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Presentation for parents / carers
 These slides form an approximately 20-30 minute
presentation for parents/carers about the importance of
studying Maths and Further Maths at A level.
 They can be adapted and used for a presentation to
students and/or their parents/carers.
Why study Mathematics?
A guide for
Students,
Parents and
Carers
Important questions
 What does A level Mathematics involve?
 What is Further Mathematics?
 Why should my daughter/son study A level
Mathematics?
 What are the career opportunities with A level
Mathematics?
 Is A level Mathematics needed for entry to
university degree courses?
What is covered in A level Mathematics?
 A level Mathematics is a mix of pure (core) mathematics
(4 units), and applications of mathematics (2 units).
 The Core units cover topics such as algebra, graphs,
calculus and trigonometry.
 Students study 2 applied units chosen from Decision
Mathematics, Mechanics and Statistics.
Year 12
Year 13
AS level
Maths
Core 1
Core 2
Applied
Unit 1
A level
Maths
Core 1
Core 2
Applied
Unit 1
Core 3
Core 4
Applied
Unit 2
What is Decision Mathematics?
Decision Mathematics - finding efficient solutions to real
life problems
e.g. what would be the most
efficient route for delivering post
around a network of streets?
This topic uses algorithms which
are vital in computer science.
(Image taken from
http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/sites/default/files/files/FSMA%20Chinese%20postman%20problems%20student.pdf)
What is Mechanics?
Mechanics – modelling the physics of the world around us
e.g. at what angle should a cricketer
aim to hit the ball in order to
maximise the distance the ball
will travel?
Students planning careers in physics
or engineering would find mechanics
particularly useful.
What is Statistics?
Statistics – collecting and analysing data and using this to
e.g. actuaries study statistical information to calculate the
risk of a driver of a certain age having a car accident. This
information would be used by insurers in establishing the
What is Further Mathematics?
 Further Mathematics is an additional AS or A level
qualification taken alongside A level Mathematics.
 It is designed to stretch and challenge able
mathematicians introducing new techniques and
concepts such as complex numbers and matrices.
 It is excellent preparation for degree courses in
Mathematics and other mathematical subjects.
 A level Further Maths is an additional 6 units of
mathematics, at least 2 units of pure mathematics
and up to 4 applied units.
Mathematics and Further Mathematics
-example plan of a student taking full A levels in both subjects
AS level
Maths
Core 1
Core 2
Applied
Unit 1
A level
Maths
Core 1
Core 2
Applied
Unit 1
AS level
Further
Maths
Further
Pure 1
Applied
Unit 3
Applied
Unit 4
A level
Further
Maths
Further
Pure 1
Applied
Unit 3
Applied
Unit 4
Scores in AS Units are
counted again as part of
the A-level qualification.
Core 3
Further
Pure 2
Core 4
Applied
Unit 2
Applied
Unit 5
Further
Pure 3 or
Applied
Unit 6
Applied Units cover statistics, mechanics or
decision mathematics
Why study Mathematics A levels?
Studying Mathematics and Further Mathematics will:
 provide a stimulating and challenging course
 develop key employability skills such as problem-solving,
logical reasoning, communication and resilience;
 increase knowledge and understanding of mathematical
techniques and their applications
 support the study of other A level subjects
 provide excellent preparation for a wide
range of university courses
 lead to a versatile qualification that is
well-respected by employers and higher
education
Why study AS/A level Maths?
180000
160000
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The number of
students taking
mathematics is
increasing each
year
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100000
80000
60000
40000
20000
0
A level
AS level
AS/A level Further Maths entries
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24000
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0
A level
AS level
Entries for A level subjects 2014
Mathematics
English
Biology
Psychology
Chemistry
History
Art/Design
Physics
Geography
Sociology
Media Std
Economics
RE
General Std
Drama/ Exp Arts
Further Maths
Politics
Design & Tech
PE
Law
French
ICT
Music
Spanish
Classics
German
Computing
Communication Std
Critical thinking
88816
85336
64070
54818
53513
52131
44922
36701
33007
30594
28497
26745
26612
24213
23884
15626
14028
13761
13691
12760
11517
10433
9479
8375
7601
6615
4187
4171
1741
529
Mathematics is
now the most
popular A level
subject in the UK
What are the career opportunities?
What are the career opportunities?
“…what was once the domain of the
currency of how we live. Maths is the
universal language of the modern world
- and across every career and every
discipline, its importance will only grow.
That is why I want to see more girls
taking maths…”
Elizabeth Truss, previous Education Minister
What are the career opportunities?
Maths is the only A level
proven to increase
earnings in later life by an average of 10%.
(Source www.gov.uk/government/speeches/elizabethtruss-on-support-for-maths-and-science-teaching)
Common Misconceptions
 You only do a maths degree to become a maths teacher.
 Further Maths is an A level just for students who want to
become engineers or physicists.
 Unless you plan to do a STEM degree, you don’t need
maths at A level.
 Most careers that require maths A level are maledominated.
Mathematics with other A levels
A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics can be
taken with any combination of A Levels.
Mathematics particularly reinforces the work done in
 Physics and Chemistry
 Biology, Geography, Psychology
 Physical Education
What are the career opportunities?
There is a huge shortage of people
with STEM skills needed to enter the
workforce.
There are many new applications
of mathematics in technology:
•
•
•
•
Games Design
Internet Security
Programming
Communications
What are the career opportunities?
On-going applications in engineering, such as
Aircraft Modelling
Fluid Flows
Acoustic Engineering
Electronics
Civil Engineering.
…and new scientific processes such as modelling populations
and Diseases
Quantum Physics,
Astronomy,
Forensics and
DNA sequencing.
What are the career opportunities?
Financial systems and online purchasing systems are
also underpinned by mathematics, relying heavily on
online security and encryption.
GCHQ has the largest group of
mathematicians working
anywhere in the country!
GCHQ
What are the career opportunities?
Other areas include
Logistics, Traffic
Planning, Project
Management,
Consultancy
Finance
Actuarial Work,
Accountancy,
Banking, Financial
Modelling
Medicine
Dentistry, Pharmacy,
Doctors, Nursing
Statistics
Medical Statistics, Market
Research, Government Policy
Teaching/Lecturing
Law
Is A level Further Mathematics just for
those who want to be physicists or
engineers?
 No, AS Further Mathematics is no
more difficult than A level
Mathematics
 Further Mathematics introduces
some fascinating new topics.
 The “extra” maths has been
shown to boost students’ A level
Is A level Mathematics needed for
entry to university degree courses?
 It is important to have strong maths skills for progression
to many degree courses at university
 A level Mathematics is also essential or desirable for a
wide range of degree courses including economics,
 Any student applying to study a degree in a STEM
subject should also consider taking Further Mathematics
to at least AS level alongside A level Mathematics
University entry requirements
Mathematics at Lancaster University
 Lancaster University has always encouraged those considering a degree in
mathematics, computing, engineering or physics to study A Level Further
Mathematics. The Department of Mathematics & Statistics at Lancaster now
formally recognises the value of Further Mathematics when making degree
course offers.
 For entry to degrees in: Mathematics; Mathematics with Statistics; Statistics;
or Financial Mathematics; we normally ask applicants taking GCE A Levels
to achieve:
 AAB at A Level, including Mathematics and Further Mathematics, for those
taking A Level Further Mathematics; or
 AAA at A Level, including Mathematics, for those not taking A Level Further
Mathematics.
University entry requirements
Physics at University of Leicester
 A-levels
We ask for three A-levels, including Physics and Mathematics.
MPhys (AAB), BSc (ABB) with an A in either Physics or
Mathematics.
 Further Maths and Extended Project Qualifications
Further Maths and EPQ’s are not a formal requirement for entry onto
our course. However, students with a Further Maths A-level or a
relevant EPQ often find the transition to University study easier. If
you have the opportunity we would certainly encourage you to take
Further Maths or an EPQ.
University entry requirements
Economics at Cardiff University
 Typical offer = AAB
One of the A-levels must be in Mathematics at grade B or above
Chemistry at Southampton University
 A Levels:
Our typical offers for students who are studying 3 A-levels are:
 ABB for students taking Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics
 AAB for students taking Chemistry with at least one other science
subject or Mathematics
 AAA for students taking Chemistry with no other science subject or
Mathematics
University entry requirements
 Look at the entry requirements on the individual
university’s website for the degree subjects that your
son/daughter might be interested in.
 In some cases a qualification in Further Mathematics will
reduce the grades required in another subject.
 Look at www.ucas.ac.uk for
My son/daughter loves mathematics –
how can they be stretched?
 Take Further Mathematics
 Participate in the Senior Maths
Challenges in the Autumn term
 Tackle problems on NRICH website
in mathematics such as AEA, STEP
or MAT , which are required for entrance to some leading
universities to study mathematics.
The Further Mathematics Support
Programme
The FMSP aims is to increase the
uptake of AS and A level Further
Mathematics to ensure that more
students reach their potential in
mathematics.
The FMSP website has further advice
on studying A level Mathematics and
Further Mathematics, enrichment
resources for students and
information on applying to university.
To find out more visit www.furthermaths.org.uk
Other sources of information
 The mathematics teachers at your school
 FMSP website www.furthermaths.org.uk
 Maths Careers website www.mathscareers.org.uk
 Future Morph careers website www.futuremorph.org
 Best course 4 me www.bestcourse4me.com
 Tomorrow’s Engineers www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk