Mathematics & Further Mathematics (OCR A)
We study Mathematics in order to become better at solving problems arising either from Mathematics itself or modelled from structures and systems in the real world. Mathematics encourages us to identify patterns, to categorise, and to make logical deductions and predictions from facts presented or assumed.
“So if a man's wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics; for in demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so little, he must begin again.”
Francis Bacon, Of Studies
Mathematics is a branch of abstract reasoning that is curiously useful for understanding the universe: the numbers, operations and constructions of Mathematics exist only in their purest form in the mind of the mathematician but understanding their behaviour is a powerful tool for solving problems in the real world. Mathematics is a discipline in which problem solving, lateral thinking and imaginative reasoning are as valuable as a facility for careful and accurate calculation.
The best reason for taking Mathematics at A Level is that students will enjoy studying it: that is, that they will find satisfaction in stretching their intellect to understand abstract ideas and tackle taxing problems. It is also a subject with wide utility and is a requirement for further study in a variety of areas. Further Mathematics is welcomed by universities as a valuable A Level in addition to Mathematics and is highly suitable for students who want to spend half of their curriculum time in the study of this marvellous discipline.
Students will need to take Mathematics A Level if they want to study Mathematics or Computer Science, Physical Sciences, Engineering, Economics, Management or PPE at university. They may also find Mathematics A Level helpful while studying Chemistry, Physics, Geography, Economics and Biology A Levels; similarly they may find Mathematics A Level useful if they are thinking of taking Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, Medicine or Geography at university, but it is not essential. Mathematics A Level can be a good indicator of the ability to cope with the logical aspects of Philosophy at university.