Alton College

A/AS Use of Mathematics

Alton College
In Alton, Hampshire

Price on request
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Important information

Typology A Level
Location Alton, hampshire
Duration 2 Years
  • A Level
  • Alton, hampshire
  • Duration:
    2 Years
Description

As the name suggests this AS is all about using your mathematical skills and knowledge in real-life practical situations in order to model what is happening. You can then use this model to predict what will happen in the future (or indeed what happened in the past), to answer questions about whether one variable affects another variable or to find the likelihood of something else happening.

Facilities (1)
Where and when
Starts Location
On request
Alton, Hampshire
Old Odiham Road, GU34 2LX, West Yorkshire, England
See map
Starts On request
Location
Alton, Hampshire
Old Odiham Road, GU34 2LX, West Yorkshire, England
See map

Course programme

A/AS Use of Mathematics

What is Use of Mathematics?
As the name suggests this AS is all about using your mathematical skills and knowledge in real-life practical situations in order to model what is happening. You can then use this model to predict what will happen in the future (or indeed what happened in the past), to answer questions about whether one variable affects another variable or to find the likelihood of something else happening.

It is ideal for students who want to increase their mathematical skills in a real-world context, want to study mathematics in order to support their other studies or do not want to continue their studies to A2 (which is not available). It is generally more accessible than AS Maths due to its practical bias.

It is particularly useful for students working in the areas of Technology (including Engineering), Science, Economics and Business Studies. It will also help students doing Accounting, Computing, IT or Sport & PE.

Much of the work will be done using either a graphics calculator or a computer (with packages such as Excel and Autograph). Lessons will take place in a computer room, with each student working on their own PC.

If you pass AS Use of Maths you will also be automatically awarded Key Skills Application of Number level 3, gaining extra UCAS points and an additional qualification.

What modules will I study?
You will do a total of 3 modules to complete AS Use of Mathematics. These are: Working with Algebraic & Graphical Techniques, Using & Applying Statistics and Applying Mathematics. The first two of these are Free Standing Mathematics Qualifications, FSMQs- see below for more details. All modules are equally weighted. Note that there is no A2 Use of Maths - it is an AS only qualification.

What is an FSMQ?
The aim of FSMQs (Free Standing Maths Qualifications) is to encourage students to apply mathematical ideas in their studies, work or interests. As the name suggests, they are stand-alone modules - that is, they do not have to be studied with another module for them to be worth UCAS points. If you just decide to complete one FSMQ you will be able to put this on your university application form and be credited for it. No other AS modules are like this. By completing 2 of these modules along with the Applying Maths module you will complete the whole AS Use of Maths.

Each FSMQ consists of coursework and an examination, each worth 50% of the module, and is graded A to E.

What does each module involve? Working with Algebraic & Graphical Techniques
This module will give you the skill to use algebra and graphs in order to model real-life practical situations and then predict results. For instance, the simple harmonic motion of a pendulum swinging can be modelled to find when the maximum angle occurs or what speed it is travelling at during the swing. Or you could use previous years†sales figures for a supermarket to produce an algebraic model and then predict the sales figures in future years. Alternatively, you could use algebraic expressions to model life expectancy and predict how much longer someone has to live, given their current age.

Using & Applying Statistics
This module gets you to use statistical techniques to model situations to answer practical questions. For instance, you might use correlation and regression to see whether global warming is accelerating. You could use statistical calculations and graphs to say whether telepathy is more likely between people of the same age, whether the charging of university fees has altered the characteristics of university undergraduates, or whether life expectancy is greater for people who live in the country than those who live in towns or cities.

Applying Mathematics
This module gets you to combine the skills you have learnt in the Working with Algebraic & Graphical Techniques module along with the ideas of simulation and recurrence relations. You will also look into the mathematical validity of models and the limitations that necessary simplifying assumptions cause. Examples might include deciding how many tills should operate at a supermarket to minimise queue times whilst also minimising employment costs. You might model how long cars have to wait at traffic lights depending on how long the lights are either red or green. You could also look at what difference the effect of interest on mortgages being charged at an annual or daily rate might make. This third module is not an FSMQ.

Progression
Mathematics is highly valued in a very wide range of careers and professions as it provides good evidence of the ability to think clearly and logically. It is accepted almost everywhere as a good entry qualification for practically every subject at degree level. In particular, Use of Maths demonstrates a student's ability to apply their mathematical knowledge in practical situations â€" a most useful skill.

Course costs
All students will be expected to provide their own textbooks, stationery and calculator. Any further costs are outlined below:

Essential: Graphics Calculator -we recommend Casio fx-7400G - about £25.

If the cost of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, there is the opportunity to apply for help from the College Access Fund.

Course: AQA 5351

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