Further Mathematics
A Level

Awarding Body: OCR

Qualification Level(s)

Available as:

  • AS level (One year)
  • A level (Two years)

Course Description

You should take this course if you particularly enjoy mathematics and you are considering higher level studies in Mathematics, Physics or Engineering. This course is also an effective counterpart for courses in Business, Economics and Computing. You must take Pure Mathematics A Level alongside this course.

Grade 7 or above in GCSE Maths. A higher grade in GCSE Maths is preferred. You must also enrol on A Level Pure Mathematics.

As an international student you must:

  • Demonstrate a suitable level of academic English, normally at CEFR level B1. For Tier Visa applications Portsmouth College recommends a minimum IELTS score of 5.5 overall (with no component lower than 5) to best succeed in your studies.
  • Demonstrate that you are competent to study at Level 3 in your chosen subjects during your application, including certificates of your qualifications and subject specific requirements such as evidence of an art portfolio for entry on to one of our Art courses.
  • Successfully complete a Skype interview with the College to discuss and assess your choices.

You will study areas of mathematics that complement and further your studies in A Level Mathematics. In addition to a core of pure mathematics encompassing complex numbers and matrices among other things, you will also develop your knowledge of applied mathematics with the statistics and discrete mathematics options. You also further your knowledge of integration and differentiation.

In Further Maths, you develop your skills in algebra and in applied areas of mathematics. In algebra, you will discover new topics such as complex numbers, matrices and vectors. You will link algebraic processes with a geometric interpretation. In the applied section of the course, you will develop your knowledge of probabilities and statistics on the one hand and discrete mathematics on the other hand. Some of the topics you will study are hypothesis testing, algorithms and graph theory.

The A level is assessed by 4 exams at the end of the second year of the course, each counting for 25% of your grade. Two exams cover the algebra content of the course, and there is one exam for each of the applied sections, namely statistics and discrete mathematics.

You will be offered opportunities throughout the year, either organised by the department or the E6 Programme. For example, you’ll be invited to go on university problem solving days and mentoring with current university students through the Portsmouth Scholars scheme. You will also be able to take part in the senior Maths challenge (individual and/or team). You can also undertake a personal study through EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) which is an excellent addition to your CV.

Further Mathematics will give you a great advantage if you want to study mathematics, or a mathematics-related subject, at university. It supports a huge range of careers such as architecture, engineering, economics, computer science, data analysis, teaching and accountancy amongst others.

At the end of your first year (in May), you will sit the AS exams. These do not count towards your final grade, but will give you an indication of the grade you are working at, and an opportunity to consolidate your first year learning through revision. In addition, you will have mocks in the spring term of your second year.

Final exams will be at the end of your second year, in June.