Why study maths at A-level and beyond?

by Anita Naik

There are so many reasons to take maths beyond the GCSE level. From opening up a myriad of STEM jobs to you - to a broader scope of degrees at your fingertips. Here's what you need to know.

A-level Maths is popular for a reason

Mathematics is currently the most popular A-level subject in the UK: in 2019, it was taken by 86,185 students in the UK, 20,000 more than the next most popular subject, Biology.

There is a range of reasons for this, but primarily it's because maths not only ties into other subjects but also helps in nearly all future career choices building critical skills such a problem solving, logical thought and how to explain complex ideas.

Maths supports other subjects

If you're on the fence about taking Maths at A-level, it might help to know that maths (whether it's something you want to study at University or not) supports a variety of other subjects at both A-level and degree level.

Taking it alongside physics, chemistry, engineering, IT, economics, and business will not only benefit your study in these areas but increase your chances of a higher grade.

This is because, within A-Level Physics, 40% of the marks available within written examinations will assess mathematical skills. And at least 20% of the marks for chemistry will require the use of mathematical skills.

Maths supports a variety of careers

STEM jobs aside, Maths at a higher level also teaches you to think logically to solve problems, an approach that is transferrable to several careers.

As well as being a skill in demand by employers, in a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employees (NACE) - 82% of employers named problem-solving as something they wanted to see in potential candidates.

As maths helps build the skill of tackling a complex problem and breaking it down into logical steps, it's a highly valued skill in the workplace.

Maths helps with brain development

What's more new research from Oxford University has also found that students who take maths at A-level and undergraduate level have higher levels of chemical vital for brain plasticity.

This chemical works as a neurotransmitter and supports memory, learning, reasoning and problem solving, all skills at higher levels than students who forgo maths after GCSE.

Maths is vital in an ever-changing world

As technology advances, so too does the need for maths. There's virtually no major industry unaffected by AI, data collection and analysis. So by studying maths at A-Level, and beyond you will have the chance to be at the forefront of technological advancement and have access to a wide range of careers including:

. Auditor

. Data Analyst.

. Computer Programmer

. Financial Analyst

. Statistician

. Actuary

. Economist

. Software Developer

. Data Scientist

For further reading, view our posts on How to study for your maths degree How to relearn maths as an adult

For a maths tutor from GCSE to A-Level and Undergraduate level see here