Is Further Maths A-Level Worth It? Should You Do An EPQ Or A-Level Further Maths?

is further maths a level worth it

Imagine solving a Math that seems endless, confusing, and mentally draining. A nightmare to most A-level students, except you are a genius like Einstein. That’s what you experience when you take Further Math. 

The decision of which A-level subject to take is a crucial choice that will affect one’s university admission and eventually, future career. This kind of tough decision is what mathematically inclined students make when they have to choose whether to take Further Math or do an EPQ. 

Taking Further Math goes beyond the normal A-level math curriculum; it involves extra mental strain and deep problem-solving abilities. 

In this piece, we will explore bit by bit, the benefits and challenges associated with taking A-Level Further Math, how to get started if it’s your choice and that could aid you decide if you are up for it or not. 

In addition, we will also look at the viable alternative of taking an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and hopefully, it will clear the air for your choice.

Is further maths A-level worth it?

This is a question many students grapple with when planning their educational journey. A-Level Further Maths is an advanced math course that delves deeper into complex mathematical concepts.

While it can be challenging, it offers several benefits. It can open doors to prestigious universities and enhance your problem-solving skills, making you a strong candidate in various STEM fields. However, it demands dedication and time.

Alternatively, you might consider an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), which allows you to explore a topic of personal interest. Ultimately, the decision hinges on your aspirations, strengths, and career goals. In this guide, we’ll help you weigh the pros and cons, empowering you to make an informed choice.

Read: Are A-Levels Further Education? Why Study A-Levels at a Further Education College?

How hard is further maths A level?

A-Level Further Maths is known for its difficulty, and it’s often considered one of the most challenging A-Level subjects. It delves deep into advanced mathematical concepts, requiring a strong foundation in core mathematics.

The coursework involves complex topics such as calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations. Students need exceptional problem-solving skills, dedication, and a passion for mathematics to excel in this subject. The workload can be demanding, with rigorous coursework and assessments.

However, for those pursuing careers in mathematics, engineering, physics, or related fields, the difficulty can be worth it, as A-Level Further Maths can significantly enhance your qualifications and open doors to top-tier universities and competitive career opportunities.

Why study further maths at the A level?

Studying Further Maths at the A-Level level offers numerous advantages. Firstly, it deepens your mathematical knowledge, preparing you for more advanced studies in STEM fields. It’s highly regarded by prestigious universities and can give you a competitive edge in your college applications.

Further Maths fosters strong problem-solving skills and logical thinking, which are valuable in various career paths.

Additionally, it allows for specialization and exploration of complex mathematical concepts, making you a sought-after candidate in fields like engineering, physics, computer science, and economics.

In essence, A-Level Further Maths not only enhances your academic profile but also equips you with skills essential for success in the modern workforce.

What can you do with further maths A level?

A-Level Further Maths can open doors to a wide range of opportunities and career paths. With this qualification, you can pursue higher education in mathematics, engineering, physics, computer science, economics, and related fields at top-tier universities.

It can lead to exciting professions such as data scientist, actuary, software engineer, financial analyst, and research scientist. Further Maths also equips you with valuable problem-solving and analytical skills, which are highly transferable to various industries, including finance, technology, research, and academia.

Overall, A-Level Further Maths enhances your academic profile and sets you on a path to excel in demanding and rewarding careers that require a strong mathematical foundation and analytical thinking.

Also, read: How to Get an A* in A-Level Maths ( Ultimate Guide)

How does an EPQ compare to A-level further maths?

An Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and A-Level Further Maths are distinct academic pursuits with their unique characteristics. The key differences lie in their content and purpose.

A-Level Further Maths is a rigorous, subject-specific qualification that focuses exclusively on advanced mathematics. It’s well-suited for students pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines, offering in-depth mathematical knowledge.

Conversely, an EPQ is a more flexible, interdisciplinary qualification where you undertake independent research on a topic of personal interest. It allows you to develop research, presentation, and critical thinking skills, enhancing your ability to explore diverse subjects.

The choice between the two depends on your career aspirations and interests. A-Level Further Maths is ideal for those aiming for math-intensive courses, while an EPQ offers versatility for exploring broader academic interests.

What is an EPQ?

An Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is an independent research project undertaken by students in the United Kingdom.

Typically completed during the final years of secondary education (usually at age 16-18), an EPQ allows students to explore a subject of their choosing in depth. It involves conducting research, producing a substantial written report, and often includes a presentation to showcase findings.

The EPQ provides students with valuable skills such as critical thinking, research, time management, and independent learning.

