Mathematics A Level
Why would you choose to study Mathematics at A Level? If you enjoy the challenge of problem solving and want to have a range of rewarding careers open to you then Mathematics is the subject for you. Recent reports say that young people with A Level Mathematics earn on average 10 per cent more than those without A Level Mathematics. It is clear that a shortage of highly numerate candidates in the job market means employers pay a premium for the problem solving and analytical skills taught in A Level Mathematics.
Students studying four A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of 6 GCSEs at grade A/ A*/7, 8 or 9 including English Language and Mathematics at grade 6 or above. Students studying three A Levels will be expected to have four GCSEs at grade B/6 including Mathematics with no less than a grade C/5 in English language.
Mathematics is a beautiful and aesthetically pleasing subject in its own right. The famous Mathematician G H Hardy once wrote “There is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics.” The beauty lies not in the shape of the symbols but in the ideas behind them. Mathematics also teaches you the ability to think logically and to follow an argument through to its conclusion. This skill is particularly useful in politics, and many other areas of life. One example of this concerns the statements A implies B and B implies A. If you take the statement “if it is raining then I carry an umbrella” then you cannot say that it follows that “if I am carrying an umbrella then it is raining.” (Why not?)
In A Level Mathematics you study topics such as Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and Calculus (known as Pure Mathematics). You can expect to experience a variety of teaching and learning styles throughout the course, including computer algebra and graph plotting, group work and discussion. You’ll also study some Mechanics (Forces and Motion, Vectors, Newton’s Laws). There is also some Statistics work to cover on the course, including topics such as Sampling, Probability and Statistical Distributions.
Links with other subjects:
You’ll study a combination of Pure Mathematics, Mechanics and Statistics on this course. Mathematics links well with Engineering, Architecture, Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Pharmacy, Optometry, Business Studies, Accounting and IT.
Students of Mathematics have enjoyed various enrichment activities recently, including visiting speakers from the Mathematics departments at the University of Manchester and the University of Bolton. Mathematics students have also taken part in the UK Senior Maths Challenge. There has been a Cipher Club in which mathematical techniques are used to decipher encrypted messages and every year students attend the University of Manchester Mathematics Open Day.
Future Career Opportunities
Last year 90% of students who had studied Mathematics as one of their A Levels went on to University to study subjects such as Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Games Development, Accounting and Finance, Business Management, Economics, Pharmacy and Chemistry. Mathematics can help open doors to many careers.