Mathematics is studied as a part of a full time A Level Study Programme.
In your study of maths you develop skills in analysing and interpreting data, finding patterns and drawing conclusions. You’ll learn to approach problems in an analytical and rigorous way, formulating theories and applying them to solve problems. Maths in many ways establishes in you an ability to deal with abstract concepts.
Employers place a high value on these skills so there is significant demand for mathematicians and statisticians. Our mathematicians have pursued careers in the petroleum and nuclear industries, in medicine, and engineering. Mathematicians are also in high demand in well paid sectors such as pharmaceuticals, insurance, market research, banking and accountancy.
What does Mathematics A Level involve?
Mathematics involves the evolution of theory to devise techniques to solve numerical problems. The subject is correctly seen as subtle, challenging and rewarding. At AS and A Level the subject is split into pure and applied mathematics modules. All courses require you to study Pure (C) components. There are also applied mathematics modules covering Statistics (S) and Mechanics (M) and Decision (D) units
Pure Mathematics © includes topics already met at GCSE level such as trigonometry, geometry and algebra. These topics are taken to a more advanced level and the discipline of calculus is also introduced.
Mechanics (M) consists of topics perhaps previously associated more with Physics than with Mathematics. Students learn about forces, motion, and static equilibrium.
Statistics (S) is a study of the collection, organisation, presentation, and analysis of data from real life problems. The aim is to model for future outcomes using probability theory. Those students wishing to study the Statistics (S2) will learn about statistical decision making through hypothesis tests.
Decision (D) maths is a collection of tools that many non-mathematicians use to solve problems. This is a unit which many students do particularly well on.
We have had great success in delivering the Edexcel specification. For students starting in 2016 the A level structure is retained with AS being examined at the end of year 12 and A2 being examined at the end of year 13.
AS Mathematicians in Y12 are grounded in the core disciplines of: Probability, Statistics, Algebra and Trigonometry. Calculus is also introduced and this is further explored later in the course. Calculus is particularly useful in the physical sciences, so AS Maths is a very useful adjunct to any of the pure sciences. Units C1, C2 and S1 are examined in the summer.
A2 Mathematicians in Y13 pursue the core disciplines further but add to this the application of the subject to real life logistical problems in Decision and Discrete Maths. Units C3, C4 and D1 are examined in the summer.
Who does the subject suit?
Mathematics is a useful subject in supporting studies in the Sciences, Social Sciences, Geography, and Computing. Indeed, it can also be studied for its own sake. It is fun to master sophisticated techniques and the skills acquired in logical thinking can be applied across a broad selection of academic disciplines. If you enjoy problem solving, are good at algebra and have at least an A grade in GCSE Mathematics (or an overseas equivalent) then AS/A Level Mathematics could be for you.
Those students who have gained an AS in Mathematics at another school and are looking for a change, can apply to join us for the second year to complete their A Level in mathematics.
Further Mathematics is aimed at students who have exceptional mathematical ability (A* at GCSE or an overseas equivalent). Again those students who have completed A Level Mathematics and have at least a B grade pass can apply to join the second year of the Further Mathematics course.
What can I do with my Mathematics qualification?
Both universities and employers hold an A Level qualification in Mathematics in high regard. With the appropriate combination of other AS and A Levels, A Level Mathematics can lead to a wide variety of options when choosing higher education courses. Typical examples include Medicine, Engineering, Law, Business, Social and Political sciences, Natural sciences, and of course Mathematics itself. Similarly the employment opportunities are equally diverse.
Further Mathematics is strongly recommended for those students who wish to apply to those universities listed in the 'top ten' for such subjects as Engineering, Economics, or Mathematics.