Choosing Maths A-Level modules

April 25th, 2012 by Sara

Students who are confident they will pass their GCSE maths exams this year may already be thinking about taking A-level maths next year. Depending on your school and exam board, you may have the option to choose which modules to take.

A-level maths includes six modules, with each score of these modules contributing to the final grade. Most students compete three modules in one year, which will create an AS-level qualification in their own right and will complete the A-level course the following year with three more modules.

Below we have listed a few A-level maths modules to help you make the right decision.


Main A-level maths that covers trigonometry and calculus but could include other concepts depending on the exam boards and other courses your school may offer. If you are thinking of studying maths at university, this is the course for you but it's also useful for students wishing to take other courses such as science, engineering or economics.

Pure mathematics.

Pure and applied maths is also covered in the ordinary maths A-level course but if you are only interested in focusing on pure mathematics you may have the choice to take a pure maths course. Pure maths studies entirely abstract concepts with the trend towards meeting the needs of navigation, astronomy, physics and engineering to mention only a few.


A-level statistics is about real world data, it includes concepts such as probability and estimation. Statistics is useful for business studies, economics or sociology although it's probably not the best choice if you wish to study maths at university because it doesn't contain any pure maths elements.


Considered to be one of the most demanding modules but if you are thinking of doing physics or engineering, the mechanics module is your best bet. You will learn the technique of mathematical modelling - turning a complicated physical problem into a simpler one that can be analysed and solved using mathematical methods.

Use of mathematics.

A new course that might not be available at your school or perhaps only at AS level.

Use of mathematics doesn't include pure maths elements but focuses mainly on statistics and algebra and their uses in the practical world. Good option for students who want to extend their study of mathematics beyond GCSE but who are more interested in its application than in theoretical ideas. This course is not suitable for students aiming to study mathematics or an engineering course at university but is an acceptable A-level for many other courses such as business studies, biology, geography or psychology.

Decision Mathematics

This involves the study of algorithms and other methods used to solve problems involving networks. Applications included in this course could entail the design of circuits on microchips for example.

Tags: GCSE, Maths
Categories: GCSE, Maths