Core Maths

It is designed to support you with the mathematical and statistical needs of your further study of other subjects, as well as for employment and everyday life.

Apply now

Entry requirements

What you learn

Your needs in preparing for a variety of technical and professional roles are met through learning about mathematical modelling, costing, risk and the use of spreadsheets. Financial problem solving is a part of the qualification; this is important for all learners, irrespective of their future ambitions. This qualification gives you the mathematical skills to tackle problems in a variety of authentic situations.  It enables you to strengthen your mathematical knowledge and skills which you have learnt from the new Mathematics GCSE (9-1) course so that you can apply them to the problems which you will encounter in further study, life and employment.

The use of technology – in particular, spreadsheets – is an integral part of the course. Using mathematics creatively to address authentic problems, communicating, thinking clearly and evaluating quantitative statements are features of this qualification.  The ability to reason confidently using quantitative information and to check the accuracy of statements made by others is important for all future study and employment as well as for effective participation in everyday life.

Please note – if you are opting to study any of the following subjects: Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, IT, Physics or Psychology and not opting to study A Level Mathematics then we recommend taking level 3 Core Maths as your 4th option (rather than EPQ or Directed Study).

Additional information:

  • Core Maths is a level 3 certificate equivalent to an AS Level
  • Core Maths can only be taken as a 4th option
  • Core Maths can be taken in addition to A Level Mathematics (as they are very different courses)
  • Timetabling is 5 hours per fortnight over 2 years
  • Both external exams are in May of Year 13, before most A Level exams.

The Course Structure

The content is split between two components:  Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning (Year 12) and Critical Maths (Year 12/13).  Within the Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning unit, you will be taught how to use a modelling cycle, a statistical problem solving cycle and a financial problem solving cycle. You are also taught to use spreadsheets to work on a variety of problems. Through the Critical Maths unit, you will work on a greater variety of problems – the emphasis is on you using and extending your understanding of mathematics, selecting appropriate ways of reasoning and developing a high level of fluency that will enable you to see the world around you through mathematical eyes.  By the end of the course, you should be asking “what does that mean?” and “does that sound about right?” whenever you encounter a quantitative situation or statement. Group work and discussion are major aspects of the course as you further develop verbal and written reasoning skills.

Internal Assessment

As part of the Year 11 to Year 12 transition the students will complete a transition test at the start of the course and then a cross-topic test approximately every half term. Students will also sit formal mock examinations in Year 12 and Year 13.

External Assessment

There is no coursework assessment and all external exams are sat in Year 13.

  • Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning: 72 marks, 2 hour written paper, ½ of the qualification
  • Critical Maths: 60 marks, 2 hour written paper, ½ of the qualification
  • Pre-release material will be made available to study in advance of the examinations. It will be relevant to some (but not all) of the questions in an examination paper.

Where does level 3 Core Maths lead?

The skills developed in the study of Mathematics are increasingly important in the workplace and in higher education.  Universities have welcomed the new Core Maths qualifications as

By completing it successfully you will be better equipped with the mathematical skills that are required for many degree courses.  Studying Core Maths will also help you improve your career choices.

Potential Careers

  • Accounting
  • Business
  • Civil service
  • Computer programming
  • Construction
  • Consultancy
  • Data analysis
  • Design
  • Engineering
  • Finance
  • Forensic pathology
  • Games development
  • Information Technology
  • Psychology
  • Scientific research
  • Teaching

 Entry Requirements

Subject Qualification (Level 3) Required GCSE Grades
(in addition to Sixth Form entry requirements)
Additional Information
Core Maths Level 3 5+ Mathematics Taken as a 4th option only but can be taken alongside A Level Mathematics

What You Learn

Our Learning Journeys have been created to give you a flavour for the types of topics students study in each year at our school. They show what will be covered throughout the year and during each half-term, but please note there is some flexibility to what is taught when. We hope you find them helpful.