A Level Further Mathematics

 

What is it about at sixth form level?

The mathematical family does not grow without labour pains. According to the Greek philosopher Iamblichus, the discovery of irrational numbers by Hippasus so shocked the followers of Pythagoras, who believed that all numbers could be expressed as fractions, that he was drowned at sea. It took a long time before zero was mathematically acceptable and negative numbers were not dismissed as imaginary. But what of their square roots? The laws of mathematics seemingly dictate that a negative squared is a positive. Yet they too are now embraced, even though they have inherited the label imaginary numbers. The level of abstraction here is indicative of the progression towards degree level mathematics that you will find in the Further Mathematics A level, which will build on the knowledge of the single A level to introduce new and fascinating areas of the subject.

Upper sixth

This one year course builds on the skills and knowledge developed in the single subject A level which is taken in the lower sixth. Students take two compulsory units of Further Pure Mathematics and two modules of Applied Mathematics. Many of the ideas met in these pure
modules build on the previous year’s work while others are entirely new. Topics include complex numbers, matrices, polar coordinates, hyperbolic functions and differential equations. Statistics investigates the ideas of correlation, regression and hypothesis tests in more depth and introduces students to new distributions including the Poisson process. Mechanics extends the
basic ideas met at A level to include momentum and impulse, collisions, centre of mass, work and energy and elastic strings and springs.

Why study it and what skills does it develop?

Further Mathematics is a second A level in mathematics and regarded as a subject in its own right. The aim is to build on skills developed in A level mathematics and increase depth and breadth of subject knowledge. Further Maths an academically rigorous and demanding subject and is suited to those who are considering Higher Education courses in Mathematics, Engineering, Physics, and other highly numerate disciplines or simply for those who really enjoy mathematics!

What prior knowledge and skills are required?

Further Mathematics is a one year self-contained course and is available only as a full A level. Students should expect to obtain at least a grade A in single mathematics before considering an A level in Further Mathematics.

How is the course assessed?

The course is assessed entirely by four written examinations at the end of the upper sixth: two Further pure mathematics papers and two applied papers. All papers are equally weighted and are 1 hour 30 minutes each in duration.

Reading

Edexcel AS and A Level Further Mathematics: Further Pure Mathematics Book 1/AS Textbook + e-book
Published by Pearson, ISBN 978-1292183336

Edexcel A Level Further Mathematics: Further Pure Mathematics Book 2 Textbook + e-book
Published by Pearson, ISBN 978-1292183343

Edexcel AS and A Level Further Mathematics: Further Statistics 1 Textbook + e-book
Published by Pearson, ISBN 978-1292183374

Edexcel AS and A Level Further Mathematics: Further Mechanics 1 Textbook + e-book
Published by Pearson, ISBN 978-1292183312

Exam Board and Specification Codes

A level: Pearson-Edexcel 9FM0

 

Mike Danzelman
Head of Department

Tiffany

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*

Progressed to
Royal Veterinary College (Veterinary Medicine)

"I have loved MPW. The class sizes are very small and it is easy to ask questions. The teaching is really interactive and they all care so much about the students. My Director of Studies helped a lot with my UCAS statement, suggesting what to include and perfecting it with me. I honestly don’t think I would have go any university offers without her help."

Oliver

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A

Progressed to
University of Bristol (Law)

"I’ve had three fantastic years at MPW: I’ve had a happy time; I’ve met some amazing people; and, most importantly, I’ve left school knowing that I have fulfilled my potential, leaving with GCSE and A Level grades that I can be proud of. I feel that the teachers and Directors of Studies all care deeply about their students' futures and performance."

Nathaniel

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*

Progressed to
University of Edinburgh (History and Politics)

"All of my teachers have been great; they are experienced, friendly and treat us all like adults rather than teenagers. I’ve also enjoyed being in a city. There is so much to do and we’ve been on a lot of theatre trips after school which is something I hadn’t been able to do before. My favourite thing about MPW has been the people I have met."

Ella

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
King's College London (Biology)

"I would like to say a big thank you to my teachers. Everyone at MPW has been so warm towards me and my teachers are so friendly and willing. They also adapt to learning styles and have been sensitive about responding to my needs; they provide extra help when I need it but also give me space to absorb new topics or information when I need that."

Chris

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A

Progressed to
University of Bath (Mechanical Engineering)

"One of my favourite things about MPW is the people I have met, who are all really nice and really fun to be with. My Director of Studies was really enthusiastic which rubbed off on me. She also helped enormously with UCAS, taking the time to clearly explain what I needed to do and supporting me."