A-level Further Mathematics builds upon what is taught in A-level Mathematics, and provides a view of the areas of Mathematics beyond the normal scope of study. It provides a depth of knowledge for further studies in a variety of subjects including Science and Engineering.
A good base in Mathematics is essential – ideally grade 8 or 9 at GCSE – along with an enthusiastic interest in the subject and a determination to work hard. There is a large amount of independent working required, so self-motivation is key.
The logic and reasoning skills developed by studying A-level Further Mathematics are very challenging, and as a result this subject is not suitable for all students.
If you choose to study Further Mathematics, half of the A-level will be devoted to studying additional Pure Mathematics, the other half of the course will consist of two options from six available including Mechanics, Statistics and Decision Mathematics:
- Mechanics: work, energy and power, dimensional analysis, circular motion.
- Statistics: discrete random variables, Poisson distribution, confidence intervals.
- Decision: graphs and networks, linear programming, critical path analysis, game theory
A-level Further Mathematics is designed to broaden and deepen the mathematical knowledge and skills of the mathematician. It provides a stimulating experience for those who really enjoy the subject. Topics such as matrices and complex numbers are introduced, whilst others already studied are taken to greater depth.
There are two routes to study A-level Further Mathematics:
Route 1: Two-year course.
This is for the students who already know they want to study both Mathematics and Further Mathematics. They join the Further Mathematics classes in their AS year and progress to the full A-level the following year.
Route 2: One-year course.
This is designed for the students who decide part-way through their A-level course, or after they get their AS results, that they would like to take Further Mathematics. The full A-level will be taught over one year.
Where Does it Lead?
Further Mathematics is invaluable for those who progress to study Mathematics at university. It is at the heart of all of today’s advancements in science and technology and is contributing to progress in other fields such as computer science, industrial and architectural design, economics, biology, linguistics, physics, computer science and psychology.