Who is this course for?
Mathematics at AS and A Level is a course worth studying in its own right. It is challenging but interesting. It builds on work met at GCSE, but involves new ideas that some of the greatest minds of the millennium have produced. During AS, we offer options in Statistics and Mechanics, for those of you who have particular degree courses in mind.
AS in Mathematics is very valuable as a supporting subject to many courses at A Level and degree level, especially in the sciences, Geography, Psychology, Sociology and medicine. A Level mathematics is a much sought after qualification for entry to a wide variety of full-time courses in Higher Education. There are also many areas of employment that see Mathematics A Level as an important or vital qualification.
Formal Entry Requirements
All students studying for A Level would be expected to have five GCSEs A*-C in academic subjects (of which two must be B grades) including GCSE English Language. We will count Level 2 Btec Diplomas towards this total, but only merits and distinctions will be counted and each diploma will count as one GCSE. Additionally, you will need GCSE Maths at B or above in the higher paper.
What does the course involve?
Mathematics at AS and A level is divided into three branches:
(Modules C1, C2, C3, C4)
Pure Mathematics at AS and A level extends your knowledge of topics such as algebra and trigonometry as well as introducing new ideas such as calculus. If you enjoyed the challenge of problem solving at GCSE then you should find this course very appealing.
(Modules M1, D1)
Mechanics describes the motion of objects and how they respond to forces acting upon them, from cars in the street to satellites orbiting a planet. You will learn techniques of mathematical modelling by turning a complicated problem into a simpler one that can be analysed and solved using mathematics. Many of the ideas you will meet form an essential introduction to modern fields of study such as cybernetics, robotics, biomechanics and sports science, as well as the more traditional areas of engineering and physics.
(Modules S1, D1)
Statistics covers the analysis of numerical data in order to arrive at conclusions about it. Many of the ideas met have applications in a wide range of other fields: from assessing what car insurance costs to how likely the Earth is going to be hit by a comet.
In order to get an AS Level, you will need to take three modules. For a full A Level, you will need to take three further modules. We offer two options:
Pure and Mechanics
: This option is usually taken by students studying Science (especially Physics), Engineering or Construction.
Pure and Statistics
: This option is usually taken by students studying Business (Economics, Accounting or Business Studies), Psychology or Biology.
How will I be assessed?
Both AS and A level Mathematics are assessed through a series of written examinations. If necessary, students can retake any module. There is no course work involved in assessing mathematics.
Where can I go next?
Most A level students go on to study at university. Some have used Mathematics to go directly into a career in accountancy.
The study of mathematics opens the door to many varied professions. Obvious choices would be in the area of Science and Finance. To see the many varied careers that a student of mathematics and statistics may follow, from games programmer to weather forecasting, go to www.mathscareers.org.uk