Core Mathematics

This new level 3 qualification was introduced for first teaching in September 2014. It is distinct from A Level mathematics and it should fit alongside a student’s main 16-18 programme. It is designed to be taken over two years and is around half the size of an A level.

Why study Core Maths?

The new ‘Core Maths’ qualifications are designed to better prepare students for the mathematical demands of study, employment and life. It will develop students’ ability to think mathematically, logically and analytically and will build skills in applying maths to new problems and issues.

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.

Core Maths will maintain and develop students’ real-life mathematical skills. The study is not purely theoretical or abstract; it can be applied on a day-to-day basis in work, study or life and includes a financial mathematics element. Studying Core Maths will also support other A-Level subjects – in particular with science, geography, business studies, psychology and economics.

What are the careers or further education that this course be suitable for?

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 mathematics after GCSE improve their career choices and increase their earning potential. Please see for further details.

Key Information Summary:

Course Title Mathematical Studies
Examination Board AQA
Linear Qualification? Yes
Course Webpage
Entry Requirements Grade 4 or above in GCSE mathematics
Contact Teachers Mrs Cannon:

Course Details:

The AQA specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills you will have acquired studying GCSE mathematics with a sharper focus on problem solving skills by considering and tackling mathematics in meaningful contexts. The core areas studied are financial applications of mathematics, critical analysis of data and estimation as well as the optional units including further statistical techniques, critical path and risk analysis and graphical techniques. All of which can support work in other subjects.

AQA Mathematical Studies is a linear course with terminal examinations at the end of Year 13 and attracts the following UCAS tariffs.

Subject Content:

Compulsory Content Optional Content

·         Analysis of data

·         Maths for personal finance

·         Estimation

·         Critical analysis of given data and models (including spreadsheets and tabular data)


·         The normal distribution

·         Probabilities and estimation

·         Correlation and regression

·         Critical path analysis

·         Expectation and cost benefit analysis

·         Graphical methods

·         Rates of change

·         Exponential functions


Assessment details:

  Paper 1 Paper 2
What is assessed? Compulsory Content: Analysis of data Maths for personal finance Estimation Optional Content: Paper 2A: Statistical Techniques Or Paper 2B: Critical path and risk analysis Or Paper 2C: Graphical Techniques
Examinations details 1 hour 30 minutes written paper 60 marks Scientific calculator allowed Copy of Preliminary Material available in advance and a clean copy of Preliminary Material to be provided in examination room Formulae sheet available No optional questions