Hartlepool Sixth Form College

Mathematics

AS / A2 Mathematics

Hartlepool Sixth Form College offers a choice of courses in Mathematics at AS and A-level to best suit the needs of the subjects you are studying and your interests in Mathematics. To study a course in AS Mathematics, you need to have at least a grade B (grade A advised) in GCSE Mathematics and have a good knowledge of higher tier GCSE.

In your first year of study you will study AS Mathematics. You will take three modules, comprising of two core modules and one applied module.

The core modules take what you have learnt at GCSE and extend it a little further, together with introducing topics which will be new to you. Topics covered in core mathematics include algebra, trigonometry, geometry and calculus to give you a good foundation in the four main areas of Mathematics.

In your second year, you will take another two compulsory core modules building upon the work you have covered at AS Level as well as a further applied module.

The applied modules that you will study are

  • Probability and Statistics which is about the understanding, analysis and interpretation of data.

  • Decision Mathematics looks at the analysis of networks using algorithms. This module is particularly useful for students studying Business and Computing.

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 applied modules mentioned above as well as some extra modules in Mechanics and Statistics, developing your understanding of these branches of Mathematics further.

Assessment

AS:

Written Paper: 3 x 1 hour 30 minute papers (72 marks)

Weighting: 33 1/3% of total AS marks/ 16 2/3% of total A Level marks

  • Core 1 Exam
  • Core 2 Exam
  • Probability & Statistics 1 Exam

A2:

Written Paper: 3 x 1 hour 30 minute papers (72 marks each)

Weighting: 33 1/3% of total AS marks/ 16 2/3% of total A Level marks

  • Core 3 Exam
  • Core 4 Exam
  • Decision Mathematics 1 Exam

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 Use of Mathematics

At AS level, students will study three modules. The first of which, Algebra, is a continuation of GCSE algebra, but with the use of a graphical calculator for support and an element of real-life interpretation.

Decision Mathematics is a popular module with students, and looks at different algorithms to solve problems such as finding the shortest path and organising tasks of a project. Data Analysis is an extremely useful module and focuses on representing and interpreting real-life data.

The A2 Use of Mathematics course includes a coursework element, where students can apply the Mathematics they learned at AS to a real life scenario of their choice. There is also a module on Calculus, which looks at more sophisticated methods of solving real life problems than at AS.

The final module is called ‘Mathematical Comprehension’ where students study pre-release material on a common real-life topic in preparation for the exam, which tests AS and A2 knowledge and understanding.

Progression

A level Use of Mathematics carries the same UCAS points as the traditional A level Mathematics. Universities will accept the Use of Mathematics A level as part of a grade offer (depending on the course you choose). It is particularly suitable to support other subjects (Business Studies, Biology, Psychology etc).

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 AS Further Mathematics, you need to have at least a grade A 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.

Like Mathematics, in Further Mathematics you study 3 modules for the AS and 3 more for the A2 course (total 6 modules).

In addition to the modules you study in GCE 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. You will study Mechanics, Statistics and Decision mathematics as well as pure mathematics.

Assessment:

Written Paper: 3 x 1 hour 30 minutes (72 marks)

Weighting: 33 1/3% of total AS marks/ 16 2/3% of total A Level marks

Short answer questions and extended responses based on a mini case study. Each exam consists of approximately 9 compulsory, multi-part problem solving questions.

  • Further Pure 1 Exam
  • Mechanics 1 Exam
  • Decision 2 Exam

A2: Written Paper: 3 x 1 hour 30 minutes Papers (72 marks each)

Weighting: 33 1/3% of total AS marks/ 16 2/3% of total A Level marks

Each exam consists of approximately 9 compulsory, multi-part problem solving questions.

  • Further Pure 2 Exam
  • Further Pure 3 Exam
  • Statistics 2 Exam

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.