Pure Mathematics
A Level

Awarding Body: AQA

Course Description

Mathematics is one of the most highly respected and valued A levels. It combines well with virtually all other subjects and is increasingly considered to be essential for students who are also taking one or more of the sciences at A level.

A minimum grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics is required.

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 broad areas of pure mathematics, which include calculus, trigonometry, algebra and proof, as well as explore mechanics and statistics in some depth. You will find that your algebraic and problem solving skills develop rapidly; structured revision will help you to achieve your full potential.

You will need to have a strong understanding of algebra and algebraic techniques. You will need to have good study skills as your success will depend on the amount of independent work you do in support of the lessons.

100% Exam. There will be three papers at the end of the second year. These will examine all of the Pure, Mechanics and Statistics content of the course.

You will be offered opportunities throughout the year, either organised by the department or the E6 Programme. For example, you will 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.

An A level in Mathematics is very desirable for universities and employers. It is one of the hardest A levels, so if you are successful it will give you a real advantage in whatever you choose to do in the future. This could include a number of diverse pathways such as a career in architecture, town and country planning, engineering, data analysis, banking and the stock market, to name a few.

Mock exams will be set in the spring of the first year and second year. The final exams, of which there are three, are in the summer of the second year.