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Mathematics A Level at Birkenhead Sixth Form College

Course description

What is the best way to load a cross-Channel ferry with cars?

How do SatNav systems or the AA’s Route Planner find the quickest route from Anglesey to Birkenhead?

How is Maths used to construct bridges and buildings?

How is Maths used to increase the efficiency of engines?


Is Maths for you?
  • You will need to take an initial assessment to determine your suitability for this course. The initial assessment focuses on key algebraic skills from GCSE that you will need to study the AS Maths course.
  • You should have strong algebraic skills.
  • You are prepared to carry out approximately 3 hours of independent study a week, in addition to class-based activities
  • If you are not ready to start AS Mathematics upon entry to the college you may be able to take AS Statistics or be advised to choose an alternative course

Course content

AS Year

Core 1

Core Maths modules cover topics such as advanced algebra, calculus, trigonometry, co-ordinate geometry and finite and infinite series.

Core 2

Decision 1

Decision Maths is applied to problems involving networks, linear programming and algorithms.


A2 Year

Core 3

You will study a number of topics covered in AS Maths in more depth, including algebra and functions, trigonometry, exponentials and logarithms, differentiation, integration and numerical methods.

Core 4

You will cover a number of topics in more detail, including coordinate geometry, sequences and series, as well as vectors.

Statistics 1

Statistics covers such topics as probability, correlation and the Normal Distribution. This module looks into the use of Statistics for predicting trends, and the reliability of results.

During AS Maths, you will attend three 90 minute lessons per week and will be taught by two teachers. One teacher will teach you the Core 1 and Core 2 modules and the other will teach you the Decision 1 Module. Students who progress onto the A2 course and require high grades for university entry receive four lessons per week during normal college time.

Learning is offered through lectures, discussion, interactive whiteboard activities, PC software (graphs, spreadsheets, mathematical word processing etc), texts, internet research, mechanics apparatus, videos, audio material. You will engage in class-based and independent learning, making use of our rich and diverse collection of reading, audio and video material. Our innovative online Maths tutorials are also provided to help with your revision.

Entry requirements

You must have achieved at least 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including at least a Grade B in GCSE Maths.


All assessment for this course is through written examination. At the end of the academic year you will take three examinations - one for each module studied. Your progress towards these examinations is tracked through half term assessments.

Future opportunities

A-Level Maths provides the bedrock for getting to the heart of numbers, shapes, movement, data and relationships. Advanced Maths is used in many jobs and has clear and obvious  associations with Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Economics, Business Studies, Geography and Computing. Perhaps less apparently it has strong links, both aesthetically and practically with Art, Design, Music, Psychology, Law, Sociology and Sports Studies. Maths A-Level is a very useful, adaptable qualification. Any Level 3 maths qualification is considered advantageous by both universities and employers. Current government advice is for students to take any Level 3 mathematical course if they are capable of doing so.

A Maths degree can lead to a great variety of careers including weather forecasting, computer games programming, in accounting or finance, scientific research design and developments, statistics, environmental science, aircraft design or drugs trial analysis – the list is endless. Maths is also an essential basis for careers in engineering and architecture.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 25 October 2016
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