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La Retraithe Sixth Form

Further Maths

Studying Further Maths at the La Retraite 6

Exam Board: Edexcel

Entry Criteria: GCSE Maths Level 7

Why study this course?

Further Mathematics has become an increasingly popular subject for keen and gifted mathematicians. Students wishing to apply for the very best universities, especially for courses in Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering and Economics will have a greater chance of gaining a good offer if they have studied Further Mathematics. Once at university, students also find that they cope much better with these courses having had some prior experience of the extension topics.

Statistical studies have shown that graduates with higher Mathematics qualifications earn considerably more than other graduates upon entering employment in a wide range of industries.

What will I learn?

The Further Maths course introduces students to areas of maths beyond those studied in the Mathematics A level and includes both Pure and Applied elements.

The Pure Mathematics topics include Complex Numbers, Matrices, Proof, Calculus, Vectors, Polar Coordinates and Differential Equations. The Applied aspect includes Decision Mathematics - a relatively new field of business mathematics dealing with project management and optimisation problems.

How will I be taught?

Students will have six fifty-minute lessons per week, split equal between the modules. In addition to using a textbook, you will use websites such as Maths Made Easy, Examsolutions, Crashmaths, Naiker Maths, Physics and Maths tutor and Drfrostmaths.

How many hours a week of private study are recommended?

Students are expected to complete at least six hours of private study per week. This is a combination of homework, and independent work using the above resources.

You’ll enjoy this course if…

You have an interest in Maths, Physics, Engineering, or other related disciplines and enjoy problem solving; you wish to develop your ability to understand logical arguments and think analytically; you are able to work methodically and be persistent when problem solving; you can prepare yourself for the A Level in Maths by completing the Induction Booklet over the summer holiday.

Course description

Further Mathematics must be studied alongside Mathematics.

Core Pure Mathematics covers topics including complex numbers, matrices, proof by induction, polar coordinates, and hyperbolic functions.

The Decision unit focuses on algorithms using graphs. This is considered an applied unit and covers material such as Dijkstra’s algorithm, Kruskal’s algorithm, Critical Path Analysis, and the Route Inspection Problem.


Further Mathematics is assessed by four written papers, Core Pure 1, Core Pure 2, Decision Mathematics 1 and Decision Mathematics 2.

Assessment is by a series of 90 minutes examinations – there is no coursework.

The AS consists of 2 exams, covering the Pure and Applied content, the full A Level consists of 4 exams with a focus on Pure content along with some Applied content. Students completing the full course will only sit the A Level Exams at the end of Year 13.

Assessment at A Level:

Paper 1: Core Pure Mathematics 1

25% of A Level

Paper 2: Core Pure Mathematics 2

25% of A Level

Paper 3: Decision Mathematics Option 1

25% of A Level

Paper 4: Further Pure Mathematics Option 2

25% of A Level