Examination Board: Edexcel
Each unit contains a prerequisite understanding of some parts of the linear mathematics A Level specification. All papers are equally weighted and all are assessed through a ninety minute, written, calculator paper. Further Mathematics students are taught separately from Mathematics students and receive 16 lessons per fortnight in which they cover both the mathematics and further mathematics course.
Paper 1 (25%) Further Pure Mathematics 1
Paper 2 (25%) Further Pure Mathematics 2
Paper 3 (25%) Further Mathematics Option 1
Paper 4 (25%) Further Mathematics Option 2
Options include Further Statistics, Further Mechanics and Decision Maths
Entry to the Course:
Students will need to achieve at least a grade 7 at GCSE Mathematics to gain access to this course.
Further Mathematics candidates will also study Mathematics.
Why study Further Mathematics?
Students who wish to study engineering or mathematics at Oxford, Cambridge or some other competitive entry universities must study the full further mathematics A level.
For someone who enjoys mathematics, it provides a challenge and a chance to explore new and/or more sophisticated mathematical concepts.
It enables students to distinguish themselves as able mathematicians in their applications for university and future employment.
It makes the transition from sixth form to university courses which are mathematically rich that much easier.
Further Mathematics introduces new topics such as matrices and complex numbers that are vital in many STEM degrees.
Some university courses require you to have a Further Mathematics qualification and others may adjust their grade requirements more favourably to students with Further Mathematics Students who take Further Mathematics are really demonstrating a strong commitment to their studies, as well as learning mathematics that is very useful for any mathematically rich degree.
Further Pure: complex numbers, numerical solution of equations, coordinate systems (including polar coordinates), matrix algebra, series (including Maclaurin and Taylor series), proof, inequalities, first and second order differential equations, hyperbolic functions, further differentiation, further integration and vectors.
Mechanics: how objects move in terms of distance, speed, acceleration and time, and how these are related; the action of forces on moving and stationary objects; centres of mass; work, energy and power; collisions, elasticity, circular motion, relative motion and stability.
Statistics & Decision: Algorithms, graphing problems, linear programming, critical path analysis, continuous distribution, Hypothesis testing & Significance Testing.
What kinds of students are most suited to this course?
A very high level of commitment is required to succeed at A level Further Mathematics and students must enjoy challenging and complex mathematical problems. The syllabus builds upon the algebraic content of the Higher Level GCSE, and most parts of the maths A level specification.
What career or higher education options might this course lead to?
It is a good all-round supplement to any higher education application but is particularly suitable for candidates considering Chemistry, Physics, Natural Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics at University. Of course, mathematical skills and knowledge are vital in many areas and useful in most others.
The public status of Further Mathematics
“The number of pupils sitting Further Mathematics has doubled in the past 5 years, as this is now a subject requirement for many prestigious courses at leading Universities. Mathematics (including Statistics) is embedded in a large majority of University courses including the Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Finance.
People with qualifications in Mathematics are highly regarded in the work place and are likely to earn more money. And at a time when our economy needs more qualified young people to pursue careers in technological areas, it is good to know the country’s future employees are rising to the challenge.”
“Almost half of UK employers surveyed by the CBI reported that they were looking for employees with strong qualifications in science, technology, engineering and mathematics”.