Core Maths: qualifications that count towards DfE 16–19 Performance Tables in this category

Qualification codes
601/4945/0 (AQA Certificate in Mathematical Studies)
601/4708/8 (City & Guilds Certificate in Using and Applying Mathematics)
601/4782/9 (OCR (MEI) Certificate in Quantitative Problem Solving)
601/4783/0 (OCR (MEI) Certificate in Quantitative Reasoning)
601/4857/3 (Pearson Edexcel Certificate in Mathematics in Context)
601/4842/1 (WJEC Eduqas Certificate in Mathematics for Work and Life)
603/3437/X (NCFE Level 3 Certificate in Mathematics for Everyday Life (first teaching from Sep. 2019))

This is a new category of qualification from first teaching 2014.

Core Maths is a generic title for a range of different Level 3 mathematical qualifications; it is not a qualification title in itself.

The key purposes are to widen participation in the study of mathematics from age 16 and to support the development of mathematical skills for progression to higher education and employment.

The qualifications offer an opportunity for students not studying AS or A level mathematics to study a Level 3 mathematics course alongside their main programme of study.

These qualifications offer a different range of progression opportunities to AS or A level mathematics; they will be particularly useful for those progressing to higher education courses with a specific mathematical content such as psychology, geography, business, and management.

The seven Core Maths qualifications available have distinctive characteristics in addition to the generic features described in this QIP.


A – E


All Core Maths qualifications are linear, with assessment that counts towards grading taking place at the end of the course of study.

All qualifications include a significant element of synoptic assessment which require candidates to identify and use, in an integrated way, a selection of skills, techniques, concepts, theories, and knowledge from across the course content.

A minimum of 80 per cent of the overall grade is based on external examination assessment.

Any internal assessments are subject to external moderation.

Coursework may play a role in the assessment of Core Maths qualifications.

Further information

Since September 2015 the qualifications have been available to all schools and colleges; a larger number applicants may offer one of the qualifications from 2017 onwards.

Core Maths qualifications will generally be taken by applicants alongside A levels, Applied General and Tech Level qualifications.

Core Maths qualifications have been designed as two-year courses; however, some students may take the qualification in one year.

The qualifications are designed for learners holding at least a grade C or a grade 4 in GCSE mathematics, to enable them to develop further mathematical understanding and skills in the application of mathematics to authentic problems.

They are expected to provide a sound basis for the general mathematical demands that students will face at university and within employment across a broad range of academic, professional, and technical fields.

The qualifications are valuable for all students progressing to university but particularly those progressing to higher education courses with a distinct mathematical or statistical element such as psychology, geography, business, and management. Several universities and colleges make reference to Core Maths as part of their curriculum reform statements; these can be viewed at:…

Core Maths qualifications are distinct from A level and AS mathematics, which focus more on developing mathematical techniques, advanced analysis of mathematical problems, and construction of related arguments and methods of proof.

Core Maths qualifications are unlikely to satisfy the requirements of those universities and colleges offering courses that require AS mathematics, due to the differences in skill and knowledge development.

The design of each qualification accredited has been actively supported by at least six stakeholders to include employers, university or college academic departments, and professional and learned bodies.

Further information on the generic requirements for Core Maths qualifications can be found at:

The seven Core Maths qualifications available have distinctive characteristics in addition to the generic features described in this QIP.

For further information view the specifications at the links below: