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, but is not compatible with all subjects.
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.
A good base in Mathematics is essential – ideally grade 8 or 9 at GCSE (or equivalent) – 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.
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 Mechanics, Statistics and Decision Mathematics:
- Mechanics: work, energy and power, momentums, collisions
- Statistics: discrete random variables, Poisson distribution, quality of tests
- Decision: algorithms, graphs and networks, linear programming, critical path analysis
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.
A-level Further Mathematics is made up of four papers of
90 minutes each:
- Paper 1 – Core Pure 1
- Paper 2 – Core Pure 2
- Paper 3 – Option
- Paper 4 – Option
Graphical calculators are allowed in all papers and we recommend and teach with the Casio fx-CG50 calculator. Students will become confident at using their complex calculators in addition to thinking things through independently. The exam board is Edexcel.
A-level Further Mathematics is designed as a 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.
Where Does it Lead?
Further Mathematics is invaluable for those who progress to study Mathematics at university. Mathematics is highly valued by university admissions departments. 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. An undergraduate degree in mathematics can also give you a firm foundation for further study in a variety of other disciplines.