A Level Maths
Careers that either require A Level Mathematics or are strongly related include: economics; medicine; architecture; engineering; accountancy; teaching; psychology; physics; computing; information and communication technology.
Awarding Body - Edexcel
Mathematics A Level is a course worth studying not only as a supporting subject for the physical and social sciences, but in its own right. It is challenging but interesting. It builds on work you will have met at GCSE, but also involves new ideas produced by some of the greatest minds of the last millennium.
While studying mathematics you will be expected to:
• use mathematical skills and knowledge to solve problems
• solve problems by using mathematical arguments and logic.
You will also have to understand and demonstrate what is meant by proof in mathematics
• simplify real-life situations so that you can use mathematics to show what is happening and what might happen in different circumstances
• use the mathematics that you learn to solve problems that are given to you in a real-life context
• use calculator technology and other resources (such as formulae booklets or statistical tables) effectively and appropriately; understand calculator limitations and when it is inappropriate to use such technology.
In the first year, you will study two Core Mathematics units (C1 and C2) and one Statistics unit (S1). In the second year, you will study two Core Mathematics units (C3 and C4) and either a Mechanics unit (M1) or a Decision Mathematics unit (D1).
Each unit carries equal weight. There is a 1½ hour written examination for each unit. There is no coursework for any module. All exams are taken in May/June. Students will sit the AS exams at the end of year one and the A2 exams at the end of year 2.
Mathematics is rather different from many other subjects. An essential part of mathematical study is the challenge of analysing and solving a problem and the satisfaction and confidence gained from achieving a ‘correct’ answer. If you choose mathematics you will not have to write essays, but you will need to be able to communicate well in written work to explain your solutions. Mathematics is not about learning facts. You will not achieve success by just reading a textbook or by producing and revising from detailed notes… you actually need to ‘do’ mathematics.
For Mathematics you will need grade 6 or above in GCSE Mathematics.
For a 3 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of five 9-4 grade passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics.
For a 4 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of six 9-4 grade passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics; it is expected that the majority of passes will be at 7-9 grade.
Entry onto any course at East Durham College is subject to final approval from the Assistant Principal. Where relevant, the term ‘entry requirements’ also includes DBS checks, references, fitness to practice, etc.
When studying pure mathematics at AS and A2 level you will be extending your knowledge of such topics as algebra and trigonometry as well as learning some brand new ideas such as calculus.
While many of the ideas you will meet in pure mathematics are interesting in their own right, they also serve as an important foundation for other branches of mathematics, especially mechanics and statistics.
Mechanics deals with the action of forces on objects. It is therefore concerned with many everyday situations, e.g. the motion of cars, the flight of a cricket ball through the air, the stresses in bridges, and the motion of the earth around the sun. Such problems have to be simplified or modelled to make them capable of solution using relatively simple mathematics. The study of one or more of the Mechanics units will enable you to use the mathematical techniques which you learn in the Core units to help you to produce solutions to these problems. Many of the ideas you will meet in the course form an almost essential introduction to such important modern fields of study such as cybernetics, robotics, bio-mechanics and sports science, as well as the more traditional areas of engineering and physics.
When you study statistics you will learn how to analyse and summarise numerical data in order to arrive at conclusions about it. You will extend the range of probability problems that you looked at in GCSE using the new mathematical techniques learnt in the pure mathematics units. Many of the ideas in this part of the course have applications in a wide range of other fields, from assessing what your car insurance is going to cost to how likely it is that the Earth will be hit by a comet in the next few years. Many of the techniques are used in sciences and social sciences. Even if you are not going on to study or work in these fields, in today’s society we are bombarded with information (or data) and the statistics units will give you useful tools for looking at this information critically and efficiently.
In decision mathematics you will learn how to solve problems involving networks, systems, planning and resource allocation. You will study a range of methods, or algorithms, which enable such problems to be tackled. The ideas have many important applications in such different problems as the design of circuits on microchips to the scheduling of tasks required to build a new supermarket.
Core 1: Algebra and functions; coordinate geometry in the (x, y) plane; sequences and series; differentiation; integration.
Core 2: Algebra and functions; sequences and series; trigonometry; exponentials and logarithms; differentiation; integration.
Statistics 1: Mathematical models in probability and statistics; representation and summary of data; probability; correlation and regression; discrete random variables; discrete distributions; the Normal distribution.
Core 3: Algebra and functions; trigonometry; exponentials and logarithms; differentiation; numerical methods.
Core 4: Algebra and functions; coordinate geometry in the (x, y) plane; sequences and series; differentiation; integration; vectors.
Decision 1: Algorithms; algorithms on graphs; the route inspection problem; critical path analysis; linear programming; matchings.
Mechanics 1: Mathematical models in mechanics; vectors in mechanics; kinematics of a particle moving in a straight line; dynamics of a particle moving in a straight line or plane; statics of a particle; moments.
Each unit carries equal weight. There is a one and a half hour written examination for each unit. There is no coursework for any module. All exams are taken in May-June.
2 Years, Full Time.
More important information about this course:
*We make every effort to publish correct fees, however all fees are subject to change. Fees are correct as at the current time (24 Jun 2019 15:09) and are subject to change up to the date of enrolment. Fees quoted are payable annually
We regularly work with QDP, the UK’s largest independent provider of questionnaire based feedback services to the education sector, so that any results can be benchmarked against other colleges and the voices of over 600,000 learners QDP gathers feedback from over the course of an academic year.
Our feedback scores consistently place us in the top quartile of colleges in the country, indicating that we not only meet but often exceed student expectations. Some results from the 2015/2016 on programme and exit surveys and the 2016/17 induction survey can be seen below.
98% stated it was easy to apply for the course
96% said the teaching on my course is good
99% felt that their teacher knows their subject well
97% told us they felt safe at college
98% said expected standards of behaviour were made clear
95% told us they felt they had developed the skills they needed to get a job/take their next step
95% agreed the teachers consistently challenge them to do their best
97% said teacher feedback told them what was going well and where to improve
Other comments by students on this course are:
'The course is very challenging and can’t be taken half-heartedly, but with that challenge comes great reward with the amount of information and depth you finish the course with' - Patrick
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