A Level Mathematics is a much sought after qualification for entry to a wide variety of full-time courses in Higher Education. Studying Mathematics is stimulating, challenging and can be the most elegant and succinct way to describe the world around us. It will provide you with rational and logical processing skills, the necessary tools for a problem solver. The mathematician's skillset is highly transferable and very desirable to employers; in fact, on average, those with a Mathematics A Level earn 10% more than those without.
All students studying A Levels must have at least five GCSEs at grade A* - C (grade 9 - 5) in academic subjects, including English Language at grade C (grade 5). Two of these must be B grades (grade 6). Specifically for Mathematics, you will need GCSE Maths at grade B (grade 6) or above and a total GCSE point score of 30 for your best five subjects if you are studying at least one Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics). You will need GCSE Maths at grade A (grade 7) or above, if you are not studying at least one Science.
The three key areas of study are:
Pure Mathematics 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.
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.
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.
Mathematics is assessed through a series of written examinations. There is no coursework involved in assessing mathematics.
Most A Level students go on to study at university. Some have used Mathematics to go directly into the professions.
The study of Mathematics opens the door to many varied professions. Obvious choices would be in the area of Science, Engineering 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
Success Rates on courses for 16-18 year-olds nearly 7% better than national average*