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Luton Sixth Form

Mathematics (A Level)

Why study Mathematics?

The skills and techniques which are developed in Mathematics play a significant part in many other disciplines. Mathematics, as well as being an important subject in its own right, is vital as a support for many subjects, both at A Level and in Higher Education. A qualification in Mathematics is therefore a valid and desirable goal for many students, whatever their long-term aims may be.

Entry Requirements

In addition to our general entry requirements, you must have:

  • GCSE English – grade 5
  • GCSE Maths – grade 6 (ideally grade 7)*

To be successful you should be competent in algebra, basic trigonometry and fractions. You will also need a Casio CG50 graphical calculator (expected cost c.£85) which will support equation solving, graphing, and advanced statistical distributions. The calculator you used for GCSE will not be suitable.

* If you have grade 6 GCSE Maths you will need to attend an additional support class for 1.5 hours each week for the first year of the course.

The Course

The course content is fixed and contains a mixture of Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. Pure Mathematics topics develop the ideas of algebra, trigonometry and geometry first studied in the GCSE course. Calculus is introduced and forms an extensive part of the course. Applied Mathematics topics are from both Mechanics and Statistics and students study both of these:

  • Mechanics is the mathematical study of concepts such as force, motion, equilibrium and momentum and is related to Physics.
  • Statistics involves the analysis of data and the use of statistical theory to make judgements about the validity and implications of results

Course Activities

The course builds upon students’ previous experience of Mathematics, developing some topics further and introducing many new topics. Students are expected to undertake 4-5 hours of work away from the classroom each week. When appropriate, work in class will involve the use of graphics calculators and computers.

Career and Progression Opportunities

There are numerous career opportunities. Visit these websites:
http://plus.maths.org/content/Career and http://www.mathscareers.org.uk/careers_advisers.cfm

Course Structure and Assessment

This is a two-year course. All examinations are at the end of the second year and cover all the topics listed below which have been studied over the entire course. It is not possible to obtain an AS Mathematics qualification after one year at the College.

Component title and content Assessment

Pure Mathematics

  • Proof
  • Algebra, functions and graphs.
  • Coordinate geometry in the (x,y) plane
  • Sequences and series
  • TrigonometryExponentials and logarithms
  • Differentiation (Calculus)
  • Integration (Calculus)
  • Numerical methods
  • Vectors

Two two-hour written papers, worth one-third of the total mark each.

Applied Mathematics (Mechanics)

  • Quantities and units in mechanics.
  • Kinematics.
  • Forces and Newton’s laws.
  • Moments.

One two-hour written paper covering both Mechanics and Statistics
topics, worth one-third of the total mark.

Applied Mathematics (Statistics)

  • Statistical sampling.
  • Data presentation and interpretation.
  • Probability.
  • Statistical distributions.
  • Statistical hypothesis testing.


Additional Information

Mathematics supports all subjects with a mathematical content such as Physics, Chemistry, Economics, and Computing.
If you have a passion for Mathematics and expect to obtain at least a grade 7 at GCSE you may also like to consider Further Mathematics. In addition to the published entry criteria, you will be given a pre-course task to be completed over the summer period. This will give us a further basis on which to assess your suitability for the course, to be handed in at enrolment. An early diagnostic assessment will be carried out in the first 1 to 2 weeks of the course. If you fail to complete the pre-course task or don’t pass this early assessment, you may be required to switch to another course. 

Examination Board: Pearson Edexcel



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