Information for HEIs

Mathematics Briefings for Higher Education 2017

The FMSP has produced two briefing documents for Higher Education which provide data on the growth of A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics since 2003 as well as background information on the A level specifications and the support offered by the FMSP.

  • A level Mathematics Briefing Document
  • A level Further Maths Briefing Document

  • Level 3 Mathematics Presentations

    In November 2016 and March 2017 the FMSP ran one day events in London and Manchester respectively to discuss the major developments in Level 3 mathematics and the implications of the changes for recruitment of undergraduates. The following presentations were given at that the March 2017 event along with an exemplar document containing examples of wording used by universities as to encourage the uptake of A levels in Mathematics and Further Mathematics.

  • Access to HE opening plenary March 2017
  • Core Maths March 2017
  • Access to HE Discussion Session March 2017
  • Exemplar Entry Requirements to Encourage Mathematics / Further Mathematics

  • GCE Mathematics Aggregation Rules - Guidance for HE Institutions

    The GCE Mathematics Aggregation Rules - Guidance for HE Institutions is a very useful document for university admissions tutors to be aware of and understand when considering the A level offers to make to students studying both Mathematics and Further Mathematics.

    It explains that when grading A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics, the rules maximise the grade in Mathematics first. So if a student's module scores mean that AC and BB are both possible pairs of grades, AC will be given in preference to BB.

    These rules apply to students completing the modular A level qualifications. From 2017 students will start courses leading to a linear qualification. For these qualifications the aggregation rules will not apply.

    Pre-university Mathematics Guide

    The Pre-university Mathematics Guide, produced by MEI, provides information about the mathematical content of current A and AS level specifications for Mathematics and Further Mathematics together with details of other post-16 qualifications including: Free Standing Mathematics Qualifications; Diplomas; Scottish Highers; and the IB.

    FMSP Area Coordinators

    The FMSP has a network of Area Coordinators in England and many are based in universities. Please contact your local Area Coordinator to discuss any issues relating to Further Mathematics, the promotion of post-16 mathematics, and collaborating on STEM outreach initiatives.

    2017 A levels in Mathematics and Further Mathematics

    The FMSP will provide support for universities in relation to the new 2017 AS and A level qualifications in Mathematics and Further Mathematics. The support could be through conferences for university colleagues or through written information. In addition, the FMSP is happy to run training sessions for academic and admissions colleagues in universities in relation to the new A levels. Please contact Claire Baldwin.


    • Mind the Gap Mathematics and the transition from A-levels to physics and engineering degrees, Institute of Physics 2011

    • Mathematical Needs Mathematics in the workplace and in Higher Education, ACME 2011

    • AS and A level Subject Content for teaching from September 2017 The Department for Education's agreed subject guidance for A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics. Draft specifications are due to be released in the Spring term of 2015.

    • Mathematical Transitions Investigation into the mathematical and statistical requirements in a range of discipline areas including: Business and Management, Chemistry, Economics, Geography, Sociology and Psychology. Reports were commissioned from discipline experts to provide a strong evidence base to inform developments within the disciplines and dialogue between the higher education and pre-university sectors. HEA 2014

    • Towards Universal Participation in Post-16 MathematicsThis study is a follow-up to the Nuffield Foundation report 'Is the UK an outlier? An international comparison of upper secondary mathematics education'. It provides up-to-date information on participation in upper secondary (post-16) mathematics education in seven countries, and aims to identify the factors that drive participation. Nuffield Foundation 2013

    • The report Popularity of A level subjects among UK university students by Cambridge Assessment, June 2013, has data on the proportions of students who hold each A level subject (or combinations of A level subjects) when applying for a place at university. The research found that 30% of all accepted university applicants have A level Mathematics as one of their A level subjects. Combinations including A level Further Mathematics were also high in the overall rankings.