Entry requirementsA minimum of 2 grade Bs and 4 grade Cs at GCSE including GCSE English Language (grade 4) and a grade B (grade 6) or above in Maths.
What will I study?You will continue to study some topics familiar to you from GCSE, such as algebra and trigonometry, and you will also be introduced to new ones like calculus. Your study of maths will be divided up into two sections, Pure Maths and Applied Maths.
AS and A Level MathsIn all courses you will study Core Maths 1 and 2, both Pure Maths units, and an applied unit which will depend on the type of Maths AS Level you choose. This choice will be from M1 (Mechanics), D1 (Decision Maths) or S1 (Statistics).
You will be expected to choose from the following options:
Maths (Pure and Decision)
Decision Maths is unfamiliar and new, it involves problem-solving and does not depend on other knowledge. You will use rules (called algorithms) to solve certain types of realistic problems. Typical problems are to do with:
Networks: Find the fastest/cheapest route from London to Aberdeen or find the shortest way to connect a set of places with a cable.
Critical Path analysis: Work out the most efficient way to plan building a house; what has to be done first, what can be done simultaneously etc. This is suitable for students also taking Business or Economics.
Maths (Pure and Mechanics)
Mechanics overlaps with Physics; it involves velocity, acceleration and energy. You apply maths to predict the way in which objects behave if you apply forces to them. It depends more on algebra and other pure maths than Decision or Statistics do. Most students taking Physics will take this option.
Maths (Pure and Statistics)
To start with, Statistics covers material that is already familiar from GCSE together with some new aspects of probability. You will apply maths to practical situations in which chance plays a role. This route gradually becomes more mathematical, especially in year two, when you deal with a variety of probability distributions relating more to real life. This option is suitable for students also studying Psychology, Biology, Social Sciences or Business/Economics.
The full A Level Maths qualification will be completed by taking Core Maths 3 and 4 and one more applied unit. This applied unit will probably follow on directly from your AS Level applied unit, but there will be a chance for some flexibility at this stage.
If you require any further information about the options available, please contact the College Maths department.
AS and A Level Further MathsIf your interest in maths is deep and you wish to study it or a related subject (such as engineering) further, you can choose to take a double option in AS Level Maths plus AS Further Maths (three extra units).
In this case there is no need to choose the type of AS Maths because you will study all options.
For A Level Further Maths you will do all of the above as well as at least three more options.
How will I be assessed?
Each unit is assessed by an exam of one and a half hours. One Maths A Level unit and one Further Maths A Level unit contain a coursework component, which is 20 per cent of the assessment of that unit. Examinations take place in May/June each year.
In addition to the above, there will be informal support available for students sitting extra units as well as STEP or AEA (for university entrance) at the end of their course.