Core Maths is an umbrella term for a specific type of level 3 maths qualification. These qualifications are only available in England.
Core Maths qualifications are equal in size to an AS level qualification and are graded A-E. They have the same UCAS tariff points as an AS level qualification, and they’re included in the government’s 16-19 performance tables and the TechBacc performance measure. Core Maths is usually studied over a two-year period and can be taken alongside A levels or vocational courses.
Core Maths is an incredibly useful qualification to gain. It helps students make sense of the information they will meet in the workplace, further study, or later life. It’s an ideal option for students who’ve passed GCSE Mathematics at grade 4 or better, but who have not chosen to study AS or A level Mathematics.
The first Core Maths examinations took place in 2016, since which entry numbers have grown rapidly, as this summary shows.
Studying Core Maths helps students by:
- developing their quantitative and problem-solving skills
- giving them confidence in understanding mathematical content in other courses they are taking
- helping them become better informed citizens by being able to make sense of the information they meet in the workplace, further study, or later life
There are six Core Maths qualifications:
- AQA Level 3 Certificate Mathematical Studies
- City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Using and Applying Mathematics
- NCFE Level 3 Certificate in Mathematics for Everyday Life
- Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Certificate in Mathematics in Context
- OCR Level 3 Certificate in Core Maths A (MEI)
- OCR Level 3 Certificate in Core Maths B (MEI)
We’ve produced this handy summary to help you to compare them.
All six focus on using and applying maths, and include many ideas and skills that support maths in other courses, such as:
- interpreting solutions in the context of the problem
- understanding sources of error and bias when problem-solving
- working with data
- understanding risk and probability
- understanding variation in statistics
- using exponential functions to model growth and decay
Most Core Maths qualifications also include:
- percentage change
- interpretation of graphs
- financial maths
- using standard units
- Fermi estimation
- the Normal distribution
- correlation, knowing it does not imply causation
- making and evaluating assumptions when modelling or problem-solving
If you’d like to find out more about Core Maths, and the extensive support that’s available for offering it to your students, please visit the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme website.