The Open University: distance learning in the UK
MathsChoices: the choices available to study Mathematics by distance learning.
To understand much about modern science requires a reasonable level of mathematics. Without some appreciation of the mathematics, the explanations are incomprehensible. The difficulty for many of us is that we dropped sciences and mathematics because they were too hard to understand at the speed required to complete a curriculum. I don’t doubt that, given enough time and good materials, an educated person could eventually understand enough. But if that time were more time than required to complete a curriculum, then it is probably a non-starter.
So the challenge is:
- Can we get enough understanding of pre-university mathematics to understand university sciences,
- In much less time than a normal school curriculum?
The Open University provides two courses of foundation mathematics:
- MU123 Discovering Mathematics is mathematics as required for numerate but non-science degree course.
- MST124 Essential Mathematics is mathematics as required for a science degree course.
The courses are around 8 months, with 10 hours per week, or roughly 350 hours. But we have an advantage, that we are not trying to pass an exam. We just need to understand the concept. So I think these courses are a realistic way to improve your mathematical skills in a systematic way.
You can see whether the level, and the learning style, suit you from an extract of the course:
MathsChoices provide two quizzes so that you can assess your current skills and see see which course would suit you best. You can try them here: