MSc Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Logic
Rob Nicolaides

The teaching has been excellent. My teachers here have been very approachable and inspiring. We have often talked about interesting ideas outside of the curriculum. It’s clear that all of them are very passionate about their subjects.


Why did you choose to study this course here at the School of Mathematics? 

The University of Manchester offers a wide range of pure maths modules – many of which I was unable to find elsewhere. After attending an open day for the first time, I was amazed by the Alan Turing Building and the size of school of mathematics. The staff were welcoming, well-organised and passionate about maths. The emphasis on project work and a dissertation were also things that helped me choose Manchester as a place to study!

What were you doing before your MSc?

I came to study here at Manchester in September 2016 after completing a BSc in Mathematics at The University of Sheffield in June 2016. During the summer between these dates, I worked in helping create and program a financial model for a renewable energy business. This was a rewarding application of my studies and helped finance my living costs for this year. 

What are your career plans after graduation?  

I am currently applying for PhDs and would like to pursue a degree in academia. I am also very open to working in something computer programming related in the future. 

What do you enjoy most about studying at the School of Mathematics?

Studying here has been a very pleasurable experience! My course mates and I are from very different backgrounds, both academically and culturally. It has been a wonderful experience to study with them. The Alan Turing Building is a very open building - it’s easy to find friends studying. We regularly help each other solve problems and understand difficult concepts. Maybe because there are very few of us studying this specific course, I feel that we have all become very close friends.

 The teaching has been excellent. My teachers here have been very approachable and inspiring. We have often talked about interesting ideas outside of the curriculum. It’s clear that all of them are very passionate about their subjects.

 There also weekly special lectures/activities for postgraduate students that cover interesting topics outside of the curriculum. My favorite example was the Christmas Mathematical Scavenger Hunt around the Alan Turing Building organised by the PhD students.

 We have a postgraduate supervisor that we can talk to about any questions we might have about the admin about the course. He has been very helpful and friendly. It’s nice to know there is always someone you can contact to help with any of the small problems and questions we might have about the course.

How much time to do you spend in classes and undertaking independent study? 

In semester 1 I spent about 10 hours each week in lectures and problem solving classes. A large portion of each weekday was spent in the Alan Turing building going over notes and solving problems. I have also had more than enough time to explore the city, meet new friends, participate in sports clubs and even do some recreational maths!

How did you find the change from Undergraduate to Postgraduate level study?

For me, there was a lot more independent study required in Postgraduate study compared to Undergraduate study. The main difference has been the shift from studying notes to pass exams to the emphasis on research mathematics.

Some courses offered were also available for 3rd year students as 10 credit module and the most of the material was relatively easier to follow. For these courses we are also given extra material which was considerably harder in addition that we would study in our own time or in special lectures. The difficulty of coursework seems to vary a lot for different courses but over all seems manageable.

Over all, the difficulty of the subjects in balanced by the fact that we only take at most five different 15 credit lectured modules throughout the year. 

What is the best thing about living in Manchester?

Living in Manchester has been a fantastic experience! The city is large, multicultural and in a great location. There are so many great facilities here for most people to enjoy. If you are into sports there are great gyms, the Aquatic Center, Velodrome and some nice climbing facilities. Maybe you like eating good food - the northern quarter has some good restaurants and bars.

Nights out in Manchester have been an experience! There are many different places to check out – the bars in Deansgate, clubs in the center, karaoke bars and The Village.

There are many societies to join through the university. I decided to join a martial arts society this year have made lots new friends and learnt some self-defense skills in the process. 

What advice would you give to those considering studying at the School of Mathematics?

I would recommend at least googling the Alan Turing Building to see what it looks like. Even better – come to an open day! Most importantly I would check out the modules that are expected to run for the academic year you apply for.

The jump from Undergraduate to Postgraduate has been challenging but very manageable. Some of my course mates are mature students and have not formally studied maths for a long time. They all seem to have adapted well and seem to be really enjoying the course! 


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