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The A-level Maths course is for those who love maths. At its core is the development of a logical mind that prepares you for whatever you want to do in life. Over the two-year course, you will study pure maths, which looks at the theoretical side of mathematics and develops your knowledge and understanding of algebra and geometry. Some of the topics will be familiar to you already, but other topics (e.g. calculus) may be completely new. Alongside these modules, you will also study applied maths modules (statistics and mechanics), which will develop your knowledge from GCSE and introduce new topics about forces and how the universe works.
If you feel up to the challenge, you may also study A-level Further Maths as a fourth qualification alongside A-level Maths as an AS or full A-level. (Please see the Further Maths subject for more information.)
The course consists of 2/3 pure maths and 1/3 applied maths. Over the course of both years, you will study:
- Pure maths looks at the theoretical side of mathematics and develops your knowledge and understanding of algebra and geometry.
- Some of the topics will be familiar to you already from GCSE – for example, equations of straight lines and trigonometry.
- Other topics (e.g. calculus) will be completely new, but will hopefully be interesting to you and exciting to learn.
- Statistics contains a lot of familiar topics for you (e.g. averages, histograms and probability).
- The module also introduces various statistical distributions. The topics you are familiar with will be developed further and extended, and new topics will add variety and interest.
- Mechanics is the mathematical part of physics.
- This module explores the forces on a stationary object and on an object moving in one dimension.
- You will be looking at travel graphs and motion in a straight line in this module and using vectors, which you may have encountered at GCSE.
How will I know how I am doing?
Year 1: One pure maths exam (66%) and one applied maths (stats and mechanics) exam (33%).
Year 2: Two pure maths exams (66%) and one applied maths (stats and mechanics) exam (33%).
You may achieve an AS in Maths if you drop the subject at the end of the first year. However, if you decide to continue onto the second year, this AS qualification will not count.
What do I need to join?
To study this course, you will need five GCSEs at grade 4–9, including English and Maths. You must also have a grade 7 or above in GCSE Maths, or a grade 6 with an entrance test. You will also need to be competent with the algebra on the higher GCSE Maths course.
You will be required to do a minimum of 36 hours of work experience. This is usually completed in a week during your first year in term time, where you will have the opportunity to explore a career field which takes your interest. In the lead-up to this week, you will be asked to create an exciting CV during a group tutorial period. The aim of this activity is to give you an idea of what full-time employment is like and to help you think about which career you would like to follow.
What can I do next?
There is a massive outreach for mathematicians in current industry. With the rise in new technology, the need for elite mechanical engineers, data analysts, software engineers and civil servants is skyrocketing. A-level Maths is a subject that can lead to an extremely successful career. The types of degree course A-level Maths students want heavily involve the topics covered in the subject. In modern times, this course can provide some of the most exciting jobs to date. Successful A-level mathematicians prove to employers that they are of high performance ability. Being able to think quickly and logically is an invaluable skill that is refined in this course.
Course information last updated: Friday 22nd January 2021 @ 8.30am (4 days ago)