AS/A2 Mathematics - Board: AQA


Where could this take me?

Mathematics is a subject which supports study in many diverse areas. Mathematics complements the sciences, economics, finance, business studies, the humanities and sports studies (to name but a few!). Mathematics AS and A2 is not just a stepping stone to a degree in Mathematics; it is also a desired entry qualification and/or requirement for many other courses and careers.

What will I study?

AS Mathematics is usually taken in Year 12 and involves studying three modules; two compulsory AS Pure Mathematics modules, Pure Core 1 and Pure Core 2 and one AS Applied Mathematics module.

A2 Mathematics builds in Year 13 on the foundations laid in the previous year and involves studying three modules; two compulsory A2 Pure Mathematics modules, Pure Core 3 and Pure Core 4 and one AS or A2 Applied Mathematics module.

The content of the Pure Core modules is, briefly:

Pure Core 1 and 2: Algebra, coordinate geometry, differentiation and integration, functions, sequences and series, trigonometry, exponentials and logarithms, further differentiation and integration.

Pure Core 3 and 4: Algebra and functions; trigonometry; exponentials and logarithms; differentiation; integration; numerical methods; coordinate geometry; sequences and series; vectors.

The Applied Mathematics modules are Statistics, Mechanics or Decision Mathematics. Their contents are:

Statistics 1: Numerical measures, probability, binomial and normal distributions, estimation, correlation and regression.

Mechanics 1: Mathematical modelling, kinematics in 1-D and 2-D, statics and forces, momentum, Newton’s laws of motion, connected particles and projectiles.

Decision mathematics 1: Simple ideas of algorithms, graphs and networks, spanning tree problems, matchings, shortest paths in networks, route inspection problems, travelling salesmen problems, linear programming and mathematical modelling.

Mechanics 2 and Statistics 2 follow on from their first modules.

How will I be assessed?

Each module is assessed by a separate examination and they are all equally weighted. The AS modules are usually taken in June of Year 12, while A2 modules are taken in June of Year 13 with the exception of C3 which may be taken in the January of Year 13.

Entry requirements

Students will be expected to have studied Mathematics at the GCSE Higher tier or equivalent, and to have demonstrated a marked ability in the subject.

Specialist materials

There are recommended textbooks that students will need to obtain, one for the pure and one for the applied modules in each year.  Apart from Pure Core 1, the board expects candidates to have access to graphical calculators and students who do not buy one will be at a disadvantage, particularly in the Statistics modules.  Formula booklets are provided.


AS/A2 Further Mathematics


Where could this take me?

For the able student who really enjoys Mathematics there is the opportunity to study a second mathematics subject. This is called Further Mathematics. A-levels in both subjects would be good for those wishing to study Mathematics, Accountancy, Physics or Engineering at University.

What will I study?

For AS Further Mathematics students MUST study Further Pure 1 (FP1) and then 2 other modules which can be either more Further Pure modules or two of the applied modules.

For A2 Further Mathematics students study six modules, two of which are Further Pure modules and the remaining four can be selected from more Further Pure modules or the applied modules. At least three of the six modules must be of A2 standard. Altogether the twelve modules which comprise Mathematics and Further Mathematics MUST be different.


A possible combinations would be:

A2 Mathematics: C1, C2, C3, C4, S1 & S2.

A2 Further Mathematics: FP1, FP2, FP3, D1, M1 & M2.


How will I be assessed?

Each module is assessed by a separate examination and they are all equally weighted. Examinations are held in January and June.

Entry requirements

Owing to the demands of the course students should have an A* grade at GCSE although keen students with a grade A will be considered.

Specialist materials

There is a recommended textbook for each module that students will need to purchase.

Scientific and graphical calculators are also needed. Formula booklets are provided. 


Lucy Cocker BSc PGCE


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