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What will I study in A Level Maths?

You study a mixture of the elements: an A level qualification consists of three elements pure, statistics and mechanics. The further mathematics A level covers the same elements as A level mathematics but also includes decision maths. The two A levels are distinct and further mathematics should not be considered as simply ‘harder’ maths as topics covered are very different.

Course requirements:

  • A good GCSE grade (7/8/9)
  • A genuine interest in the subject
  • An ability to work independently
  • Determination
  • A logical mind

What is covered in A level mathematics?

Pure maths (66%)

Methods and techniques which underpin the study of all other areas of maths, such as, proof, algebra, trigonometry, calculus, and vectors.

Statistics (17%)

Statistical sampling, data presentation, interpreting real life data and probability leading to the study of statistical distributions.

Mechanics (17%)

The study of the physical world, modelling the motion of objects and the forces acting on them. 

What is covered in A level further mathematics?

Further pure 1 & 2 (50%)

Proof; complex numbers; matrices; further algebra and functions; further calculus; further vectors; polar coordinates; hyperbolic functions; differential equations.

Further mechanics (25%)    

Momentum and impulse; collisions; centres of mass; work and energy; elastic strings and springs.

Decision (25%)  

Algorithms and graph theory; algorithms on graphs; algorithms on graphs II; critical path analysis; linear programming.

Every week throughout the school year, additional support is offered at lunchtimes and after school by the mathematics department by invitation or on a ‘drop-in’ basis. These workshops take place on variety of days providing valuable extra support which is greatly appreciated by students.

Students in the Sixth Form have the opportunity to become subject ambassadors, and so take part in leading events, such as inter-house competitions, among other responsibilities.

Where does A Level Maths lead?

A level mathematics is critical for degree courses in engineering, physics, chemistry and, of course, mathematics however not exclusive. Mathematics is relevant to many different careers and degrees, all of which now require better quantitative skills. Here are examples of some careers and professions that can be facilitated by studying mathematics: analyst, cryptographer, computer scientist, climatologist, actuarial analyst, game designer, investment banker, chemical engineer, and these to name but a few.

Wider skills

  • Develops key employability skills such as problem-solving, logical reasoning, communication and resilience.
  • Increases knowledge and understanding of mathematical techniques and their applications.
  • Supports the study of other A levels. 
  • Is excellent preparation for a wide range of university courses.
  • Leads to versatile qualifications that are well-respected by employers and higher education.

Common misconceptions

  • You only need to study mathematics post-GCSE if you plan to do a STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) degree.
  • Most careers that require A level mathematics are male-dominated. 
  • You only do a mathematics degree to become a mathematics teacher.
  • Further mathematics is an A level just for students who want to become engineers or physicists.

A qualification in mathematics opens many doors. As well as the obvious links with science, finance and engineering-related careers, many employers look favourably upon candidates who have studied mathematics to A level standard and A level mathematics combines well with most other A level subjects.