Hartlepool Sixth Form College

Mathematics

AS / A2 Mathematics

To study a course in AS Mathematics, you need to have at least a grade 6 (grade 7 advised) in GCSE Mathematics and have a good knowledge of higher tier GCSE.

There are three overarching themes in A Level Mathematics:

  • Mathematical argument, language and proof
  • Mathematical problem solving
  • Mathematical modelling

The branches of Mathematics that you will study are:

  • Pure Mathematics: this is the bulk of the course and builds on your knowledge from GCSE and some topics will already be familiar such as algebra, trigonometry, and geometry. You will need to have an excellent grasp of algebraic techniques for success in these questions.
  • Statistics: this will involve analysing a large data set which you will study in lessons in the lead up to the exam
  • Mechanics: similar to Physics, the mechanics element of the course applies mathematics to real life objects and the forces applied to them.   Mathematics students need to have a real passion for the subject and be keen to do at least four hours per week independent study outside of the classroom. If you are good at Mathematics; why not consider studying Further Mathematics? If you choose to study Further Mathematics, you will cover all of the content mentioned above as well as some additional topics, developing your understanding of these branches of Mathematics further.

Assessment

Written Paper: 3 x 2 hours papers (100 marks each) at the end of your second year.

Weighting: 33 1/3% of total A Level marks

  • Pure Mathematics
  • Pure Mathematics and Statistics
  • Pure Mathematics and Mechanics

Progression

Mathematics is a requirement on most Science courses, but an A level in Mathematics could lead to the study of the following at University:

  • Mathematics (Some universities also require Further * Mathematics)
  • Engineering (Maths is a requirement for all types)
  • Economics
  • Business Studies
  • Accounting

A degree in Mathematics can lead to a career in almost any sector, except those that require specific training e.g. medicine with popular career choices being:

  • Statistician
  • Accountant
  • Actuary
  • Operational research

Student Profiles

“I was naturally good at maths so it seemed obvious to carry on studying to A level. However the main factor behind my choice was that I enjoyed it, so much so that I chose to take on Further Maths as another A Level.”

“I enjoy maths because of the problem solving aspect to the subject, a key factor of Maths at A level. HSFC also gave me the opportunity to take part in the Senior Maths Challenge. After obtaining a Silver award I was asked to take part in the Senior Team Maths Challenge (STMC), where three other students and I competed against 16 other colleges. This competition required a range of skills such as strategy, communication, teamwork and especially problem solving. Even though the problems were difficult, I hugely enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone interested in taking part.”

“In the future I am going to continue to study Maths and Further Maths to A2 level and probably to degree level. Taking maths at Brinkburn was a very good decision for me; it has given me the opportunity to take part in a range of events and the satisfaction of finding the solution to a difficult problem makes Maths much more enjoyable than at GCSE”

AS / A2 Further Mathematics

If you enjoy Mathematics you should consider studying both A level Mathematics and A level Further Mathematics. To study a course in Further Mathematics, you need to have at least a grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics and have an excellent knowledge of higher tier GCSE. To study Further Mathematics you must also study Mathematics as some of the course content is dependent on what you would study in the Mathematics A level. In addition to the modules you study in A Level Mathematics you will have the opportunity to study some topics you met at GCSE in more depth and meet some new topics including Complex Numbers and Matrices.

Assessment:

You will be assessed at the end of the two years (although some students may want to sit AS Further Maths only in which case they would do AS exams at the end of Year 12). All exams are 90 minutes long and 75 marks each.

  • Pure Core 1
  • Pure Core 2

then two of:

  • Statistics
  • Mechanics
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Additional Pure Mathematics

Progression

Further Mathematics is particularly useful for students who wish to follow careers in Mathematics or Engineering. Some of the top universities will require you to study Further Mathematics as a condition to a place on their course. Many students take AS Further Maths as a one year course only to complement their A Level study programme, usually alongside Mathematics and other Science A Levels. This is an attractive qualification have on any application.