- Students taking Further Mathematics overwhelmingly find it to be an enjoyable, rewarding, stimulating and empowering experience.
It is a challenging qualification, which both extends and deepens your knowledge and understanding beyond the standard A level Mathematics. Students who do it often say it is their favourite subject.
- For someone who enjoys mathematics, it provides a challenge and a chance to explore new and/or more sophisticated mathematical concepts. As well as new learning new areas of pure mathematics students will study further applications of mathematics in mechanics and statistics.
- Students who take Further Mathematics find that the additional time spent studying mathematics boosts their marks in single A level Mathematics. Any student capable of passing an AS/A level in Mathematics should also be able to pass AS Further Mathematics. Studying Further Mathematics consolidates and reinforces your standard A level Mathematics work, helping you to achieve your best possible grades.
- Students who take Further Mathematics often find that it is a sociable pursuit. They meet and work with like-minded students from across the region who enjoy mathematics. They will also taste a more independent style of learning, which is good preparation for university and future careers.
By studying Further Mathematics through the FMSPW, students will:
- taste a more independent style of learning, which is good preparation for university or a career;
- have the chance to work with like-minded students from other schools and colleges;
- have regular input from an expert tutor.
Our experience tells us that studying Further Mathematics A level very often improves a student’s grade in Mathematics A level. When studying any mathematically rich course at university, exam results in the first year at least are also likely to be improved by having studied Further Mathematics.
- Studying A or AS level Further Mathematics is excellent preparation for a degree in Mathematics as well as any degree rich in mathematics including STEM subjects.
- Many university mathematics departments encourage students to take Further Mathematics at A level as it introduces a wider range of pure and applied content, such as matrices and complex numbers.
- Students who have studied Further Mathematics often find the transition to university far more straightforward.
- Some leading university courses include Further Mathematics in their offers for places as a requirement, by not taking Further Mathematics students may not be able to apply to these courses. Other Universities lower the offer required for students who have studied Further Mathematics.
- Studying AS Further Mathematics in year 13 is an excellent option for students who wish to pursue a degree in a STEM subject. As well as introducing them to new topics that they will find useful for their degree course, it is likely to improve their A level Mathematics grade.
- If you are not planning to study for mathematically rich degrees but are keen on mathematics you will find Further Mathematics a very enjoyable course and having a Further Mathematics qualification identifies you as having excellent analytical skills, whatever area you are considering for a career.
Entry Requirements for Mathematics Degrees
33% of Mathematics BSc degree courses mention Further Mathematics in their entry requirements, including it in their A level offers or encouraging students to take it if possible. For those universities in the Russell Group, this proportion rises to approximately 60% (August 2016). Some universities explicitly encourage students to take A or AS Further Mathematics by:
- making it a requirement for entry
- differentiating the grades in their offer for students with Further Mathematics qualifications
- offering financial support to students with Further Mathematics qualifications
- including encouraging statements about the benefits of studying A or AS level Further Mathematics
Below are some examples of the sorts of statements you will find when looking at university websites and prospectuses.(Whilst we try to maintain up-to-date information about the entry requirements for mathematics degrees, we strongly recommend visiting the university’s own website for the most recent information.)
Cambridge University: ‘The best advice, applicable to all, is to do as much mathematics as possible. If you are taking A-levels, we require that you take Mathematics and Further Mathematics.’
Warwick University: All offers include Further Mathematics
Oxford University: ‘…we do strongly recommend that students intending to study Mathematics at the University of Oxford take Further Maths as a full A-level.’
Imperial College, London: Expects students to take Further Mathematics if they can.
Swansea University: ‘Those studying Further Maths will automatically receive the lower offer of BBB.’
In addition to A level grades some universities also require students to pass Sixth Term Examination Papers (STEP), the Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT) or the Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA). FMSPW offers free support in preparing for these exams – see Events (LINK) for details. For details of paid online courses run by MEI see STEP, MAT and TMUA Courses.
Studying Further Mathematics is excellent preparation for University, especially if you wish to study any mathematics-related subject such as Engineering, Science, Computing or Technology, as well as Mathematics itself. Many universities now encourage students to take Further Mathematics qualifications to improve their mathematical preparation for degree courses. Some leading universities now specify Further Mathematics as an entry requirement for certain courses. It makes the transition from sixth form to university courses which are mathematically rich that much easier as more of the first year course content will be familiar, and so you will benefit enormously from taking Further Mathematics, at least to AS level. AS Further Mathematics introduces new topics such as matrices and complex numbers that are vital in many STEM degrees. Students who have studied Further Mathematics find the transition to such degrees far more straightforward. Students deciding to study for a mathematically rich degree during year 12, who are not taking AS Further Mathematics are often able to start AS Further Mathematics alongside A level Mathematics in year 13.
The Russell Group of leading UK universities published a guide to post-16 subject choices, Informed Choices. It describes Further Mathematics as a facilitating subject. In the section ‘What subjects can give me the most options’, the guide lists facilitating subjects, i.e. those that are required for university courses more often than others. These subjects include both Mathematics and Further Mathematics.
Degree choices where A-level Further Mathematics is listed as useful
- Actuarial Science
- Aeronautical Engineering
- Biomedical Sciences (including Medical Science)
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Computer Science
- Electrical/Electronic Engineering
- Engineering (General)
- Law – facilitating subjects at A-level are useful when applying for Law
- Materials Science (including Biomedical Materials Science)
- Mechanical Engineering
- Optometry (Opthalmic Optics)
- Veterinary Science