Mathematics

Jenny Wilson
Jenny Wilson

WHAT IS MATHEMATICS?

Mathematics explores areas of pure mathematics such as geometry, algebra and trigonometry. It also deepens your knowledge of statistics and probability, considering the application of these in real life, including learning how to use and analyse a real-world large data set. Mechanics is a new topic to most students, this is the study of how things move and interact with each other.

WHY STUDY THIS COURSE?

Employers in all sectors highly value a candidate who can offer mathematical ability. Research has shown those with a mathematics A level, on average, have higher salaries than those without! Mathematics shows logic, reasoning and a high level of numeracy, and serves to support many other courses. This offers the opportunity to continue improving your numerical skills and learn a great deal beyond your GCSE course.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM MATHEMATICS?

As well as building on topics you have studied at school, there are new branches of mathematics to explore, including calculus – differentiation and integration, exponentials and logarithms and vectors. As well as these pure topics, the applied section including statistics and mechanics is also new to the majority of students, taught from real life examples and interpreted back into the real world; you will develop your analytical and problem-solving skills.

HOW IS THE COURSE ASSESSED?

There are three exams at the end of the second year of study. Two of these are on pure mathematics (worth 100 marks each) and the third consists of two papers, one statistics and one mechanics, These are sat at the same time and are worth 50 marks each.

WHO IS THE COURSE SUITABLE FOR?

If you enjoy learning about mathematical concepts and new methods of problem solving, and have a strong mathematical ability then A level mathematics is for you! Mathematics is for anyone who is keen to keep up their strong numeracy and algebra skills and is a good combination with any other subjects.

WHAT CAN I DO WITH AN A LEVEL IN MATHEMATICS?

Mathematics A level supports almost all career pathways – from careers in medicine, engineering, data analysis, economics, computer programming, sciences and business to name a few. It is highly regarded by employers and universities and is a sought-after qualification.

WHAT WILL I STUDY?

In Year 1, you will be taught modules Core 1, Core 2 and Decision 1. These build upon knowledge learnt on the Higher GCSE paper, and extend your algebra skills. The core maths topics covered include sequences, coordinate geometry, circles, and trigonometry and also less familiar topics are taught such as differentiation integration and binomial expansions. All have a high algebra content but with practice become much easier! The Decision Maths module covers problems of logistics, using algorithms to solve problems such as efficient route planning or maximising profits.

In year 2, you will be taught modules Core 3, Core 4 and Statistics 1. The core maths modules extend knowledge learnt in year 1 and covers topics such as partial fractions, functions, vectors and differential equations. The Statistics module introduces students to basic and conditional probability, correlation, the Normal Distribution and using confidence intervals amongst other topics. The statistics course is complementary to many subjects including science, psychology and geography.

ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES WITHIN THIS SUBJECT

The UK Senior Maths Challenge is entered every year by a number of our Maths students, and a team represents the North West at a local competition. The Southampton Cipher challenge is also encouraged, and trips to visit universities and other career related fields are also taken. The CREST programme is on offer to those students who are part of the Science and Maths Honours programme.

Entry Requirements

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 4 – 9, across four separate subjects, to include GCSE Mathematics and/or English/English Language.
  • In addition, a grade 6 or above is required in GCSE Mathematics.