COURSE CONTENT AND AIMS
“How fast was Usain Bolt travelling at the moment he broke the 100m record?” “Why does the mysterious yet beautiful Golden Ratio appear so frequently in nature?” “Is it worth playing the national lottery?” Questions such as these can be investigated thanks to the imaginations of inquisitive minds throughout centuries. As well as being arguably an art form in its own right, Mathematics equips us with the tools to explore the world around us and enables us to use problem-solving skills to streamline our modern technological lifestyle. Number theory, for example, and the study of prime numbers, although an endeavour from antiquity, serves as the basis of modern cryptography, which helps to secure your financial transactions and keeps the country safe from cyber-threats.
On our A level Mathematics course, you will learn much of the foundational theory behind principal areas of the subject. In the Pure Mathematics module, this will include algebra, trigonometry, calculus and geometry. A focus on modelling in the new Edexcel specification allows you to explore these concepts in a practical context, allowing you to see how, for example, functions can be used in manufacturing to maximise profit or minimise waste. You will also develop your skills in investigating mathematical patterns in certain phenomena, and presenting rigorous mathematical arguments in their favour.
The Applied Mathematics aspect of the course consists of two parts. In the Statistics module, you will see how probability theory can be used to make educated predictions about future events, and how hypothesis testing can be used to improve industry standards. The Mechanics module, which has a focus on using mathematical modelling to describe objects in motion, has great utility in conjunction with a Physics A level. It is also suitable for students wishing to pursue a Higher Education course in Engineering or a related subject.
Mathematical ability is very highly regarded by both universities and employers.
An A level in Maths is essential for many degree courses (such as physics, engineering and, of course, mathematics itself) and is highly desirable in a wide range of subjects such as chemistry, natural sciences, architecture, computing and economics.
There is a national shortage of mathematicians, and employment prospects are good.
This course will be assessed over three papers, each representing one third of the overall grade, all of which have to be sat in the same academic year.
Papers 1 and 2: (Pure Mathematics 1 and 2) will assess proof, algebra and functions, coordinate geometry, sequences and series, trigonometry, exponentials and logarithms, calculus, vectors and numerical methods.
Paper 3: (Statistics and Mechanics) is in two sections. In the Statistics section students will be assessed on statistical sampling, data presentation and interpretation, probability, statistical distribution and hypothesis testing. In the Mechanics section students will be assessed on quantities and units in mechanics, kinematics, forces and Newton’s laws and moments.
For admission to A level Mathematics, our usual minimum requirements are:
- Students wishing to study Science or Maths at A level will need to achieve a grade 7.