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Mathematics - AS / A level at King Edward VI CEVC Upper School

Course description

Core mathematics

When studying core mathematics at AS and A-level you will be extending your knowledge of such topics as algebra and trigonometry as well as learning some brand new ideas such ascalculus. If you enjoyed the challenge of problem solving at GCSE and using mathematical techniques then you should find the prospect of this course very appealing. Although many of the ideas you will meet in core mathematics are interesting in their own right, they also serve as an important foundation for other branches of mathematics, especially mechanics and statistics.


When you study mechanics you will learn how to describe mathematically the motion of objects and how they respond to forces acting upon them, from cars in the street to satellites revolving around a planet. You will learn the technique of mathematical modelling - that is, of turning a complicated physical problem into a simpler one that can be analysed and solved using mathematical methods. Many of the ideas you will meet in the course form an almost essential introduction to such important modern fields of study as cybernetics, robotics, biomechanics and sports science, as well as the more traditional areas of engineering and physics.


When you study statistics you will learn how to analyse and summarise numerical data in order to arrive at conclusions about it. You will extend the range of probability problems that you started for GCSE by using the new mathematical techniques studied on the pure mathematics course. If you study 3 units of statistics you will apply some of the statistical ideas of the course by doing some assessed practical work.

Course content

Mathematics at AS and A-level is a course worth studying in its own right. It is challenging but interesting. It builds on GCSE work, but also involves new ideas produced by some of the greatest minds of the millennium.

It serves as a very useful support for many other qualifications as well as being a sought-after qualification for the workplace and courses in higher education.

While studying mathematics you will be expected to

* use mathematical skills and knowledge to solve problems

* solve quite complicated problems by using mathematical arguments and logic. You will also have to understand and demonstrate what is meant by proof in mathematics

* simplify real-life situations so that you can use mathematics to show what is happening and what might happen in different circumstances

* use the mathematics that you learn to solve problems in a real-life context

* use calculator technology and other resources (e.g. formulae booklets or statistical tables)appropriately; understand when it is inappropriate to use such technology.

Entry requirements

You will be expected to have achieved at least a grade B in your GCSE. If you took your GCSE at the Intermediate tier you will need to learn about some topics from the Higher tier before you start the course. Some students who get a grade A* or A at GCSE will be recommended to take the A level Mathematics course together with the AS Further Mathematics course.

This joint course will take place in the same number of lessons as the A-level Mathematics course but students will work at a faster pace with the intention of gaining both an A-level in Mathematics and AS in Further Mathematics.


Mathematics and Further Mathematics at AS and A-level are divided into three areas: pure mathematics, mechanics and statistics.

There are 6 units in each area. For AS Mathematics you will study two core and one applied module. A further two core and another applied module complete the full A-level.

By choosing different combinations of units you can get any of the following qualifications:

* AS Mathematics

* A-level Mathematics

* AS Further Mathematics

If studying for AS Mathematics students will be examined in two AS modules in June of Year 12,and one AS module in January of Year 13. In order to progress to A2 you will need to achieve a grade C at AS. If taking the Mathematics and Further Mathematics course you will study 5modules in Year 12 and 4 in Year 13.

Future opportunities

Mathematics is valuable as a supporting subject to many courses at A-level and degree level, especially in the sciences, geography, psychology, sociology and medical courses. It is a useful qualification for entry to a wide variety of full-time courses in higher education and employment.

Higher education courses or careers that either require A-level Mathematics or are strongly related include: economics, medicine, architecture, engineering, accountancy, teaching, psychology, environmental studies, computing and information technology.

If you want to continue your study of mathematics after A-levels you could follow a course in Mathematics at degree level or even continue further as a postgraduate and get involved in mathematical research.

Further information

This course will appeal to any student who has at least a grade B at GCSE, enjoys solving problems and relishes a challenge.

Further Information : Mrs S Whyand

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact King Edward VI CEVC Upper School directly.

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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