Studying A level Further Mathematics is excellent preparation for a degree in Mathematics. Many university mathematics departments encourage students to take Further Mathematics at A level as it introduces a wider range of pure and applied content, such as matrices and complex numbers. Students who have studied Further Mathematics often find the transition to university far more straightforward. Some leading universities now specify Further Mathematics as an entry requirement for their mathematics degrees. 33% of Mathematics BSc degree courses mention Further Mathematics in their entry requirements, including it in their A level offers or encouraging students to take it if possible. For those universities in the Russell Group, this proportion rises to approximately 60% (August 2016).
In addition to A level grades some universities also require students to pass Sixth Term Examination Papers (STEP) or an Advanced Extension Award (AEA) in Mathematics. Currently the universities requiring STEP/AEA qualifications for their mathematics degrees are:
Some other universities encourage students to take these papers and may include STEP or AEA in their offers, for example:
Oxford University and Imperial College require students to sit the Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT). This is taken in November prior to selecting candidates to invite for interviews. For further details of online courses run by MEI see STEP, MAT and TMUA Courses.
Some universities explicitly encourage students to take A or AS Further Mathematics by:
Below are some examples of the sorts of statements you will find when looking at university websites and prospectuses.(Whilst we try to maintain up-to-date information about the entry requirements for mathematics degrees, we strongly recommend visiting the university's own website for the most recent information.)
The standard offers for applicants taking A levels are one of:
Distinction in AEA is accepted instead of grade 2 in a STEP paper. We do not mind in which of the three STEP papers you achieve the grade 1 or 2. Distinction in AEA is accepted instead of grade 2 in a STEP paper.
We believe that prospective students can best prepare to study Mathematics at university by taking STEP or AEA papers in addition to their other school-leaving examinations. The questions on these papers are closer to the style of mathematical thinking you will meet at university, and will help you develop mathematically. We therefore recommend, but do not insist, that applicants should take AEA, or at least one STEP paper.
If your school does not offer Further Maths or cannot help with STEP, the Further Maths Support Programme (FMSPW) can help.
Entry requirements are:
*We strongly encourage applicants to sit the forthcoming University’s Admissions Test if it is available to them. For more information about this test visit the admissions page.
A*A*A, or A*AA and a 1 in any STEP paper or distinction in Mathematics AEA. Mathematics and Further Mathematics required at A*, or Mathematics at A* and Further Mathematics at A if STEP or AEA offered.
We will offer you an interview if you present with a strong school performance and application form. Although the interview is not part of your offer and you do not need to attend, if you do, your offer could be reduced by one A Level grade or equivalent.
The usual entry requirements are:
STEP achievement may be included as part of an alternative offer.
AAA - AAB, including Mathematics at grade A. Applicants with any of the following will usually be given the lower offer (AAB): Further Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computing or Economics; Further Mathematics AS-Level at grade A; AEA or STEP in Maths. If you want to study Further Maths but your school or college is unable to provide tuition, you can find tuition through the Further Mathematics Support Programme.
Typical Offers: A*AA Double Mathematics: For applicants taking both A-level Mathematics and Further Mathematics and STEP/AEA a typical offer is:
If STEP/AEA is not taken a typical offer is:
AS Further Mathematics: For applicants taking A-level Mathematics and AS Further Mathematics and STEP/AEA a typical offer is:
Further Information: Bath wishes to allow access to its courses in the mathematical sciences to applicants who are not able to take a full A level in Further Mathematics and will continue to make offers to exceptional candidates in this category. Accordingly we shall require such applicants to achieve at least Merit in Advanced Extension Mathematics or 2 in one STEP paper. Nevertheless we would like to encourage applicants to take Further Mathematics at A levels if possible, and to similarly encourage the taking of Advanced Extension papers or STEP papers for all applicants. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, having studied a wider mathematics curriculum and having attempted more demanding questions is an undoubted advantage in the transition to university mathematics. Secondly, it is very hard to assess an applicant's real mathematical potential unless they take the full A level Further Mathematics. In many cases an applicant's university place depends on their grade in Biology or Physics or English etc whereas we would prefer a better measure of mathematical ability.
AAA including Mathematics and Further Mathematics. Further Mathematics will be accepted at AS Level grade A only if you additionally achieve a 3 in any STEP paper or a Merit in AEA Mathematics. The following are not required for entry, but you may find these useful further preparation for this degree:
Performance in STEP or AEA will be taken into account should you narrowly fail to meet your A-level offer.
