Nuffield Advanced Mathematics

This Nuffield Foundation Project was a collaboration which drew on the expertise of the Supported Self Study Unit in Northumberland, the Mechanics in Action project in Manchester, teachers in several Local Authorities as well as the insights of team members at the King’s College London and the West Sussex Institute of Higher Education. The course focused on the differing needs of individuals by offering students the opportunity to follow their own interests, to apply mathematics in solving real problems and to study a range of options.

Key features

Nuffield Advanced Mathematics course had the following features built into it.

*Encouragement for students to co-operate, to take responsibility for their own learning, and to use resources in an independent way

*An emphasis on building good intuitive understanding, through experimenting with graphical and numerical approaches before or in parallel with more formal analytical approaches.

*The use of graphics calculators and spreadsheets

*Mathematical modeling

*Exploratory data analysis based on large datasets

*The use of algorithms to improve students' understanding of mathematics.

*Investigative and exploratory work with students being expected to write about mathematics, give presentations, and use technology appropriately.

*Wider reading about mathematics with the help of a Mathematics Reader

*Aspects of the history of the development of mathematical concepts to add extra insight and interest. 

Course structure

The AS and A-level courses were designed in units of learning which were planned to take about 10 to 20 hours each. This included time spent both in and out of the classroom.

The AS course assumed a total of 300 hours of student learning time, and was based on 15 units of work plus some work of the student's own choice.

The A-level course involved an additional nine units plus one option.

An option was intended to take about 75 hours of student learning time.


Teacher's notes

Books 1 – 5 covering the core course

Eight options books:

*Mechanics 1

*Mechanics 2


*Complex numbers and numerical methods

*Discrete mathematics


*The history of mathematics

*Mathematics, music and art

Resources File

Mathematics Reader



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In addition to the core text books and the options, the Nuffield Advanced Mathematics project published two other resources for students to support their learning and broaden their appreciation of mathematics.

As part of the Nuffield Advanced Mathematics A-level course, each student had to choose an option to study from a list of eight titles. Students could take Further Mathematics at AS or A level by taking a further three or six options.

The option books were intended to be as suitable for individual work and...

The five books covering the core course of Nuffield Advanced Mathematics each consisted mainly of activities through which students could develop their understanding of mathematical ideas and results, or could apply their knowledge and understanding to problems of various kinds. The activities were designed to make...

Nuffield Advanced Mathematics Teacher’s Notes

The teacher's notes for Nuffield Advanced Mathematics were designed to help teachers organise and to support their work with students.

The student materials were designed to support a flexible approach to teaching and...