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Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics A level is offered in conjunction with Mathematics. This combination normally forms two of your four option choices. What the Further Mathematics course is not is simply more mathematics at a similar level to the single subject A level. Having gained a working knowledge of the essentials, you go on to study pure mathematics in much greater depth.

You will learn advanced techniques in areas such as differential equations, integration and matrix theory which are fundamental to physics and engineering at degree level and beyond. You will look at a wide variety of applied mathematics, from simple harmonic motion to hypothesis testing and critical path analysis. More time will be spent in proving results and you will learn to
think creatively and to look for elegance. The interconnectedness of seemingly unrelated topics, which is one of the things that gives mathematics its beauty, will start to become much more apparent.

COURSE STRUCTURE

Taught completely separately from single subject mathematicians, you will work towards the equivalent of a full A level in Mathematics in the L6, before tackling the Further Mathematics modules in the U6.

ASSESSMENT COMPOSITION

You are likely to cover the following modules, giving you some flexibility as to which 12 will count towards your final qualifications:
L6
Core Mathematics 1 - 4
Mechanics 1
Statistics 1

U6
Further Pure 1 - 3
Mechanics 2 & 3
Statistics 2
Decision Mathematics 1

WHY STUDY FURTHER MATHEMATICS?

Many students take Further Mathematics simply because they enjoy mathematics for its own sake and thrive on intellectual challenge. It is quite usual for Further Mathematicians to complete full A levels in all four of their subjects, so choosing it need
not restrict the breadth of your sixth form studies in any way. You will want to take Further Mathematics if you are considering a degree course in mathematics or a closely related subject. Not only will some universities expect you to have taken it given that it is offered here, but, unlike single subject Mathematics, it will give you a flavour of what mathematics at university entails. If you hope to read physics or engineering at universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College, studying Further Mathematics will improve your chances of gaining a place. Further Mathematics (as one of four A levels) is also strongly preferred for some of the most competitive economics courses, such as that at LSE.

PROGRESSION OPPORTUNITIES

Like Mathematics, Further Mathematics is a highly regarded qualification whatever direction you choose at university. Even though Further Mathematics is not listed as an essential requirement for university mathematics courses (because not all schools are able to offer it), we would strongly recommend that you opt for it if you are considering further study in mathematics.
As explained above, it is also recommended if you wish to study physics, the physical branches of engineering or economics at certain universities: if you have a particular direction in mind at this stage, it is worth checking the specific course requirements.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The pace in the Further Mathematics set is fast and you will need to reach A level standard by the end of the L6. In addition to the requirements for single subject Mathematics, you must be capable of picking up ideas quickly and of thinking on your feet. Discussing your suitability with your current teacher is therefore crucial.