Frequently asked questions regarding Mathematics undergraduate courses and admissions
Which degree programme should I apply to?
All of the Mathematics degree programmes (G100, GG31, G125, G1F3, G102, G1G3, G1GH, G103, G104) have a common point of entry, with the same curriculum in the first two years. It is easy for students to transfer between any of these programmes during that time. The main big difference is between our BSc programmes, the MSci programme and the Year Abroad Programme. Since it is easy to change, it is recommended that students who think that there is a chance that they may want to stay on one of the four year programmes, they should apply there initially, since it simplifies things with grant/loan providers etc. There are no quotas for particular degree programmes, so there is no advantage in applying to a particular programme in terms of securing a place at Imperial to study Mathematics. Applying for more than one of these codings does not increase your chance of an offer, since we can only make one offer per student. The Mathematics and Computing degree programmes have a different curriculum and are dealt with separately (admissions process is handled by the Department of Computing).
Will I be invited for interview?
We don't currently use interviews as part of our regular admissions process. Applicants are assessed on the basis of their UCAS form and performance in MAT. We may consider students for interview where there are mitigating circumstances that need investigating, or where the background of the student means that their application requires further consideration. In these cases, our conditional offer may change as a result of the interview, and as with all candidates, each application is considered on its individual merits. The Admissions Tutor's decision is final.
Do I need to take MAT?
We require A-level and IB students who apply before the MAT registration date to take MAT. We ask students to take this test as it guides our process of making offers.
A-level and IB students who are unable to take MAT because they applied after the test has taken place are usually made offers that include STEP II or III. We may ask for both, and in some cases, we may increase the STEP grade.
Students taking other qualifications are encouraged to take MAT and some who do not may be given a STEP offer.
What mark do I need to get in MAT?
Unlike A level, MAT is not a public exam, and so there is no scaling of marks to ensure that the same proportion of students achieve certain marks from year to year. This means that we cannot prescribe a particular mark that is required, and we just use the MAT marks to compare between students in each application round. It is also the case that we look at individual marks in parts of questions to get an impression of students' particular weaknesses and strengths, so the offer decision is not made purely on the total mark.
In recent years the quartiles for MAT scores were as follows:
2013/14 All applicants: 37-46-59
2013/14 Placed applicants: 49-55-63
2014/15 All applicants: 35-49-64
2014/15 Placed applicants: 51-60-71
2015/16 All applicants: 36-46-59
2015/16 Placed applicants: 52-58-63
2014/15 Successful applicants: 51-60-71
2015/16 All applicants: 36-46-59
2015/16 Successful applicants: 52-58-62
2016/17 All applicants: 40-53-69
Is feedback on MAT papers available?
Feedback on MAT papers is available on request to firstname.lastname@example.org at the end of the admissions cycle, after 25th March. Please do not request feedback before this date.
Do I need to take MAT or STEP?
We prefer students to take MAT as it guides our process of making offers and selecting students for interview. Students who are unable to take MAT and otherwise meet our entry requirements are usually made offers that include STEP.
I live outside the UK. How can I take MAT?
There are registered test centres in many countries throughout the world. You must register by the registration date (15th October 2014) and can take a test in a registered test centre on the test date (5th November 2014). There is more information on the MAT website. If it is difficult for you to take MAT because there are no nearby centres then we still welcome your application without taking MAT; you should contact us to notify us that is the case.
Do students need to inform the Admissions team about whether they are taking STEP?
No. We may include STEP as part of condition offers for students who are unable to take MAT, or for students with less strong MAT performance, but the registration deadline for STEP is after the admissions cycle deadline so there is no need to inform us.
My school doesn't offer Further Mathematics at A level, can I still apply?
We are able to make special cases for students who are from schools that do not offer Further Mathematics A level, and encourage applications from them. We are often guided by performance in MAT when making these special cases. You should ask your teacher to clearly indicate this in your UCAS application form. If your school offers Further Mathematics AS but not A level, then we expect that you should be taking it.
What resources are there that can help with Further Maths, MAT and STEP?
My school is unable to provide teaching support for Further Mathematics, MAT or STEP but I am studying for them anyway. What resources are there that can help?
We recommend that students take a look at the Further Mathematics Support Programme website which provides resources for students who are studying Further Mathematics, MAT or STEP. You should ask your teacher to indicate that you have been self-studying in your application.
For more details of MAT including recent past papers/solutions and how to register, see the ATS website.
The Department runs a "Problem Solving Matters" course in the summer of 2017 to support students develop the problem solving skills required for the Mathematics Admission Test. For more information and to apply, please see the please see the programme flyer. The course is also offered at other UK locations.
Some past MAT papers and solutions are available from the following links:
What opportunities are there for taking projects?
The Department of Mathematics at Imperial College London is heavily involved in research as well as teaching. All academic staff have active research programmes and this provides students with opportunities to come into contact with hot research topics through project work.
In the first year, examinations take place early in the summer term, and students work on projects until the summer break. They produce a poster describing their work which is assessed by staff during the first year project poster colloquium. First year students receive training in communication skills focussed on how to discuss their poster during the colloquium. Second year students work on projects in groups, which are assessed by group presentation. There is an optional individual research project module in the third year, which can be taken instead of one of the lecture courses. Fourth year students on the MSci programmes undertake a substantial individual project which reaches towards the cutting edge of mathematical research at PhD level.
Where can I find information about accommodation?
Accommodation information can be found on the Accommodation website
What bursaries and grants are available?
I'm already at a university in the UK and would like to transfer
I'm already at a university in the UK and would like to transfer to study Mathematics at Imperial College. Is it possible?
Transfers into the Department are only permitted in exceptional circumstances. In addition, we only accept applications to transfer from universities with a similar minimum admissions requirement to our own, and where the applicant has met our minimum admissions requirement.
Can I arrange to visit the Department?
It is not possible to arrange individual visits for mainland UK applicants. However, we hold a number of open days from November through to March, as well as the College Open Days.
Applicants from overseas who are unable to attend any of these events may be able to arrange to visit at a time more convenient to them by e-mailing email@example.com.
Where would I live?
All first-year undergraduate students are guaranteed a room in College halls of residence should they require one, and the great majority of our first-years live just around the corner from the Department.
What happens once I have applied?
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis as we receive them through UCAS. However, most decisions are not made until MAT marks have been received by the College, and students who have done well on MAT should receive decisions in December and January.
All remaining offers for students not taking MAT will be made by mid-March.
Unfortunately, due to the high number of applications that we receive each year, it is not possible for us to write to all unsuccessful applicants.
What are the term dates?
The College operates a three-term academic year. Autumn term starts in the first week of October and lasts eleven weeks. Spring term starts after a three-week Christmas break and also lasts eleven weeks. Summer term lasts for nine weeks and follows a four-week (sometimes five-week) Easter break.
Full details can be found at the College term dates page.
The first day of term is normally stated as a Saturday, as this is when students living in College halls of residence can move into their room. The first day of teaching is always the following Monday.