Mathematics and Further Mathematics are versatile qualifications, well-respected by employers and are both “facilitating” subjects for entry to higher education. Careers for those with good mathematics skills and qualifications are not only well paid, but they are also often interesting and rewarding.
A level Further Mathematics is fun and rewarding. It broadens your mathematical skills and promotes deeper mathematical thinking. You will be introduced to interesting new areas of pure mathematics such as complex numbers and apply mathematics in a wider range of contexts.
A Grade 8 or above at GCSE level is required to study A level Further Mathematics. Sound algebraic skills are also essential. Transition work is supplied in the summer before commencing studies in order to consolidate and strengthen each candidate’s algebraic skills.
The new A level in Further Mathematics was launched in September 2017. Like A Level Maths, all examinations are at the end of the course. Unlike A level Maths this course consists of two compulsory modules (Core Pure 1 and Core Pure 2) while the remaining two modules come from a choice between eight possible modules in further pure, further statistics, further mechanics, or further decision maths.
Topics Studied in A level Further Mathematics
In pure maths we explore complex numbers, matrices, quartic functions, advanced calculus, proof by induction, advanced vectors and hyperbolic functions. The topics of the other modules depend on which two are chosen.
In further pure we explore further integration techniques, Taylor series, conic sections and further differential equations. In mechanics, we explore momentum and impulse, kinetic and potential energy, work and power, Hooke’s law and elastic collisions in 2D. In statistics, we explore generating functions, Poisson distributions, the central limit theorem and the chi squared test. In decision maths we explore algorithms, critical path analysis, the travelling salesman problem, game theory and network flows.
The Edexcel A level Further Mathematics qualification consists of four externally examined papers. Papers one and two assess the pure maths content and papers three and four assess the other two modules. All papers are 1 hour 30 minutes and are 75 marks each.