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.

Benchmarks

  • 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.

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