Access Maths

Access courses are available in most parts of England for mature people (now 19+) who want to take up University places. They are one year full-time (or two year part-time) courses that lead to Access Certificates measured in ‘credits’. A typical entry offer has hitherto been 16 credits at level 3 and four at level 2. Aparently the ‘credit’ has been revalued so that 1 old credit is worth three new credits.

Most Access students are studying to take up degrees in Nursing, Midwifery, Sociology, Social Work, Health Studies. All of these students will take some kind of statistics unit at University. Few will need to calculate the height of a tetrahedral pyramid.

Many Access courses require GCSE ‘equivalence’ in English and Maths. Maths has always been four old credits (12 new credits) at level 2. Just what has to be included has always been decided by a process of negotiation – and I am making a stand for more data handling and less shape and space.

In my draft Access units, the data handling unit will include

  • Standard deviation calculation and interpretation as a measure of dispersion
  • Spearman’s ranked correlation coefficient

The Shape and Space module will lose

  • Trigonometry
  • Angles of depression and elevation

I see this as a fair exchange. Time will tell.

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