GCE Mathematics builds on the skills, knowledge and understanding that students have developed in their previous study of Mathematics up to GCSE Level.  The taught programme is the CCEA GCE Specification.

AS LEVEL: Candidate studies Pure Maths, Mechanics and Statistics.

A2 LEVEL: Candidate continues studies in Pure Maths, Mechanics and Statistics

Recommended GCSE Subjects and Grades 

Mathematics: Minimum Requirement

Higher Level (Modules M4 & M8) A*/A/B – subject to exam performance, attendance and work ethic.

*** GCSE Further Mathematics is beneficial but not essential.***

Subject Content

AS1: Algebra, Calculus, Trigonometry, Co-ordinate Geometry

AS2: Kinematics, Forces, Statistical Analysis, Probability

A21: Functions, Sequences, Parametric/Implicit Functions, Differential Equations

A22: Moments, Momentum, Statistical distributions, Hypothesis Testing.

Method of Assessment 

AS (end of Year 13): 2 written papers – AS1: 1 hour & 45 mins     AS2: 1 hour & 15 mins

A2 (end of Year 14): 2 written papers – A21: 2 hours & 3o mins    A22: 1 hour & 30 mins

Career Possibilities 

Accountancy, Actuary, Aeronautical Engineering, Architecture, Banking, Biomedical Sciences, Business Analyst, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Consultancy, Dentistry, Economics, Education, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Health, Finance, Forensics, Healthcare, Insurance, Law, Mathematician, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, Operational Research, Optometry, Radiography, Pharmacy, Programming, Quantity Surveying, Retail, Software Engineering, Statistician, Veterinary.

Other Information 

Aptitude for the subject combined with consistent application and regular class attendance is vital in this sequential course. For progression in the subject, students must be prepared to undertake a large amount of independent study.  Skills incorporating interpreting information, logic, problem-solving, reasoning and data analysis are essential at this level of Mathematics.  The ability to solve contextualised problems set in novel and unfamiliar ways, with the expectation that pupils are able to select their own approach and bring together various aspects of the course content to reach a final solution, is the key to success in this subject.

Mathematics is an integral part of the STEM initiative. Mathematics can be used as a tool in many work situations and employers are keen for their workforce to be as numerate as possible.

Where opportunities arise Year 13 and Year 14 students studying Mathematics are encouraged to avail of subject related university support events and subject specific company workshops.

Student Comments

“Studying Maths at AS Level enabled me to continue studying a subject that I have a passion for. Although Maths is fast-paced and requires consistent independent study to reinforce what has been taught during class time, the Loreto Maths department made the transition from GCSE to AS Level very smooth, particularly with the extra resources they make available to all students and their focus on past-paper style questions to prepare us for the exams. AS Level Maths tests and stretches your numerical ability, but the teachers provide continual support so that it is both enjoyable and rewarding. Further to my success at AS Level, I am continuing my study of the subject at A2. This is again a significant jump from AS but it has enabled me to deepen my knowledge in the areas of Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus. I am hoping my A Level study of Mathematics will be applicable in my chosen career path of Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry or Pharmacy.”

(Eimear Kelly- Year 14 student)

“Having studied both GCSE Maths and GCSE Further Maths, I decided to continue studying the subject at Post 16. Whilst Further Maths provided me with a good foundation embarking on AS study, it is not a prerequisite for A Level study and there is much new content on AS that is not facilitated via GCSE Further Maths. AS Maths requires a substantial amount of work. It is challenging and demands a lot of time at the outset. Regular revision and independent study is required to fully master the content. However, I find the subject satisfying, rewarding and enjoyable. It is a different form of learning to my other subjects which is refreshing.”
(Maeve McCrystal– Year 13 Student)

“I currently do 4 subjects at AS level including Maths. I did not study GCSE Further Maths at GCSE but I enjoyed GCSE Maths and having achieved a strong grade I decided to pursue my study of the subject at Post 16. Although Maths certainly requires a lot of work throughout the year both in school and at home, I find it a beneficial and an achievable subject which I continue to enjoy. My advice to any Year 12 considering the subject is to be prepared for a lot of work, but if you enjoy the subject and are prepared to invest the time, then it is most enjoyable. The right application is needed to both succeed and enjoy the subject. Maths can open up a range of career opportunities and is complimentary to many other AS subjects. Even if you do not choose to do a career directly related to Maths, studying the subject alone gives you so many transferable skills for a range of disciplines.”
(Eva Conway – Year 13 Maths Student)

Throughout my school life, I have always enjoyed studying Maths, hence the reason I chose it as one of my A Level subjects. I find the subject interesting and my enjoyment has carried through to Post 16. I did study GCSE Further Maths and this has proved beneficial for some but not all the AS content. In Loreto it is not assumed knowledge and the delivery goes back to the basics required in all topics. There is strong support within the department and more than adequate resources to deepen your knowledge and understanding. It is imperative that if you are embarking on the subject you are prepared to complete a lot of independent work to reinforce classwork. Studying Maths enables you to build on many key skills such as problem-solving, decision making and analysing. It also introduces you to the fields of Mechanics and Statistics. Such skills are transferable across a range of courses and careers including Engineering, Financial and Medical pathways. In Southern Universities, A Level Maths is worth an extra 25 CAO points.”

(Milly Duffy- Year 13 Maths Student)

“I am a year 13 student and I study Maths at AS level. I was slightly apprehensive about choosing Maths as I did not study Further Maths at GCSE, however I do not feel like I am at any disadvantage, and if you are prepared to work hard, you will not struggle. The workload significantly increases at AS compared to GCSE, however it is manageable if you keep on top of the material and notes you are given. In the beginning it can feel slightly overwhelming, but as you progress through the course you begin to incorporate more of the earlier topics which help reinforce previous knowledge and skills. So far, I have loved AS Maths and it is a class I always enjoy going to, and I really have enjoyed the challenge that it poses. Maths at AS has allowed me to build on GCSE work and further my knowledge which I have found extremely rewarding and enjoyable. Whilst Maths requires a lot of independent study, it has always been one of my favourite subjects and this has not changed at Post 16.”

(Alanna McGarvey- Year 13 Maths Student)


Eimer Brogan- Year 14 Numeracy Prefect: 

“Having applied for a Senior Leadership role at the end of Year 13, I was appointed as Numeracy Prefect. This role has given me the opportunity to give support to the Maths department in many ways. I help with subject related events such as Number Day, Maths Week Ireland and Pi Day. I also engage in Peer Mentoring for KS3 students who are in need of a little extra support. I support the Head of Maths and Numeracy Co-Ordinator in more general tasks such as wall displays or stationery sales. The Numeracy team also take an active role in facilitating the Year 7/8 Open Night. I have enjoyed this role throughout Year 14 and having studied Maths to A Level it has encouraged me to continue my study of the subject in further education.”

Post 16 Numeracy Prefect supporting learners through Peer Mentoring Clinic.


Past A Level Mathematics Student, Maria Thompson (Summer 2021) who was awarded Top First Year Student in QUB Actuarial Science and Risk Management and 2nd Year Top Student in Actuarial Methods and General Insurance. Maria is currently a third year placement student in Hannover RE, Dublin (Global Insurance Company).

Ciara Mullan, Class of 2019, graduated with a First Class Honours degree BSc (Hons) in Actuarial Science and Risk Management from Queen’s Management School at Queen’s University Belfast. Read about Ciara’s success in the article below: 

Hat-trick for Carrickmore family as Ciara Graduates from Queen’s