Our department offers two separate A Levels: A Level Mathematics and A Level Further Mathematics. Mathematics is the foundation of science, technology and engineering and all students at the college are therefore required to study A Level Mathematics. However, it is a fascinating subject in its own right, and studying mathematics will not only prepare you for industries requiring mathematical techniques, it will also enable you to think in new ways and nurture your creativity and logic. For the most advanced and eager students, A Level Further Mathematics is a challenging and rewarding course in which you will begin to understand fundamental concepts in advanced mathematics.
By studying A Level Mathematics, you are paving the way towards a career in a wide variety of disciplines. For most universities, A Level Mathematics is required for entry into courses such as medicine, engineering, architecture, computer science, physics, chemistry, accountancy and economics. Even where mathematics is not required, it is a highly respected and versatile subject and will be beneficial to almost any university or job application. The same is true of A Level Further Mathematics, although different universities have different requirements, and you are advised to research courses at several universities in your chosen subject in order to help you make your decisions.
Mathematics is separated into three areas: pure mathematics, statistics and mechanics.
Pure mathematics aims to develop new techniques in algebra and geometry with a focus on logical arguments and proof. It is abstract, theoretical and does not depend on experiments in the real world: it is a subject of the mind – and yet everything you learn will reappear many times throughout your life, often in surprising ways!
Statistics is concerned with the study of data, and how information obtained from the real world can be interpreted and represented in order to justify our conclusions. As you will see, statistics enables us to give real meaning to the patterns we observe (or think we observe) when we measure just about anything in the universe.
Mechanics is all about forces and movement, and deepens the mathematical basis of these concepts encountered in physics. Here we will see what the quadratic formula has to do with stunt driving in Hollywood, and how mathematics from the 16th century makes its way into modern video games.