Peter Symonds College

Study at PSC

A Level Further Mathematics is the perfect companion to your Mathematics A level if you see your career heading down a scientific route or if you have a genuine love of solving problems and the world of Mathematics. There will be an introductory task to complete after enrolment in order to set the scene for the first topic in pure maths. It is possible for you to gain an AS qualification in this subject if you study this course for one year. In this case, it is recommended that you choose Further Maths as a fourth subject. 

Course Content

With strong algebraic skills, a good understanding of problem solving techniques and a grade 7 to 9 in your GCSE Mathematics you will be well placed to undertake this course in addition to your A level Mathematics course.

Year 1:

Core Pure Mathematics
Complex numbers, Matrices, Planes, Algebra, Polynomial equations

Modelling With Algorithms
General algorithms, Graphs and Network Theory, Linear Programming in 2D and 3D, Critical Path Analysis

Equations of Motion, Friction, Moments, Centres of Mass, Work, Power and Energy

Year 2:
The important skills of modelling problems, mathematical reasoning and problem solving are key themes in mathematics and are developed further in this course. You take a more rigorous approach to proving mathematical results and the structure of mathematical arguments.

In the second year you can choose whether to specialise in mechanics, core pure, statistics or to add numerical methods or the Further Pure with Technology module. Each module builds on knowledge gained in year 1 courses in Further Mathematics and Mathematics.

Methods of Teaching

Lessons will be varied, mixing investigations, class discussions, checking progress with mini-white boards and the ‘practice that makes perfect’.  The graphical calculator offers tools for deepening our understanding, allowing for checking of working and graphical interpretations of complex problems.  (You will have opportunities to develop your calculator skills in lessons). Your teacher will show you how to make effective use of the department intranet and the wealth of resources to support your journey through more advanced topics.  The subject content is assessed regularly by class tests and homework assignments.

There is a well-resourced workshop, for additional support, every lunchtime. Teachers and upper sixth students will be present at each session to offer you help. During the year there are also module specific workshops available to Further Mathematics students in core pure in years 1 and 2.

Methods & Patterns of Assessment

For AS level students (1 year) you will sit three exams, each of 75 minutes and each worth a third of the AS level qualification. For A level students (2 year) there will be an internal exam in May at the end of the first year of the course. 

To complete the  A level (2 year) course you will sit the following exams at the end of year 2:

  • Paper 1: Core Pure (2 hours 40 mins / 50% of final grade).
  • Paper 2: Modelling with Algorithms (1 hour 15 mins / 17% of final grade).

Other examinations sat depend on the year 2 modules you chose.

Where Could It Take Me?

A level Mathematics provides a sound basis for many degree courses but is essential for those studying courses with a high level of mathematical content, e.g. Mathematics, Statistics, Engineering, Computer Science and Economics. Further Mathematics enhances and deepens your knowledge and will better prepare you for mathematically rich degree courses, or top tier Russell Group universities.

Financial Implications

You will need to purchase two textbooks, for the core and mechanics modules in year 1, we would advise purchasing the ebooks of these. Personal stationery is also required and we will make good use of the graphical calculator that is required for Mathematics A level.  In some cases, where there is difficulty meeting these costs, the college student support fund may help.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English, and a grade 7 or above in Mathematics. Good algebraic skills are essential. Further Mathematics will also require a real love of the subject.

Most Recent Results

Below is a summary of the most recent set of results for this subject:

Grade: A* A B C D E U Total
Total: 33 23 21 11 6 3 1 98
Percentage 33.7 23.5 21.4 11.2 6.1 3.1 1.0