There is not just one mathematics taught at university level, nor is there one group of students. Mathematics is taught differently depending on the discipline and the perceived background of the student. There is engineering mathematics for the students heading towards engineering degrees, life science mathematics for those heading towards biology degrees and so on. This paper considers the phases of transitions that students experience as they embark on a course of study and then go on to professional life. We make inferences about the ways the curriculum should be designed to alleviate the difficulties of these phases as well as to take account of the capabilities that graduates will require in the workplace. It is not only where students are coming from that affects their learning but where they are heading to, in combination with their perceptions of that destination.