Clare College Cambridge

Studying Mathematics at Clare

Studying Mathematics at Clare 

Mathematics lectures are given by the University in the mornings (six days per week), at lecture rooms in the centre of town. Students are given question sheets by the lecturer, and spend much of their remaining study time working on these questions. At least twice a week, students discuss their work with a supervisor. Supervisions take place in the College; they last one hour and involve two students. Naturally, the discussion is tailored to the individual student - here the able can find extra stimulation and the less confident can find encouragement. In the first year the supervisor will usually be a Fellow. Later on, as students find their feet, they will be supervised also by research students and others outside the College. This is especially important in the final year, where students have a very wide choice of options, so that Clare students can take advantage of all the specialist expertise available throughout the University.

Students are expected to work hard - though it is also expected that they will find pleasure in the doing of Mathematics! Nevertheless it is necessary to give a weary brain a rest from time to time. So it is important for students to choose a college where they will feel at home. Each year, around 10-12 students enter Clare to read Mathematics. We find this number works well - it is large enough for the Mathematicians to be able to support each other effectively, but small enough for students to make friends easily outside Mathematics. Our students have often testified to the congenial and stimulating atmosphere in Clare. Whether you wish to talk or to sing, to play the flute or to play the fool, to try rowing or to try praying, you will find kindred spirits. 

Change of subject

In general, students are advised not to apply for Mathematics if they already harbour an intention to change subject. The one exception to this are those wishing to study Mathematics with Physics, who must necessarily choose, after one year, whether to continue with Mathematics or with their other subject. However, once admitted to the College, students do have the opportunity at various stages to change subjects. The formal requirement is that the change is within the University rules and that the student is acceptable to Clare's Director of Studies in the new subject, but each case is treated individually.