A-level Maths


From September 2017, all exam boards will be adopting the new A Level for Maths and Further Mathematics. For those doing single Mathematics, across the two years, students will have three exam papers: Pure Mathematics 1, Pure Mathematics 2 and Statistics & Mechanics.

A-level maths is normally studied after doing GCSE maths in UK schools and colleges.

A-level maths is generally regarded as a two year course which is broken up into various modules. The common modules are Core Maths, Mechanics, Statistics and Decision Maths.

During the first year of study most students do 3 modules which leads to an advanced supplementary award (AS) taking two compulsory modules in Core Maths (C1, C2)  and one more in Statistics (S1) or Mechanics (M1) or Decision Maths (D1).

After completing the 3 modules at AS level students may decide to continue their studies and take another 3 modules leading to an A-level award (A2) in maths.

Common combinations of the 6 modules required for A-level maths (A2 maths) are the four Core Maths modules (C1, C2, C3 and C4) with the remaining two being taken from Mechanics, Statistics or Decision Maths.


AS Level Maths Head Start


For example, someone wanting mainly Statistics may opt for
Core Maths (modules C1, C2, C3, C4) + Statistics (modules S1, S2)

For someone wanting mainly Mechanics may opt for
Core Maths (modules C1, C2, C3, C4) + Mechanics (modules M1, M2)

It is not uncommon to see the following combinations of 6 modules being taken.
Core Maths (modules C1, C2, C3, C4) + Statistics (module S1) + Mechanics (module M1)
Core Maths (modules C1, C2, C3, C4) + Statistics (modules S1) + Decision Maths (module D1)

Core Maths

  • Core Maths Is generally regarded as the main tool of mathematics looking at using algebraic methods, solving equations, graphs of functions, series, differentiation and integration methods.


  • Works well for anyone thinking of doing physics or engineering. Typical kinds of problems that you will look at are:
  • What height will a ball reach if thrown upwards with a given speed?
  • What force is required to stop an object sliding down a slope?
  • When two objects collide, what speed do they go after the collision?


  • Statistics looks at data that is collected from surveys and models the data to fit various mathematical models to help answer questions such as:
  • What are the chances of an accident occurring on a certain stretch of road?
  • Is there a difference between using drug A or drug B to cure a disease?
  • This is a good module to choose if you are going into any of the sciences.

Decision Maths

  • Decision Mathematics is used to solve many real life, practical problems. Here are some examples of areas in which Decision Mathematics can be used:
  • What is the best route for a gritting lorry to follow so that it covers every road in a town but keeping the distance travelled to a minimum?
  • What is the minimum quantity of cable needed to link a network of computers together?
  • What is the best way to organise people‚Äôs resources in the building of a house?

The main examination boards are Edexcel, OCR and AQA.