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Mathematics AS & A Level at Durham Sixth Form Centre

Course description

The course comprises four compulsory modules in Core Mathematics and a further two modules in Applied Mathematics. The topics in Core Mathematics are a mixture of the familiar and unfamiliar. There is plenty of algebra including quadratic and simultaneous equations together with trigonometry, coordinate geometry and graphs.

What does Mathematics mean to you?

Is it the study of patterns? Or is it a way of making new relationships between ideas such as graphs and algebra? Do you see Mathematics as a human activity that forms part of our culture? Perhaps it is a way of illuminating the relationships we see in the world around us?

The skills developed through the study of Mathematics are in high demand from employers. In addition to developing the ability to solve problems and think logically, the study of Mathematics provides opportunities to develop team-working skills, resilience, effective communication of complex ideas and the ability to use your own initiative.

Course content

At AS, units Core 1 and Core 2 include familiar topics such as Algebra and Functions, and Co-ordinate Geometry. New topics include Sequences and Series, a wider view of Trigonometry, and Differentiation and Integration together known as Calculus.

At A2, units Core 3 and Core 4 build on the AS Core units and add new topics such as Numerical Methods and an extension of Vectors which you may be familiar with from GCSE.

In addition to the core techniques you will study one application unit for AS and one for A2. There are 3 areas of application:

  • Decision Mathematics has links to the basics of computing and to business and involves the use of algorithms, which are sets of instructions used to solve a problem. It also includes Critical Path Analysis which is used within business to plan projects.
  • Mechanics is the Mathematics used to study the physical world, modelling motion of objects and the forces acting on them. This includes moments, where the turning effect of a force is considered.
  • Statistics involves data presentation and probability, both of which follow on from topics at GCSE. This leads to the study of statistical distributions with special properties such as the Normal Distribution.

Entry requirements

There are a range of courses and pathways available to you at Durham Sixth Form Centre depending on your GCSE results and academic profile. In order to enrol with us as a student, you must have the minimum of 5 A*-C GCSE grades (or equivalent). In addition, individual subjects have specific entry requirements, which will be discussed with you during the application and enrolment process. Students who do not achieve a grade C or above (or numerical equivalent) in GCSE English and/or mathematics will be required to continue studying these subjects at Durham Sixth Form Centre.

If you do not meet our entry requirements but are still keen to study at Durham Sixth Form Centre, please contact us to discuss your options.


All six modules are assessed by final examinations, three in year 12 and three in Year 13.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Durham Sixth Form Centre directly.

Last updated date: 13 January 2017
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Key information


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    • Durham Sixth Form Centre is located in Durham City Centre next to Gala Square and Freeman’s Quay. We are a couple of minutes walk from both the bus station and the railway station. Our students enjoy having all of the city centre facilities, shops, restaurants, the city library, cinema and theatre on our doorstep. In the city itself, students find a host of lively cultural, social and educational advantages and facilities. The galleries, exhibitions, museums and book shops all play their part in enriching the student experience. A large public car-park is directly opposite and adjacent to Durham Sixth Form Centre’s main entrance.