What will I study?
AS students take three modules: two Pure Mathematics modules (C1, C2); and a Statistics or Mechanics module.
Pure Mathematics consists of Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus, Coordinate Geometry and Sequences. With the exception of Calculus (a new topic with many applications) these are a continuation of GCSE work to a higher standard and provide an interesting, valuable and challenging course.
Mechanics is a study of the effect of forces on objects and the way in which objects move. It has been one of the classical applications of Mathematics since the time of Newton. It is mainly concerned with predicting the motion of an object or deciding the circumstances under which a structure will remain stationary and not collapse.
Statistics consists of analysing and summarising numerical data in order to test hypotheses. It is increasingly difficult these days to find areas of study in which statistics is not used, so a proper understanding is a great advantage. Whatever the student's final career - from business to archaeology and beyond - the course provides an excellent foundation to statistical concepts.
A2 students take three modules: two Pure Mathematics modules (C3, C4) and a Statistics or Mechanics module.
Internal assessment is by regular homework and common tests.
How will I be assessed?
AS candidates take C1 in January and their other two modules at the end of Year 12.
Core Mathematics; Mechanics 1 or Statistics 1 are taken at the end of Year 12. All papers are of 1½ hrs duration and each is worth 331/3% for AS only (but 162/3% if continuing to A2).
A2 Level. Core Mathematics 3 is taken in January; Core Mathematics 4, Mechanics 2 or Statistics 2 are taken at the end of Year 13, each component worth 162/3% and examination duration of 1½ hrs per module.
This subject requires determination and commitment; good results cannot be achieved without hard work, coupled with a reasonable amount of natural ability. Co-operation between individual students and the experienced teaching staff is encouraged and is essential for success at a high level. Motivation is important, and will be best exemplified by a grade B or above at GCSE.
Where will it lead?
For Mathematics as a university subject, students should look very carefully at university department websites: there are some which have a strong preference for physics A-level as an entry requirement.
Mathematics is a very valuable support subject to many courses at advanced level and degree level, especially in the sciences. It is an essential additional A-level qualification for entry to a wide variety of full time courses in Higher Education. These include Engineering, Pure Science, Economics, Medicine, Architecture and Computing.
Mathematics graduates are in demand and find employment in a variety of careers. These include Research, Actuarial Studies, Accountancy, Marketing, Operational Research, Computing and Teaching.