Shrewsbury School

Mathematics in the Sixth Form

The following information is taken from our document 'The Sixth Form and Beyond', which is updated each December. It can be downloaded as a pdf file.


Mathematics is among the most useful and valued A Levels for any pupil who can cope academically with the subject.  The A Level is essential as a support for Engineering and is highly desirable for commerce-orientated courses, the Physical Sciences and Architecture; it is suitable for potential medics and it is highly regarded by universities and employers.  Mathematics can be taken with almost any combination of subjects, and it is recommended for pupils who can benefit from the course, whatever their other A Levels.  It is, however, a very demanding subject, and recent experience shows that pupils should only choose the subject if they expect to gain an A* grade in GCSE Mathematics.

We follow the Edexcel specification.  The six A Level units consist of four in Pure Mathematics and two in Applied Mathematics.  Those pupils only studying AS Mathematics would study three units: two in Pure Mathematics and one in Applied Mathematics.

Further Mathematics 

Further Mathematics is a second, separate, A Level, taken in addition to Mathematics A Level by those who opt for it.  It is a very demanding and rewarding course, covering Pure Mathematics, Mechanics and Statistics in far greater depth than in the "single" subject.  Those who choose "double Mathematics" are taught both Mathematics and Further Mathematics in a separate set, for approximately twice the number of periods per week as Single Mathematicians.  They follow the same Edexcel course as the Single Mathematicians, but take a total of twelve units: six in the Lower Sixth and six in the Upper Sixth.

Further Mathematics is essential for potential Mathematicians and is useful for academically minded Engineers, Physical Scientists and Economists.  Potential Oxbridge candidates in these subjects, particularly Engineering and Physics, will find that the course will help considerably in their entry.  To cope with the course, pupils should have demonstrated their suitability by performing to the very highest standards in GCSE Mathematics.  Within timetabling restrictions, the course combines well with most other A Levels. 

It is possible for pupils to obtain an A Level in Mathematics and an AS in Further Mathematics.  This is achieved by opting for the full Double Mathematics option in the Lower Sixth and then reducing the workload in the Upper Sixth. 

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