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Further Mathematics AS/A Level at Alton College

Course description

To set the World Record, a team set off early one morning at the end of the Piccadilly line at Heathrow.  They must visit all the tube stations in London in less than 16 hours to claim their prize.  What route should they take?

We created negative numbers, fractions and surds to solve equations such as x + 3 = 0, 3x – 2 = 0 and x2 – 3 = 0, but what if you want to solve x2 + 4 = 0?

The Canadian lynx feeds almost exclusively on the snowshoed hare.  As the lynx eat hares, the hare population goes down; but then the lynx run out of food, so their population decreases, which means less hares get eaten, etc.  Can you model how the population of one affects the population of the other?

You probably know that the volume of a sphere is .  But can you prove it? 

And how are computer animation films made?

Further Maths will allow you to answer these and many other questions!


Course content

At time of going to press, the exam boards have not published the final specifications so we do not know the exact make-up of the course.  However, the Further Maths course will consist of a mixture of Pure Maths, Mechanics, Statistics and Decision Maths, with probably a number of options.  The options that are taught will likely depend on the preferences of all the students. 

We encourage all Further Mathematicians to do the Senior Maths Challenge each year.  Our students do very well, gaining many more gold, silver and bronze awards than the national average.  There is an opportunity for gifted students to extend their mathematics even further by studying additional options, to prepare for MAT and STEP (the Oxford and Cambridge Maths entrance exams) in their second year or to do an Extended Project on a mathematical topic, such as the mysteries of e.  Our very best students participate in the Senior Team Maths Challenge.  We hope to continue our regular success in this competition, by winning the regional and national finals again.

Entry requirements


Whilst you must have an average GCSE score of at least 5.5 to do A-levels, past experience suggests that students with better GCSE grades are more likely to get good results.

For A-level Further Maths you must have at least a grade 7 (preferably grade 8 or 9) in GCSE Maths (at the higher tier).  You must also do A-level Maths and like Maths lots.


Financial information

Students will be expected to provide their own stationery and textbooks.  All students must also have a scientific calculator with natural display that can calculate Binomial & Normal probabilities and work with matrices.  The best option will be the Casio FX-991EX (around £20), but it isn’t available in the UK yet.  Some students also buy a graphics calculator, such as the Casio FX-9750GII (around £60).  In addition, all students must purchase both the A-level Maths and A-level Further Maths Student Course Materials via the college’s Online Store.  They will be about £5 each and will include interactive ICT resources, Senior Maths Challenge entry 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

Mathematics is highly valued in a very wide range of careers and professions as it provides good evidence of the ability to think clearly and logically.  It is accepted almost everywhere as a good entry qualification for practically every subject at degree level.  It is usually a requirement for anyone interested in Physics, Engineering, Statistics, Computing, Economics and other scientific and business related careers.

By also studying Further Maths, the extra depth and breadth of modules you study will give better preparation for degrees in Mathematics, Engineering or Physics.  Studying Further Mathematics is seen as an indication of high academic aptitude which is often essential when making applications to certain courses and universities.  It is also considered to be a facilitating subject by the Russell Group of universities.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 05 August 2016

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