’s going to help.
- Participate in university research. There is university research going on all the time and they pay students a one-off amount for simply taking part.

Although it’s a great feeling to earn your own money, it takes up time. There is no point making money when there’s no time to spend it right? Not to mention that it could significantly impact your studies. At least with someone else paying the fees, there’s a lot less stress and a lot more time:

**Borrowing money**

- Borrowing from family. This is probably the most convenient method since our family are likely to be flexible with how long we have to pay them back (if we pay them back at all). This is a personal matter so it’s worth having a discussion with your family regarding how much they are willing to financially support you
- Bank overdraft. This is like a bank loan but with a limit on what you can spend. It’s great to know that if you ever need emergency cash, this option is always there. Just make sure you ask your bank if you are eligible for an overdraft
- I cannot encourage this enough, a student loan. I’m sure most of you have secured one already and I applaud you, because it’s going to contribute towards those major costs such as accommodation.
- Hardship funds. The University of Leicester provides discretionary support if you are experiencing financial difficulties and may provide you with emergency funds

Although these are viable options, it may cause long term financial difficulties or you may not like the idea of borrowing off other people. Personally, I like to find that balance where I can earn my own money but have the financial backing of a third party. But we all have different preferences so choose the method(s) that suit you best.

If you can think of any other ways to fund your fees, be sure to leave them in the comments section. Thank you for reading and I hope this blog has been useful to you.

Leon

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