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. Further Mathematics is also useful when combined with courses in business, economics and computing. You must take A level Pure Mathematics alongside this course.

Minimum grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics is essential as well as studying A level Pure Mathematics at College.

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.

In Further Mathematics, you will develop your skills in algebra and 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.

If you study AS Further Mathematics, you will have three exams at the end of your first year, each counting for 33% of your grade.

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 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, town and country planning, data analysis, teaching and accountancy amongst others.

Mock exams are in the spring term (although you will have assessments throughout the year). The AS exams are in May/June.