Q3. Are all three major sciences available for study at AS and A level? Is further maths available at AS and A level as well as maths?
Why this is important
- Every student should have the opportunity to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects post-16 and beyond, and to enter into STEM apprenticeships and careers.
- Universities often require specific A level subjects for entry – for example, to study pharmacy, students must have A levels in chemistry, plus at least one of biology, maths and physics.
- Biology, chemistry, maths and physics form half of the ‘facilitating subjects’ identified by the Russell Group universities as being highly valued in admissions to a wide range of undergraduate degrees.
- Biology, chemistry and physics A levels are all offered by over 90% of schools in England with sixth forms
- 98% of schools have students taking at least one core science A level
- Across the UK, 57% of all educational institutions offer further maths
Ideas for improvement
- It can be difficult for smaller schools to sustain subjects like physics and further maths where numbers may be low. School governors and leaders may have to decide how best to give students opportunities to study STEM subjects.
- The Further Maths Support Programme supports students and schools to take further maths even when numbers are low.
- The Institute of Physics helps schools promote physics and increase uptake.
Other questions in Choices
- Q1. Are triple science GCSEs (i.e., separate biology, chemistry and physics) offered to all students? What proportion of students take them?
- Q4. What proportion of students chooses to continue each of the sciences (physics, chemistry and biology) and maths at A level?
- Q5. Which students choose to study each of biology, chemistry, maths and physics?
- Q6. What proportion of A level students chooses to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects at university?
- Q2. Are students able to easily access post-16 vocational courses in the local area for STEM? What proportion of students chooses to go on to vocational study or an apprenticeship in a scientific or technical field?