Mathematics

Mathematics at A level is a challenging subject worth pursuing in its own right, but is also a major support subject to many other A levels, particularly the Sciences, Geography and Psychology.

The reason why so many employers highly value mathematics qualifications is because mathematics students become better at thinking logically and analytically. Through solving problems, you develop resilience and are able to think creatively and strategically. The writing of structured solutions, proof and justification of results help you to formulate reasoned arguments and, importantly, you will have excellent numeracy skills and the ability to process and interpret data.

A level Mathematics is an interesting and challenging course which extends the methods you have learned at GCSE and includes important applications of mathematics, such as Statistics and Mechanics.

Course Type

AS and A Level

Entry requirements

  • Level 6 in GCSE Mathematics
  • Recommendation by your Maths teacher

Course breakdown

In Year 12, you will study topics from:

  • Pure Mathematics, including proof, algebra, graphs, sequences, trigonometry, calculus, logarithms and vectors
  • Statistics, including working with data from a sample to make inferences about a population, probability, using the binomial distribution as a model and statistical hypothesis testing
  • Mechanics, including kinematics, working with forces and Newton’s laws

In Year 13, you will build on topics from your first year of study in more detail, in addition to further topics from:

  • Pure Mathematics, such functions, numerical methods and differential equations
  • Statistics, such the Normal Distribution
  • Mechanics, such as motion under gravity, friction and simple moments

How will the course be assessed?

At the time of writing, the specifications for the new A level in Mathematics are being accredited and as such we have yet to make a decision on the examination board we will use, but in general:

At the end of Year 12, you will be entered for the AS level in Mathematics. This will assess the content and skills covered in the first year of study.

  • Exam: Pure Maths and Statistics – 1.5 hours – 50%
  • Exam: Pure Maths and Mechanics – 1.5 hours – 50%

At the end of Year 13, you will be entered for the A level in Mathematics. This will assess the content and skills covered in both years of study.

  • Exam: Pure Maths – 2 hours – 33.3% of A level
  • Exam: Pure Maths and Statistics – 2 hours – 33.3% of A level
  • Exam: Pure Maths and Mechanics – 2 hours – 33.3% of A level

Note that this is a reformed A level. This means that the grades obtained for the AS level do not contribute to the final A level grade.

Where can the course lead?

Maths is a highly regarded subject choice by both universities and employers alike. The skills of logical thought, proof and problem solving have obvious links to the STEM based qualifications but it will also support further study in humanities subjects as well as business. Some possible careers where mathematics plays an important role are; Accountancy, Architecture, Economics, Engineering, ICT, Operational Research and Meteorology.