Thomas' experience of studying Mathematics at UEA Thomas' experience of studying Mathematics at UEA

What do you really enjoy about the mathematics course?

The lecturers always seem to be available and the tutorials in the first year mean you get to know other Maths students really quickly. You are never left struggling with something you find difficult - there are always other students or lecturers around to help. This means you can enjoy the course that much more and look forward to the topics to come.

What are your career plans, and how do you think your degree course is helping you to achieve these goals?

I really want to be a teacher. In my third year I can take a module in Teaching of Maths and a module in Science Communication which is all about how complex equations and theories can be conveyed to the public.  This choice of modules should put me above other applicants and put me in a good position to get a place on the PGCE. Ideally I would like to stay on at UEA for that.

What advice would you give to new students?

Get to know your lecturers by taking the opportunity to talk to them about the Maths they've been teaching, and the same goes for talking to other students. In the first year there is quite a bit of getting everyone on the same level so don't be worried about asking questions - it is another good way to get to know fellow students.

How did you find living on campus during your first year?

The University village is on the edge of campus, but still only ten minutes' walk from the centre and the Maths department. It is also right next to the Sportspark which was great for me. The communal area is a great way to meet lots of people and the layout means that you don't just get to know people in your own flat, but all adjoining flats.

Now in your second year, how are you finding rented accommodation in Norwich?

My house mates are a mix of people from my course and people I lived with in my first year. We used an estate agent in the city centre and just said "We are students, find us a house." This really took the pressure off house-hunting and we found a great place that we are keeping for next year too.

Thinking back to when you first arrived at UEA, how easy did you find it settling in and making friends?

Societies are a good way to meet lots of people; Mathsoc is like a safety-net and easy way to spend time with like-minded people and the sports clubs are where I got to know people from outside Maths. The tutorials in the first year with just 5 other students were a good way for me to develop my communication skills and I still work on coursework with other people from my tutor group.

Do you take part in any sports at UEA?

I am secretary and first team captain of the Basketball Club. Next year I will take over as president, and I have got a part-time job promoting wheelchair basketball in local schools. I am also involved in the Dance club, performing in charity shows. I've enjoyed it so much I've even taken up ballet.

How would you describe Norwich to a potential student?

It is well maintained and friendly. It has everything that I need; two shopping centres, vintage clothes shops, lots of small independent shops, chances for nights out, and it is easy to get to London by train or bus. There's a range of fine local pubs and old buildings, everything from modern to heritage. The Beer Festival in October can't be missed - a massive range of beers in a converted church.