Paula Oben

"After unexpected A level results, I was offered a place at the University of Plymouth to study Mathematics (BSc) with a Foundation Year. When I applied at Plymouth, I didn't expect to study a Foundation Year, but I'm extremely glad I did.

I didn't know how the course would turn out but completing the Foundation Year really helped build confidence and prepare me for the first year by bridging gaps in my knowledge and strengthening my previous education.

We have the same lecturers as other course years do, giving us a stronger knowledge of how the academic life of university works, which a lot of first-year students won't have.

Now, in the first year of the University, I am confident in approaching new modules and am familiar with the places I can go for help, such as our personal tutors who are lecturers from the Mathematics course. They guide us through the year and are there for any queries or advice. 

There is also a system called PALS (Peer Assisted Learning Scheme), where students from the second year of the Mathematics course spend a couple of hours a week offering their help with the modules. With their firsthand experience, they are extremely helpful when it comes to going through in-class examples and make it a comfortable environment to ask questions we may not want to ask in class.

As I progressed through the first year, I took up the role of Student Representative for the Stage 1 Mathematics Students. I am responsible for sharing feedback from the students and the views of the modules we learn. We have regular meetings with the staff of the Mathematics department to help improve the learning and teaching of the course, where needed.

With COVID-19 this year, it has not been easy for students, but the knowledge and passion of the lecturers has helped remind us of why we chose to study Mathematics.

Doing the foundation year has benefited me massively and prepared me for what was to come. I gained academic and social skills for the first year of university and I am excited about the future."

Studying mathematics at Plymouth

Professor David McMullan and a final year student discuss what it’s like to study here, and show you some of our facilities.