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Our approach to Maths

When considering an engineering degree, you might assume you need to have achieved an A-level or equivalent in maths. In most cases, you’d be right. However, to apply for our Global Design Engineering degree at TEDI-London, this isn’t the case.

Let’s be clear; we’re not trying to say that engineers don’t need maths. Maths is a key skill and thought process that underpins a person’s ability to solve engineering design problems. Without this toolkit, engineers wouldn’t be able to do their jobs!

But, we believe that students without an A-Level or BTEC qualification in Maths should not have to miss out on studying engineering at degree level. That’s why, if this applies to you, we’ll give you the opportunity to complete a maths test and/or refresher course during the application process. This is designed to equip you with the foundational knowledge you’ll need to keep up with the mathematical aspects of our degree.


Maths pathways

As part of our wider application process, we offer the option of two maths pathways if you do not have a highschool maths qualification:

Option 1: Complete a test

The Pearson TalentLens Numerical Data Interpretation Test (NDIT) is an online test specifically designed to assess your ability to learn, retain, and apply mathematical formulas.

If you feel fairly confident with your mathematical ability already, then you can go straight to taking this.

Option 2: Complete a maths refresher course – with a test at the end

This assesses the same aptitudes as the NDIT, but means you can refresh your maths knowledge first before taking an assessment. It is designed to familiarise you with using maths to develop design thinking and solve engineering problems.

Info about our maths pathways

Maths: Practice makes perfect

  • “We believe in a growth mindset to learning. This means that instead of being locked into their ‘good’ and ‘bad’ subjects, people can develop any skill if they take the time to work on it. So, even if your strength lies in writing or art, there’s no reason why you can’t get better at maths too!”

    Dr Kate Crawford Senior Teaching Fellow

Removing barriers to engineering

TEDI-London stems from the vision of our three founding partners – Arizona State University, King’s College London and UNSW Sydney – to bring more diverse people into engineering. This refers to people of different genders, ethnic and educational backgrounds, but also to people with different skillsets, experiences and perspectives.

There are a few ways in which requiring applicants to have a high-level maths qualification presents a barrier to this mission:

  1. Discovering engineering later

    As engineering isn’t generally a standalone subject that is delivered in the earlier stages of secondary education, young people may not be aware of what studying engineering looks like at this point in their lives and, most crucially, ahead of making subject choices. For some, maths might have been a strong suit without making the list of top three or four subjects. Finding out ‘too late’ to continue with maths shouldn’t act as a barrier for potential future engineers.

  2. International qualifications

    Some international maths qualifications aren’t considered to be appropriate equivalents to UK qualifications, like A-levels. This leads to international applicants being rejected from studying engineering in the UK, despite having studied maths to a high level. Our Maths Refresher course allows us to welcome international students, in the knowledge that their maths capability meets the requirements for our course.

  3. Retraining as an engineer

    Mature applicants may have decided to retrain as engineers, after having already progressed within a completely different career path. In some cases, they may have taken a maths qualification already, but lack confidence if their achievement wasn’t recent. During their previous career, they would have developed transferrable skills that, combined with the Maths Refresher course, would make them a great candidate for TEDI-London.

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