It’s recognized by universities and can enhance college applications, offering an opportunity to delve into a personal interest or prepare for higher education. EPQ topics can span a wide range of subjects, from science and humanities to arts and social sciences.

Why go for an EPQ?

Opting for an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) offers several compelling reasons. Firstly, it allows you to delve deeply into a subject you’re genuinely passionate about, fostering a love for learning.

EPQ hones essential skills like research, critical thinking, time management, and project planning, which are invaluable for both academics and future careers.

Moreover, universities highly value EPQs during the admissions process, as they demonstrate your commitment, independent study skills, and intellectual curiosity. It can give your college application a competitive edge, especially when applying for competitive courses or institutions.

Lastly, an EPQ empowers you to explore diverse interests, bridging gaps between subjects and preparing you for interdisciplinary challenges in an ever-evolving world.

Read: How To Get EPQ UCAS Points As A Student: 2024 Complete Guide

Is an EPQ worth it?

Yes, pursuing an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is often worth it. It offers numerous benefits, such as honing critical research and time-management skills, which are invaluable for future academic and professional endeavors.

EPQ projects allow you to explore a personal interest deeply, fostering a genuine love for learning. Moreover, universities highly regard EPQs during the admissions process, enhancing your chances of securing a place at your desired institution.

The independent nature of the EPQ also prepares you for the self-directed learning often required in higher education and the workplace. Overall, the knowledge and skills gained from an EPQ can have long-lasting positive impacts on your academic and career journey.

How hard is an EPQ?

The difficulty of an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) varies from student to student. It’s generally considered challenging due to its emphasis on independent research and project management. The level of difficulty often depends on the complexity of your chosen topic and your time management skills.

While an EPQ demands commitment, critical thinking, and effective research, it also offers a rewarding experience.

With proper planning and guidance, many students complete their EPQs and find the skills they gain to be valuable assets in their academic and professional journeys. The level of challenge is balanced by the opportunity for personal growth and exploration.

Also, read: How To Write An EPQ Essay till Conclusion (Step-by-Step Guide)

What can you do with an EPQ?

Completing an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) opens up a range of opportunities:

  • University Applications: An EPQ enhances your college application, impressing admissions officers with your research, critical thinking, and independent learning skills. It can boost your chances of acceptance into competitive programs.
  • Academic Advancement: The research and project management skills gained through an EPQ are valuable in higher education. They prepare you for the rigorous demands of college coursework.
  • Career Edge: The skills cultivated during an EPQ, such as research, presentation, and time management, are transferable to various professions, giving you an advantage in the job market.
  • Personal Growth: Beyond academics and career prospects, an EPQ allows you to explore your interests and passions deeply, fostering a love for lifelong learning.

Should you do an EPQ or A-level further maths?

The choice between doing an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or A-Level Further Maths depends on your academic interests, career goals, and strengths.

Choose A-Level Further Maths if you have a strong passion for mathematics, plan to pursue a STEM-related field at university, and are comfortable with a challenging, specialized curriculum.

Opt for an EPQ if you want to explore a broader range of subjects, have a specific non-mathematical interest you want to investigate deeply, or if you value developing research, critical thinking, and project management skills.

Consider combining both if you can manage the workload and desire a well-rounded academic profile. Ultimately, it’s about aligning your choice with your aspirations and strengths.

What do universities prefer: Further maths A level or an EPQ?

Universities don’t universally prefer one qualification over the other; their preference depends on the course and institution.

For STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs, A-Level Further Maths is often highly regarded and, in some cases, required. It demonstrates a strong mathematical foundation.

Also, see: Which Universities in the UK Are Like EPQs?

On the other hand, an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) showcases research, critical thinking, and independent study skills. Many universities appreciate the EPQ, especially for humanities and social science courses, as it prepares students for the demands of higher education.


Is EPQ worth it for maths?

Yes, an EPQ can be worthwhile for math enthusiasts. It allows for deeper exploration of mathematical topics and enhances research and critical thinking skills, benefiting future mathematical endeavors.

Should I do further maths or an EPQ?

The decision between Further Maths and an EPQ depends on your interests and goals. Further Maths is ideal for math-focused careers, while an EPQ offers versatility in exploration.

Is further maths the hardest A-level?

A-Level Further Maths is often considered one of the most challenging due to its complex mathematical concepts and rigorous coursework, but “hardest” may vary by individual strengths and interests.


The decision to choose between Further Maths and EPQ solely depends on your personal interests, goals, and abilities. Both of them pose their respective pros and cons. Whichever you choose, having a solid mathematical background comes in handy.

However, if you have a strong interest in developing a mental capacity for Further Math, and love to pick up the challenge, then go for it; otherwise, stay with what you are good at already.



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