Undergraduate Testimonials

Shane Walsh - BSc Applied and Computational Mathematics

"When I was in school maths was my favorite subject. I always loved the puzzle-like problems we were given and the satisfaction of getting the correct answer. I knew that a degree in mathematics would suit me perfectly. I found it difficult to choose what area of maths I wanted to study due to UCD's wide variety of subject choices; however this was far from problematic because of the flexibility of studying science in UCD. I spent my first two years taking modules in pure maths, applied maths, statistics, geology and physics to try to find my niche.

Eventually I decided to go with Applied and Computational Mathematics. For me it gave the perfect balance between physical problems, maths problems and programming. Not only in this course do you get to learn about a lot of advanced areas of mathematics, but you also learn how to apply these methods to real life physical systems. As well as being really interesting, one of the great things about studying a subject that you like so much is that you get to meet a lot of other people who share your passion for the subject. There's nothing quite like discussing maths with others who really enjoy it!"

 

Cormac Roche - BSc Applied and Computational Mathematics

"Starting university I had an interest in Maths and Physics and thought that I might want to study Theoretical Physics so started my degree in Mathematical and Physical Sciences in UCD with the aim of specialising later on. As I progressed and chose modules for each year I noticed a big overlap between Theoretical Physics and Applied and Computational Mathematics.  When it came to the end of second year and time to choose my major I realised that the modules I had enjoyed most where the Applied Maths modules so I decided to major in that.

I’m very happy with that decision. I’m studying areas that I enjoy and, while it is challenging, it is very rewarding. The problems all have real world applications and are either solved analytically using pen and paper or numerically using specialised computer software. There’s always someone to help if you find yourself stuck, be it fellow students, tutors or lectures. Small class sizes mean that each student can get as much attention as they wish. The flexibility of the course also allowed me to study abroad in New Zealand for a semester where I got to learn from a new perspective as well as experience a different culture. The problem solving skills learned by students of Applied Maths make them make them very appealing to employers in a wide range of areas all over the world spanning from aerospace engineering to financial services. "

 

Caitriona Byrne - BSc Mathematics

"It is really amazing how many different areas there are in mathematics that you never see or hear about in secondary school! The maths courses that I have done in UCD have covered a wide range of topics. The courses I did in the earlier years of my degree set the groundwork for later years. They built on the mathematical knowledge I had from the leaving cert, and expanded greatly on topics like calculus and linear algebra that I had learnt the basics of in secondary school. As I progressed through the degree, and my knowledge of maths expanded, I was able to study more challenging courses like Galois theory, Group theory, Combinatorics and Differential Geometry to name but a few. These were topics I knew nothing about before I began my mathematics degree. Of course, I also got to study some more well know mathematical topics such as Cryptography, Coding theory and Financial Mathematics."

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John Nolan - Actuarial and Financial Studies 

"From an early age I knew that I wanted to pursue a numerically based career, however I was very unsure as to what course I would prefer, and where. After much research I decided that Actuarial and Financial Studies in UCD would be a very challenging and interesting path to pursue. I’m currently in my final year of the degree and it has exceeded my expectations. The course offers huge variety, with an excellent grounding in Maths, Economics, Statistics and Programming in first year, moving towards a more statistically oriented degree in subsequent years. In the third year of the programme, students undertake an invaluable 6 months work placement. This gives you an insight into your future life as an actuary, as well as giving you an opportunity to apply what you learn in college to real life situations. It’s a fantastic experience, completely different from college life.


Whilst completing this degree you can gain exemptions from many of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ professional exams, including CT1-CT8, as well as the highly coveted CA1. The Actuarial and Financial studies degree in UCD is the only programme in Ireland to offer the CA1 exemption, which I see as a major advantage to studying in UCD.
The course provides you with a unique skillset that will make you a highly sought after graduate with a grounding in many fields. Career prospects include, and are by no means limited to, general insurance, investment, pensions and life assurance. You will also have fantastic career opportunities abroad, as well as in Ireland.


UCD is not only a great college because of the courses it offers, but also because of the resources and facilities available. At UCD you will be taught by well regarded experts in their fields, as well as having the opportunity to use computer programs and statistical software that are used in an actuary’s day-to-day life. Outside of lectures, UCD provides students with opportunities to get involved in a huge range of exciting and challenging activities. Why not try something different like mountaineering, winter sports, or trampolining? UCD also encourages students to get involved in volunteering, both at home and abroad.


I would strongly encourage anyone with an interest in maths, statistics, economics or finance to seriously consider this degree. Personally, I couldn’t be happier. It is a fantastic degree with great career prospects. Yes it can be challenging but it is satisfying, you won’t look back."

Roisin Richards - BA Mathematics and Music

"I chose to study maths and music in UCD for multiple reasons. One of the reasons was that simple fact, I didn’t know what to do! I picked a course that managed to incorporate both my want for a practical usable degree and my desire to study something I have a genuine interest in. That is a balance that is very hard to get in a degree I feel."

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Catriona Byrne - BSc Mathematics

"It is really amazing how many different areas there are in mathematics that you never see or hear about in secondary school! The maths courses that I have done in UCD have covered a wide range of topics. The courses I did in the earlier years of my degree set the groundwork for later years. They built on the mathematical knowledge I had from the leaving cert, and expanded greatly on topics like calculus and linear algebra that I had learnt the basics of in secondary school. As I progressed through the degree, and my knowledge of maths expanded, I was able to study more challenging courses like Galois theory, Group theory, Combinatorics and Differential Geometry to name but a few. These were topics I knew nothing about before I began my mathematics degree. Of course, I also got to study some more well know mathematical topics such as Cryptography, Coding theory and Financial Mathematics."

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Sean Mac Dhonnagain - BSc Mathematics

"Maths was always a subject that interested me in school and I wanted to study maths in some form in college. I was also fond of physics and chemistry, so I chose to do a BSc in general science. Over the next two years, I whittled down my options to maths and physics, and eventually to pure maths. I'm currently in my 3rd year and I couldn't be happier with my choice of degree.

Most of the mathematics I now study is quite theoretical, which is something I really enjoy. I've been given the opportunity to teach in a secondary school as part of this course, which is one of many career possibilities open to me with this degree. Whatever I end up doing with my degree, I know that working with maths will make me happy in my career."

Emily Lewanowski-Bree - BSc Biology & Mathematics Education

"One of the most common questions that I am asked as a Science and Maths Education student is “did you always know that you wanted to go into teaching?” and the answer is “no, I really didn’t”. In fact, when I first came to UCD, I didn’t even know what area of science I wanted to specialise in, let alone what career path I wanted to follow! The flexibility of the Common Entry Science course therefore really appealed to me as it allowed me to take a wide range of modules in first year to see where my interests lie. I did everything from Linear Algebra and Environmental Biology to Organic Chemistry and Astronomy despite the fact that I didn’t do physics or chemistry for the Leaving Cert!

However, it was the first year maths education module that made me realise that my passion lies in teaching."

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Deirdre Creegan - BSc Biology & Mathematics Education

"Since secondary school I was always interested in becoming a Maths and Biology teacher.

I decided to study Science in UCD because the DN200 course allows you to keep your options open until the end of second year. You therefore don’t have to decide your career path straight after the Leaving Cert.

Having taken the Maths and Biology Education modules in stage 1 and stage 2, I have made my decision to become a teacher. The education modules are interactive and enjoyable and I am looking forward to pursuing this education pathway to Master level."

Melanie Dwane - Statistics

"Entering UCD I knew I loved Maths, but had so many other interests that I was at a loss for what to do. The flexibility of Science in UCD appealed to me as it allowed me to gain greater insight into all the areas of science I enjoy and helped me begin the arduous task of trying to narrow them down. To be honest, I did such a broad range of modules in my first year that I didn’t even take my first Statistics modules until second year. I hadn’t seen much Statistics before college (other than drawing the odd histogram in the Junior Cert) so, it’s safe to say my knowledge was rather limited.

I noticed my interests change ovPer time with each module, and to my surprise I found myself particularly loving the Statistics I was learning. Now I am studying towards a BSc Statistics degree, which allows me to continue taking modules in the areas of Pure and Applied Maths that interest me. The data analytics I have learned through my degree are currently some of the most highly sought after skills by employers, and can be applied to a broad range of areas including finance, insurance, marketing and pharmaceutical companies. If it wasn’t for the flexibility of the UCD Science programme I would never have ventured into Statistics, and would have missed out on the chance to enter into the area of Mathematics I now love."