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Mathematics and Further Mathematics A-Level at Ranelagh School

Course description

Students wishing to embark on a Mathematics course in the sixth form should primarily do so because they have an interest in the subject. It is an interesting and challenging course that builds upon many aspects of GCSE study. It is a useful support for other subjects, such as the Sciences or Geography, but it does require a great deal of commitment and a willingness to work independently of the teacher, and this is difficult to achieve without having interest in the work being covered. In order to be successful on a Mathematics course in the sixth form, you should gain a high grade at GCSE in Mathematics, and have a good understanding of algebra.

Over the duration of the course students will use and apply the skills learnt on mathematical problems where mechanics or statistics interact with pure mathematics. There will be opportunities to model using pure and applied mathematics. Students will be encouraged to use technology as a way of understanding and applying mathematics; in particular they will be introduced to a large data set for the purposes of analysing and using statistics. All students will study pure mathematics, statistics and mechanics.This is a two year course and students will take three examinations at the end of the course. As the examination specifications have not yet been accredited, the most likely assessment methods are outlined below.

Students studying Mathematics learn to take increasing responsibility for their own learning and the evaluation of their own mathematical development. They learn how to reason logically and understand mathematical processes in a way that promotes confidence and fosters enjoyment. Students learn to work steadily, to present solutions clearly and concisely, and to extend their own thinking within a logical framework. Persistence is necessary, as harder problems will often require several visitations before a way in is identified.

Course content

Students studying Further Mathematics will cover all of the content from Mathematics A level, additional content and one of three optional routes. As the specifications have not been accredited, the assessment overview below is an example and may not be what is finally offered.


Paper 1

  • Proof
  • Complex numbers
  • Matrices
  • Further algebra and functions
  • Further calculus
  • Further vectors
  • Polar co-ordinates
  • Hyperbolic functions
  • Differential equations
  • Trigonometry
  • Numerical methods
  • Co-ordinate geometry

Paper 2 - same content as paper 1

Paper 3 - students will follow one of 3 optional routes

  • Discrete mathematics and statistics
  • Statistics and mechanics
  • Mechanics and discrete mathematics

Entry requirements

Prospective students are expected to achieve grade 7 (however, a 8 would be a better starting point as the course is extremely challenging) or above in GCSE Mathematics.


Paper 1 - 33% of A level - written exam 2 hrs

Paper 2 - 33% of A level - written exam 2 hrs

Paper 3 - 33% of A level - written exam 2 hrs

Future opportunities

A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics are highly regarded by employers and universities, precisely because of the demands they make and the skills they develop. For any degree with a numerate component, Mathematics is highly valued and it is very useful for progression onto a range of university courses including Engineering, Architecture, Medicine and Law.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ranelagh School directly.

Last updated date: 04 January 2017

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