LEVEL: A LEVEL
EXAMINING BOARD: AQA
TYPE OF STUDY: FULL-TIME, SIXTH FORM
Despite the stigma surrounding the subject, I would say that Further Maths is the most fun lesson of my day, my teacher always manages to bring out the most interesting aspects of any topic, whilst also combining them with some comedy, and I have met a terrific group of like-minded people.
Caitlin-Ann Shortland, Further Maths student
This course is aimed at exceptionally strong students whose main interest is in Mathematics. It is well suited to students who will be amongst the very best in their current school with a real passion for studying abstract ideas and solving complex problems – the harder the better! Students who choose this course regularly know more about this vast subject, enjoying it for its own sake.
You can expect to meet many new concepts and methods very quickly. This is achieved through doubling the normal number of lessons each week, and at least doubling the amount of self-study. In all you should expect to spend about 18 hours or more each week studying Maths. The problems set will often be searching, and you will need to be able to explain or justify your solutions with the utmost rigour.
The course can be taken alongside any two A Levels in different subjects.
Further Maths students usually (but not always) progress to degrees or careers in Science and Technology.
At present, the first year is spent completing the A Level Mathematics course. In the second year, all of the areas met on the Mathematics course are developed, alongside introductions to new topics.
In Pure Maths, these include:
- Complex Numbers
- Hyperbolic Functions
- Second Order Differential Equations
- Polar Coordinates
- Proof by Induction
In Mechanics students will study:
- Circular Motion
- Work, Energy and Power
- Elastic Strings
Statistics topics include:
- Continuous Random Variables
- Hypothesis Testing for Association
- Confidence Intervals
Level 3 standard entry requirements: 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above including English Language or Literature.
Minimum Mathematics grade 7 (A* for IGCSE) although 8 is advisable.
Further Mathematics should be studied alongside two other A Levels or Vocational Extended Certificates.
What is the difference between Mathematics and Further Mathematics?
The Further Mathematics course is actually a TWO A Level course, with twice as many lessons (and twice the self-study) earning you two A Levels. Further Maths students complete all of the A Level Mathematics course as well as studying another A Level of Mathematics.
Do I have to do Further Maths to study Maths or Physics at university?
No, not at most universities. Only a small number would probably insist upon it – even most Russell Group universities do not require it for Maths of Physics, but some may give a very slightly lower offer for Maths or Physics if you have taken Further Maths as one of your A Levels.
Do I take A Level Mathematics after one year?
Although we currently complete most or even all of the content of A Level Maths in the lower sixth year, we do not enter students for the public exam until the end of the second year when students are likely to do even better.
Do I need a new calculator?
You will eventually need at least an Advanced Scientific Calculator, but there is no need to purchase one for the start of the course. We will advise on some suitable models towards the end of the first term.
I enjoy this subject as it lets me get a further understanding on some topics not fully covered in the normal Maths specification as well as learning some new very interesting topics such as complex numbers. The teaching in this lesson is very good as they challenge me both logically and mathematically and I thoroughly enjoy each lesson. After College I plan to go to university to study either Maths, Computer Science or both and I think taking Further Maths will really help with this.
Edwin Mears, Further Maths student