Our minimum requirement for A Level applicants is that you should be studying at least three A Levels including A Level Mathematics. We encourage, but do not require, you to study A Level Further Mathematics as well - our standard offer is slightly lower for those taking A Level Further Mathematics. If it is not possible for you to study A Level Further Mathematics, think about studying AS Level Further Mathematics - the style of mathematics in Further Mathematics, especially Further Pure Mathematics, is similar to university mathematics and will be excellent preparation for further study. For the majority of our degrees, our offer will usually be as follows. Firstly, we require grade A or higher in either A Level Mathematics or A Level Further Mathematics. Secondly, we require that your grades from your best 3 A Levels satisfy one of the following conditions:
For applicants taking A-levels, we always require at least Grade A in A-level Mathematics. If you are taking Further Mathematics at A-level or AS-level, we usually make an additional alternative offer.
Typical offers are:
In all cases, the first grade quoted is the Mathematics A-level.
At the University of Reading we require candidates to have achieved at least a grade A at A level Mathematics. Our typical offer for our BSc Mathematics course is in the range AAB-ABB. If you are studying Further Mathematics at either A or AS level we will make an alternative offer of ABC with a grade A in A level in Mathematics and either a grade B in A level Further Mathematics or a grade A in AS level Further Mathematics.
Scholarships There is a £500 automatic scholarship for students with a grade A* in A Level Mathematics plus £500 for an A in Further Mathematics up to a total of £1,000. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must put us as their first choice before the 1st of August. The scholarship is paid in term one of the first year. There are additional prizes and certificates to reward high marks in later years.
We give you £250 if you are taking Further Mathematics A-level, and you
This award is in addition to any scholarship and is not affected by the grades you achieve in your other A-level subjects.
Mathematics can be studied as a single honours degree or as a combined/joint honours degree in conjunction with another subject. Most single honours degree courses have codes starting G1, followed by two others numbers or letters, often G100.
Before applying for a Mathematics degree course, look at the features of the course, for example:
There are a wide range of degrees which involve mathematics and these often vary, even when they have the same title e.g. ‘G100 Mathematics'. In addition, mathematics can be combined with many other subjects, such as:
It is also possible to study for a Mathematics degree that involves studying abroad for one year.
Therefore, researching the content and structure of the degree course you plan to apply for is very important.
All applications for degree courses are made via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) website. The deadline for most courses is mid-January each year but the deadline for courses at Oxford or Cambridge, or in Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science/Medicine is in mid-October (see UCAS website for exact dates). If you are thinking of applying for a medical degree and are planning to study Further Mathematics, see the latest guidance relating to University entry requirements.
Most offers for degree courses in Mathematics are made without an interview. Of the 24 Russell Group universities, five interview applicants, with some of these interviews being informal, as shown in the table below:
The University of Cambridge
Applications are made to a particular College within the university. All colleges have requirements beyond A level grades and there is normally at least one mathematical interview (usually two or three) of around 20-30 minutes each, potentially leading to a conditional offer involving STEP. Sometimes, the interview is based on previously prepared material or on work done under examination conditions just before the interview.
Each college has its own particular approach which can be found in the Cambridge University Guide to Admissions in Mathematics. Some additional general guidance can be found on the University of Cambridge Interviews page.
For further guidance, a video recording of a typical interview is available.
The University of Manchester
After considering applications, many applicants are invited to a Visiting Day which includes a mathematical talk, a tour and an interview which helps determine the conditional offer made.
Interviews are largely mathematical in nature. You may be asked to talk about an area of mathematics you have studied; look in detail at a point of technique, or curve sketching; you may be asked `puzzle' type questions; or you may be given a mathematical definition and asked to work out some of its consequences. Applicants will be interviewed at least twice by their first choice College and have at least one interview with another College. Applicants will also be invited to take the Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT).
Interviews occur over a 3 day period in December are around 25 minutes each, mainly of a mathematical nature. The aim is for tutors to see how you think when you do Mathematics, and you may be asked to work at the board and talk through your thought processes.
To help you prepare, there are some helpful videos from tutors. In addition, general interview advice, including eight sample portions of interviews of potential students is available, as well as some general sample questions. An Interviews Guide for Students, produced by Oxford University, also provides useful information.
University College London (UCL)
If your application is sufficiently strong you will be invited to visit the department for an applicant afternoon. Alternatively, some invitations are for an academic interview. You will also be able to talk to current students and staff and will be given a tour.
The University of York
All students who are made an offer are invited to attend a Visit Day between November and April, which includes a one-to-one chat with a member of academic staff.
The following general links provide useful information when preparing for a Mathematics degree course interview:
Showing a general enjoyment of, and interest in, your chosen subject via wider reading would also be helpful in preparing for your interview.
The AMSP website has some useful preparatory information on maths degrees and university entrance including suggested wider reading and information about the areas of mathematics which are likely to be included in the first year of an undergraduate degree course. Scroll down to the Preparing for a mathematically-rich university course or apprenticeship section.