Core Maths

What is Core Maths?

The ‘Core Maths’ qualification is designed to better prepare students for the mathematical demands of study, employment and life. The Core Maths initiative is a major part of the government’s plan to increase participation and raise standards in mathematics – the ambition is for most students to continue studying mathematics to 18 by 2020. The course has been developed with employers, universities and professional bodies as valuable preparation for university study and employment.

Why Core Maths?

There has been a tremendous amount of coverage in the Media recently about the UK’s gap in basic Maths skills. Only 20% of students study Maths beyond GCSE in the UK – the lowest rate in leading developed countries in the world; in Japan, this figure is 85%. This puts young people in the UK at a major disadvantage in a global job market.

The Higher Education STEM project, investigating the mathematical and statistical requirements in undergraduate disciplines, reported that many students arrive at university with unrealistic expectations of the mathematical and statistical demands of their subjects which leads to a lack of confidence and anxiety by the students.

Who is it for and why should I study Core Maths?

The new Core Maths qualification has been designed to maintain and develop real-life Maths skills and is for students who have passed GCSE mathematics at level 5 or above but have decided not to study A Level Mathematics. It builds upon and strengthens existing skills and focuses on using and applying mathematics to solve problems relevant to their everyday lives. It will also help with other A Level subjects – in particular with science, geography, business studies, psychology and economics.

The skills developed in the study of mathematics are increasingly important in the workplace and in higher education; studying Core Maths will help you keep up these essential skills. Most students who study Maths after GCSE improve their career choices and increase their earning potential.

Will it be recognised by universities and employers?

Core Maths is a new course but already several universities have come out in strong support of it. A wide array of subjects now recognise the importance of statistics and so a Core Maths qualification will help you hit the ground running at university.

Employers from all different sectors are also firmly behind the Core Maths qualification. Many roles in today’s workplace require high levels of budget management and problem-solving skills; Core Maths will be a useful tool in equipping you with these skills.

The qualification is equivalent to an AS Level in terms of UCAS points

Course Outline

Compulsory content covers the analysis of data (data collection, calculation of statistics such as mean and standard deviation, statistical diagrams), personal finance, estimation, critical analysis and use of spreadsheets. There are further options which would depend on your other subject choices and include more advanced use of statistics and graphs.

The course will be studied for 4 lessons a week for the first year only. Students will sit two question papers of equal demand that are 90 minutes long.

Entry Guidelines

Grade 5 in GCSE Maths.