Science & Mathematics

American theoretical physicist once spoke of an artist who said that scientists couldn’t appreciate the beauty of a flower because they break it apart and make it dull. Feynman famously describes this view as ‘kind of nutty’ and goes on to argue that:

I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty. I mean it's not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimeter; there's also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes. The fact that the colours in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; it means that insects can see the colour…. science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts.”

To study science and maths is not just to study the language and structure of the universe, it is also to learn how to ‘think like a scientist’ - how to ask the right questions, to test, accept or refute theories and to challenge your assumptions. These are skills that students will carry with them in all walks of life, not just in academia.

Academic Subjects

Biology

Biology

A Level & GCSE

Biology is the youngest of the three sciences and as a taught subject at GCSE and A Level has changed significantly as new advances are made in our understanding of DNA and genomics.  All the exam boards, including CIE, have largely the same content - for example they all cover the circulatory system, gas exchange, the nervous system and the kidney as well as: the cell, biochemistry, genetics, evolution and ecology.  There is a strong emphasis on lab-based practical work including some field work. With the exception of CIE, A Level students are assessed on their practical skills by the teacher observing on a range of 12 areas (called PAGs, practical assessment group) and invariably achieve a ‘pass’ that is shown on the final A level certificate.  For all exam boards the understanding and knowledge of practical work is also assessed on written papers.

Biology is a very popular subject that is often taken to provide variety alongside humanities and physical sciences.  As one of the Russell Group approved subjects it supports applications for any university course as well as for the large range of biological sciences, including neuroscience, psychology and biology.

Requirements for A Level

Science at GCSE or equivalent. Students without these subjects will require an internal evaluation. Contact us for more information.

Chemistry

Chemistry

A Level & GCSE

Chemistry is not merely a collection of facts that can be learned and memorised. There are fundamental concepts which underlie the subject and it is these concepts that students examine through both textbook theory and lab work. It is, at its heart, an experimental subject and therefore demands significant practical work throughout the course, both at GCSE and A Level.

Syllabuses tend to split the course into three broad themes: physical, inorganic and organic chemistry. Physical chemistry has topics ranging from atomic structures, thermodynamics (A Level only), bonding and processes such as oxidation.

Inorganic chemistry studies the periodic table of elements and their properties and uses whilst organic chemistry can be defined as the study of the millions of covalent compounds of the element carbon. It looks at DNA, naturally occurring petroleum fuels and molecules in living systems.

Chemistry A Level is an essential course for anyone looking to study medicine at university.

Requirements for A Level:

Science at GCSE or equivalent. Students without these subjects will require an internal evaluation. Contact us for more information.

Physics

Physics

A Level & GCSE

A rich and broad subject, Physics combines complex study of both science and mathematics. Each syllabus covers the same broad set of topics including forces and motion, waves, particles and radiation and medical physics.

Physics offers a lot of variety, from studying the nucleus of an atom to examining the structure of the universe. It looks at the journey of physics over time and considers new ways of imagining the world.

Requirements for A Level:

Science at GCSE or equivalent. Students without these subjects will require an internal evaluation. Most students will be studying maths alongside Physics. Though this is not essential, it is seen by universities as a useful combination.

Mathematics

Mathematics

A Level & GCSE

Maths is a broad subject both at GCSE and A Level and the various options and curriculums available can seem quite complex.

Mathematics AS level comprises two papers - Pure Mathematics and combined Statistics & Mathematics, both of which are studied over two years. Pure Maths replaces the old C1 & C2 syllabus with some new topics including mathematical proof, set notation, the exponential function and its In(x) inverse, and exponential growth and decay.

Statistics and Mechanics replaces the old S1 & M1 syllabuses and includes new topics on binomial distribution, and hypothesis testing.

Should students wish to study the full A Level then the AS exams are omitted and instead three papers are taken at the end of the study period: two Pure Mathematics papers (Papers 1 and 2) and a combined Statistics & Mechanics paper (Paper 3). These cover the two years of work and include AS topics.

For more information on the AS and A Level curriculum please refer to this document produced by our tutor Barry Clarke.

Requirements for AS/A Level:

A good grade at GCSE Maths or equivalent. Students without will need to undergo an internal assessment, though it is likely that we will suggest GCSE Mathematics which can be taken alongside any other A Levels.

Further Maths

Further Maths

A Level

Further Mathematics is designed for those who are studying or have already studied Mathematics A Level and builds on the Pure, Stats and Mechanics modules.

Students looking to study maths or a related subject such as physics at degree level then Further Maths is essential alongside Maths and usually Physics.

Extended Project Qualification

Extended Project Qualification

EPQ

Imagine a course which allows you to study exactly what interests you, work at your own pace and provide a qualification that is held in high regard by all universities across the UK. The Extended Project Qualification - or EPQ - offers exactly these qualities.

Worth exactly half an A Level and marginally more than an AS, this is a research based qualification that develops skills in individual study, essay writing, extended reading and presentation. Referring to the skills that EPQ students gain, Oxford University states that,

"you will be a more convincing applicant if you can demonstrate breadth of reading and independent research into your chosen subject; if you have pursued study beyond that required by your school syllabus."*

Most students choose to produce a dissertation on a topic related to that which they’ll study at university in order to help with their UCAS application. Dissertations are discursive and analytical. Example research questions include:

  • What are the impacts of learning a foreign language on child development?
  • Would an elected House of Lords lead to a more democratic government?
  • Is the free press a force for good?
  • Should we be afraid of Artificial Intelligence?
  • To what extent is violence linked to computer games?

To find out more please contact us!

*From Oxford University website

Have a question?

Full Name
Your name
Phone number
Phone number
Email
Email address
How did you hear about us?
How did you hear about us?
Message
Message
Data protection
Check the box below to receive our next email update. You can unsubscribe at any time