MMath Master of Mathematics - Shay Jordan

Shay Jordan graduated from UEA's MMath Master of Mathematics course in 2022. We spoke to him about his experience on the course, as well as his plans for future study after graduation.

What drew you to study the MMath Mathematics course at UEA?

When I was in school I always felt that Maths was naturally my strong point, and I knew that it could open a lot of doors for me.

I actually began on the BSc course, and then in my first year I got a good grade and was recommended by the head of the school to go onto the Masters programme. I liked that the first three years were the same as the BSc, and then having that extra year means that you stand out in the job market. I first chose UEA because it was my local university, and then going to the applicant day made me realise that it was the place I wanted to be. The lecturers were very active in research and clearly passionate about the subject, so that really made UEA stand out to me.

What has your experience of teaching been like in lectures and seminars?

A typical Maths module has two lectures and then a workshop each week, and in the workshop we go through a worksheet with the help of a lecturer and a PhD student.

There are a lot of different teaching styles, because every Maths lecturer has found what works best for them. In some modules, a blackboard is used to give a visual demonstration of working through a problem live, and then in other modules slideshows are used alongside computer visualisations. Lecturers are always happy to speak in their office hours, which is brilliant.

What employability opportunities and events have you taken part in?

There is an annual careers event in which past Maths students come back in and talk about where they are now.

It’s really nice to see the different careers that people have gone into: for example engineering, teaching, and investment banking. We also have talks from external speakers, for example speakers from the Institute of Mathematics & its Applications, a national body of mathematicians.

As well as this, there is a regular newsletter that we get which tells us about careers opportunities, for example internships and student jobs. A few weeks ago I did a research internship within the School of Maths working alongside lecturers and a PhD student, and it was good to get a taste of what a career in research would be like.

What career ideas do you have for after graduation?

I will definitely be applying for a number of PhDs after I graduate, because the internship that I did showed me that I do have an interest in research and I would like to take that further.

In the longer term, I have been thinking about going into teaching, especially since there are bursaries available alongside this. I am also interested in the finance sector, because that seems to be a route that you could go down regardless of which modules you have studied on this course.

How has this course prepared you for entering the workplace?

The course has had a wide variety of assessments such as oral presentations, group projects, written reports, and problem sheets.

These definitely help you to develop skills that will prepare you for the workplace - even if you might not realise at the time!

What advice would you give to someone who is considering studying MMath Master of Mathematics at UEA?

I think it is really important to go in with an open mind.

I am someone who had always been naturally good at Maths, and in secondary education I didn’t always put in the effort that I probably should have done, but when I got to university that completely changed. The time that you put in outside of lectures and seminars is what really gets you through, and you need to learn to manage yourself and your learning.


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