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Maths: A Level

Course Outline

Mathematics is a means of communication, a tool of analysis and a problem-solving resource every bit as important as language in a technological world. An understanding of mathematics leads to a better understanding of the world around you. It follows that the need for those with mathematical skills are great and a Mathematics A level will support any career choice you make.

 

A-level Maths is a two-year course and will introduce you to a wide range of mathematical theories and topics. You will develop and strengthen your understanding and knowledge of pure maths, mechanics and statistics. Pure maths topics include Surds, Geometry of Circles and Polynomials. You will investigate quadratic curves and equations, discover why tangents are not normal, and be introduced to the most powerful mathematical tool ever – Calculus! Your algebra skills will explore exponential functions, partial fractions and parametric equations of curves. In Statistics, you will study Normal and Binomial distributions, probability and regression. You will collect data to find out if big heads are tall, find out how likely you are to win the lottery and discover what really is normal. Mechanics topics include Kinematics and Vectors. You will learn how to use the Force and never lose momentum. Look out for low-flying projectiles! You will learn how to use a graphical calculator, computer software such as Excel and Autograph and mathematical research to enhance your learning understanding.

Teaching styles
A variety of teaching styles are used, including ICT, practical activities and resources produced by the government’s Department of Education and Skills, which were partly developed and trialled at Regent College. There is, however, no substitute for practice and you will need to put in approximately 5 hours per week in your own time in order to succeed at this level.

 

Assessment

A Level Maths is assessed by examination at the end of the two-year course. There is no coursework element to the course.


Key Features

You will receive support throughout the course in order to help you succeed. The Maths Department has an ‘Open Door’ policy for you to come along and get solutions to tricky questions, or just a bit of mathematical guidance. There are regular workshops and support sessions. Maths students offer peer mentoring to support each other. Help is never far away!

 

Subject combinations

Mathematics goes well with many other subjects, including Accounting, ICT, Business, Statistics, and Psychology.

 

Resources

You will be loaned textbooks for the year, which you can take home and use for practice and revision. You will be expected to purchase and use a graphical calculator. This piece of equipment is particularly vital for the study of statistics. 

 

Progression

Maths is a subject that is particularly valued by employers and university admissions tutors. Students with a qualification in Mathematics are considered to have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, be logical thinkers and well organised. So gaining an AS or A level in Maths will strengthen your application for employment or higher education. A recent study calculated that, while graduates generally can expect to earn £150,000 more over a lifetime than non-graduates, the figure for students with maths and science degrees was £222,000. In a world that relies so much on technology, people who possess a high level of Mathematical knowledge and competence are highly valued. An A level in Mathematics is very highly regarded by Higher Education and employers alike. Some of the areas of employment with a significant mathematical content include: Accounting; Actuarial work; Architecture; Computer Science; Economics; Electronic Data Processing; Engineering (all disciplines); I.T.; Medicine; Operational Research; Sciences; Statistics; Teaching.

 

Provisional entry Requirements
A minimum of five GCSEs at grade A* - C or 4 - 9, including English Language. You will need a GCSE Maths grade B or a 6/7 (7 preferred) or higher to begin this course. However, you will also need an analytical mind and excellent self-study skills.

 

You may also need to pass a test at enrolment to prove your algebra skills.

  

Summary

Level 3 

Two years

Progression – higher education and employment

Exam board – AQA

4 periods a week