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What is Core Maths

The new ‘Core Maths’ qualifications are 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.

Who Is It For

The new Core Maths qualification is for students who have passed GCSE Mathematics at grade 4 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.

How Is Core Maths Taught?

Core Maths builds on GCSE maths with a sharper focus on problem-solving skills by considering and tackling mathematics in meaningful contexts. This includes financial applications of mathematics as well as further statistical ideas that can support work in other subjects they will be studying such as psychology, health sciences, geography, sociology and even history. Although the course is mainly led by mathematics teachers, the involvement of other subject specialists is welcomed to ensure students appreciate the applications of mathematics in different subjects. Many ‘early adopter’ Schools and Colleges are finding this approach beneficial not only to the students but also in supporting capacity challenges.


Students in social sciences, business, psychology, sciences and health sciences who are not taking A/AS level Maths may find the Core Maths element useful in preparing for university study where a working application of maths or statistics may be required.

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Why Choose Core Maths

Core Maths has been designed to maintain and develop real-life maths skills. What you study is not purely theoretical or abstract; it can be applied on a day-to-day basis in work, study or life and most courses will include a financial maths element. 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.

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