This paper describes a novel study that aims to explore students’ mathematical preparedness for STEM education at tertiary level in the Irish context. The study addresses the issue of student retention in STEM degrees by investigating the perceptions of three stakeholders – teachers, students and lecturers – on the mathematical preparedness of students for studying science and engineering at tertiary level. The study also examines the existence and perception of interdisciplinary STEM education in preparing students for the transition to tertiary level STEM learning. In this paper, we describe the rational and design of this pilot study at an Irish university, including the development of questionnaire instruments for teachers, students and lecturers. Further advancement of the study is also discussed, as well as the intention to design targeted support for first year students of science degrees.