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Mathematics A level **FEES PAYABLE** at Blackheath High School

Course description

Mathematics describes the underlying structures of the world around us.  It is used to model and solve problems in almost every area of society: from population dynamics in biology; projectile motion in physics and rates of reaction in chemistry; to financial models in economics and statistical analysis in social sciences such as geography and psychology.  Mathematics therefore makes a great combination with almost any choice of subjects.

Mathematics is both a worthwhile subject in itself and a subject greatly valued beyond school.  While it has a reputation for being difficult, it also has considerable market value.  It has even been suggested that students with A level mathematics qualifications can expect to command higher salaries (10% on average) than their peers!  As well as being very important for careers involving a scientific background such as engineering, medicine, veterinary sciences and biological sciences, mathematics is also highly desirable in such varied career routes as business and economics, sociology, psychology and geography.

Course content

In year 12, students follow the Edexcel AS-level course which consists of two compulsory modules in pure mathematics (core 1 and core 2) and a third module in applied mathematics (statistics 1 or decision 1 are usually offered).  Core 1, core 2 and statistics 1/decision 1 modules are all examined in the summer of year 12

Pure mathematics is largely algebraic in nature.  It extends pupils' knowledge of methods and techniques for solving equations and investigating graphs.  Calculus is introduced in Core 1

The statistics 1 module involves techniques for analysing and enterpreting numerical data, calculating probabilities and using statistical models such as the Normal distribution to test hypotheses.

The Decision 1 module introduces a new branch of mathematics not touched upon at GCSE.  Topics covered in this module include algorithms, networks and optimisation problems.  These types of problems have wide-ranging applications in the business world for example in computing, communications and project management.

In year 13, the A2 level course follows a similar pattern of two compulsory modules in pure mathematics (core 3 and core 4) and a third module in applied mathematics (Decision 1 or Mechanics 1 are usually offered).  All three modules are examined in the summer.

The core 3 and core 4 modules introduce more advanced techniques of differentiation and integration.  in core 4, students learn how to set up and solve first order differential equations and model 2D space using vectors.

In mechanics 1 students learn about forces, energy and motion.  There is some overlap between these modules and the Physics modules ' forces and motion' and 'forces, fields and energy'.

Entry requirements

The entrance requirement to study Mathematics as AS level is an A grade at GCSE Mathematics. 

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 26 August 2016

Key information

  • Start date: Next September