Core Mathematics (Level 3 Certificate)

What is Core Mathematics?

Core Maths is a new course designed for post-16 students who want to continue studying mathematics but not at AS or A-Level.  The Core Maths qualifications will help you retain, deepen and extend your mathematics to be better prepared for higher education and employment. The qualification merits UCAS points the same as AS Level.

‘It’s good because I like maths but couldn’t do A-level maths’ – Core Maths student, Year 12

What do I need to be able to study Core Maths?

You will need a grade C or above in mathematics at GCSE.

Why Core Maths?

Core Maths qualifications are part of a wider initiative to improve maths in England.  Only 20 per cent of students study maths beyond GCSE in the UK – one of the lowest rates in leading developed countries in the world; in Japan, this figure is 85 per cent. This puts young people in the UK – you – at a major disadvantage in a global job market.  The government wants this to change and has put in place a plan to encourage more students to study maths after GCSE. The aim is that by 2020, the majority of all students in post-16 education continue to study some form of maths.


‘It is essential that students keep up their maths skills but clearly A-level and AS-level mathematics aren’t for everybody. The Core Maths qualification gives students the opportunity to maintain and develop everyday maths skills that will be really useful to them both at university and when they start work.’ – Dr Deidre Hughes OBE, chair of the National Careers Council, England


All assessment for the Core Mathematics will be by examinations in the June Series at the end of Year 13.

Paper 1: Comprehension (40%, 1 hour 40 mins)

Paper 2: Applications (60%, 1 hour 40 mins)


Why should I do Core Maths?

Core Maths will help you understand and apply clear, mathematical reasoning to real-life problems, analyse and interpret data in various contexts and confidently deal with everyday financial maths, helping you to understand the impact of interest rates on loans and investments. These practical mathematical skills will also help you with your other A-Level subjects, in particular with sciences, geography, business studies, psychology, and economics. 

Universities have already come out in strong support of Core Maths qualifications; even subjects like history now recognise the importance of statistics and problem solving skills learned studying Core Maths.

Employers from all different sectors are also firmly behind Core Maths qualifications. Many roles in today’s workplace require high levels of budget management and problem-solving skills; Core Maths will equip you with these skills.


Further Information

Please see:
Dr Shaw
Mr Hardy