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Study Mathematics and Science

The Department of Mathematics and Science Exeter College

The Department of Mathematics and Science is one of five departments within the Sixth at Exeter College It provides a range of GCSE's and A levels (AS & A2) in mathematics and science; the BTEC First Diploma in Science and a BTEC National Diploma in Forensic Scienc, as well as a Science Access to HE course. The college's International Baccalaureate programme is also managed from the department.

Exeter College is one of the few centres in the South West providing the International Baccalaureate, which over the years been extremely successful, and in the last academic year produced the highest achievements for four years. The IB provides a prestigious alternative to either of the A level academic or General Diploma vocational routes. The International Baccalaureate was born of efforts to establish a common curriculum and university entrance qualification for students moving from one country to another. International educators were motivated by practical considerations and also by an idealistic vision. They believed that students should share academic experience that would emphasise critical thinking, inter-cultural understanding and exposure to a variety of points of view. They anticipated today's global economics, mass international travel and the breaking down of traditional, national barriers. The International Baccalaureate Organisation's [IBO] Diploma Programme was established in 1968 in Geneva. It is a demanding pre-university course for able, highly motivated students aged 16 to 19. The IB Diploma has earned a reputation for rigorous assessment, giving successful students access to the world's leading universities. The programme's grading system is criterion referenced, meaning that each student's performance is measured against clearly defined levels of achievement. These standards are consistent from one examination session to the next and are applied to all schools and colleges across the world. 2004 was a year of outstanding success for IB students at Exeter College, 45 students completed the IB programme last year, with an overall pass rate of 90% compared with a world pass rate of 84% in 2004. Many students gained outstanding individual points scores out of a maximum of 45 points. 45% of Exeter College students achieved 35 points or above, compared with 22% worldwide. The highest individual score was 42 points, placing that student in the top 2% in the world! 21% of students in Exeter achieved 40 points or more, which is the threshold for entry to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. These successes demonstrate that Exeter is an ideal location in which to offer the IB. We are able to attract a cohort of articulate, able students with an international perspective and an aspiration to study a wide range of subjects, as well as wanting to participate in creative, physical and community based project work. For students such as these, the IB is definitely the right course for a bright future at university and beyond.

The department also delivers several AS/A2 and GCSE evening classes. The college is the sole provider of evening classes in Chemistry and Physics in the region and A level Human Biology and Maths one-year 'Fast Track'. A significant amount of servicing work, particularly in Mathematics is carried out in other departments and on other sites. Pass rates and retention are high with benchmarks exceeded in many subjects.

There are currently 318 students in Tutor Groups in the department, Tutorial work is directed at the academic and pastoral care of students and conforms to a range of college policies. Key Skills are delivered in taught groups across the college with the department being responsible for Application of Number at levels 1, 2 and 3.

Recent developments in the department include the introduction of a range of mathematics qualifications at level 1 and 2, enabling progression from basic numeracy to GCSE. An ongoing upgrading of the department's facilities is also in progress.The level 2 provision in science has been reviewed over the last year with the object of increasing the programme choice available and the BTEC First Diploma in Science has been successfully introduced.

There are currently 25 full-time permanent lecturing staff and three Associate Lecturers working in the department based in four curriculum teams: Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences.

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Exeter College

33-36 Queen Street


Devon EX4 3SR


01392 205232

International Office

01392 205455