Core Maths is a new Level 3 course for students who achieve a Grade 4 or above pass at GCSE Maths. The qualification is designed to prepare students for the mathematical demands of work study and life.

It's a major part of the government's plan to increase participation post 16 and raise mathematical standards. The ambition is for the majority of students to continue studying maths until 18 years old by 2020.

The course has been developed with employers, universities and professional bodies as valuable preparation for higher education and employment.


You will need a Grade 4 or above in mathematics at GCSE.


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. 

This course has been introduced to address these issues and, importantly, counts towards the Level 3 mathematics achievement measure in 2017 Performance Tables.


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.


Core Maths is a new course but already several universities have come out in strong support of it. Even subjects like history 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. 

UCAS Points Table

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