WHY SHOULD I STUDY AS/A LEVEL FURTHER MATHEMATICS?
Further Mathematics is an enjoyable, rewarding, challenging and empowering course aimed at students with a significant interest and ability in mathematics. A Level Mathematics must be taken alongside this course, so students in effect take ‘double mathematics’ for at least their first year at College. Students must take two other A Level subjects as well as ‘double mathematics’ in order to preserve breadth in their programme of study (four courses in total). External AS Level Further Mathematics exams are taken at the end of the first year so that successful students achieve a formal qualification at that stage. An informed decision can then be made about progression onto the second year of the course.
Further Mathematics is an excellent preparation for a whole range of degree courses. Subjects such as physics, engineering, computing, economics (and many others) are highly mathematical in nature and demand a deep understanding of the subject. Students with Further Mathematics qualifications are sought after by prestigious universities who recognise a good grade as strong evidence of analytical and problem-solving skills.
For students considering a mathematics degree in particular, Further Mathematics at sixth form will ease the transition to university level study. A number of competitive universities expect A Level Further Mathematics to be studied for mathematics, physics and engineering degree courses – and in a few instances for computing and economics.
The course takes the study of pure mathematics, statistics and mechanics well beyond what is covered in A Level Mathematics to the extent that further mathematicians often come to find the “single” subject straightforward!
Further Mathematics teaching staff at the Sixth Form College are enthusiastic, experienced and highly qualified. The Mathematics Department has its own study area where students congregate, discuss and solve problems together. Staff are readily on hand to assist.
AS COURSE CONTENT
The course is split into three broad topic areas, all of which complement and extend the work studied in the first year of A Level Mathematics:
Pure Mathematics – Students study complex numbers, matrices and vectors as well as developing their understanding of proof and algebraic techniques.
Statistics – Topics covered include hypothesis testing, correlation and regression, discrete random variables, and permutations and combinations.
Mechanics – topics include collisions, circular motion, dimensional analysis and work, energy and power. Mechanics supports topics taught in A Level Physics particularly well.
PROGRESSION FROM AS LEVEL ONTO A LEVEL FURTHER MATHEMATICS IN YEAR 2
All Further Mathematics students will sit the AS Further Mathematics exams at the end of their first year at college. Students who wish to progress to A Level Further Mathematics in year two will be expected to achieve a good grade in their internal A Level Mathematics exam and also a grade C or above in the external AS Level Further Mathematics exam.
The A Level Further Mathematics course in year two develops all three of the strands studied in AS Level Further Mathematics with some topics delivered in more depth and new topics introduced. All are challenging, interesting and relevant to students with a love of mathematics.
AS Further Mathematics is assessed through 3 exam papers taken at the end of the first year. The papers are equally weighted and cover the three main topic areas – pure mathematics, statistics and mechanics.
MINIMUM ENTRY CRITERIA
Standard College entry requirements and a minimum of:
Please note that AS Further Mathematics can only be taken alongside A Level Mathematics and two other A Level (or equivalent) subjects – giving a total of four subjects.
WHAT CAN I DO AFTER STUDYING FURTHER MATHEMATICS WITH A LEVEL MATHEMATICS?
AS Level Further Mathematics is a high-status qualification. Former students have gone on to study a host of degree courses at top universities including mathematics, mechanical engineering, physics, chemistry, economics, electronics, statistics, econometrics, chemical engineering, biology, computing, management science, natural sciences and others.
Students will require a scientific or a graphical calculator. The Casio fx991EX is a calculator with the minimum specification needed to study A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics. The department recommends that Further Mathematics students purchase the Casio CG50.
Extension lessons are also offered to those who wish to attempt university entrance papers (see 4th Academic Subject section)