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Mathematical Studies (Core Maths) - AQA Certificate at Alton College

Course description

As the name suggests, this course is all about the study of Maths.  But what makes it different to A-level Maths is that everything you learn will be with the aim of using your mathematical skills and knowledge in real-life practical situations.

How much income tax and national insurance will you pay if you earn £30,000 a year?  How long will it take for you to pay off a mortgage or your university student loan?

Knowing the air temperature at different heights up a mountain, can you predict the temperature at the top?

How far will a London tube train travel every year?  How many baked beans will it take to fill a classroom?  How much air do you breathe every day?  How many mobile phone texts are sent every day in the UK?

If you know the average and standard deviation of head circumferences of new-born babies, what percentage of new-born babies will have a head circumference more than 36cm?

Mathematical Studies will allow you to answer these and many other questions!

Course content

You will learn all about the Maths behind personal finance, including tax, loans, savings accounts, APR, AER and inflation.  You will also learn about correlation and regression, techniques used to see whether two variables are linked and predicting one value if you know the other.

Fermi estimations are all about making fast and rough estimates of values that are either difficult or impossible to measure directly.  (Imagine actually trying to fill a classroom with baked beans!)

The Normal distribution is present in very many different quantities, from heights of people to the lengths of leaves on a tree.  It is also used by manufacturers to ensure that they don’t undersell tins of baked beans by making sure there isn’t significantly less than 400g in each tin.

You will also improve your skills with percentages, averages and sampling; and use spreadsheets to help you analyse data.  In addition, you will learn how to critically review data and statistical diagrams used in the media.

Entry requirements

Past experience suggests that students with better GCSE grades are more likely to get good results.

For the Level 3 Certificate in Mathematical Studies (Core Maths) you must have at least a grade 5 in GCSE Maths (in the Higher tier).

Financial information

All students will be expected to provide their own stationery and textbook (around £25).  All students should also have a scientific calculator with natural display.  We recommend the Casio FX-991ES PLUS (around £15) which has many features useful for Mathematical Studies.  In addition, all students should purchase the Mathematical Studies Student Course Materials via the college’s Online Store.  This will include interactive ICT resources as well as numerous hand-outs, worksheets and exercise books to write your notes in.

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.

Future opportunities

Good mathematical skills are highly valued in practically every career and professions as it provides good evidence of the ability to think clearly and logically.  This course will enable you to extend your Maths skills beyond GCSE level in a practical way that will be helpful in your future life and career.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Alton College directly.

Last updated date: 10 August 2016

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