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

Core Maths

AQA Certificate in Mathematical Studies

City & Guilds Certificate in Using and Applying Mathematics

OCR (MEI)* Certificate in Quantitative Problem Solving

OCR (MEI)* Certificate in Quantitative Reasoning

Pearson Edexcel Certificate in Mathematics in Context

WJEC Eduqas Certificate in Mathematics for Work and Life

 

*MEI: Mathematics in Education and Industry

Countries
  • England
  • Northern Ireland (excluding WJEC Eduqas Level 3 Mathematics for Work and Life)
  • Wales (excluding WJEC Eduqas Level 3 Mathematics for Work and Life)
Purpose

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

Education context

Core Maths will be admitted to the DfE 16–19 Performance Tables from 2017 within the Level 3 mathematics measure.

Core Maths is a performance table category which signifies mathematical qualifications suitable for those:

  • with a grade C or grade 4, or above, in GCSE mathematics at age 16
  • not taking AS or A level mathematics or an International Baccalaureate (IB) mathematics certificate

They are part of the TechBacc performance measure from 2016; this comprises a Tech Level, the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), and one of the following Level 3 mathematics qualifications – A level, AS level, IB Certificates in mathematical studies or mathematics, or Core Maths.

The qualifications have been available to all schools since autumn 2015.

The qualifications are supported by the government-funded Core Maths Support Programme.

Awarding organisations
  • AQA
  • City & Guilds
  • OCR
  • Pearson Education Ltd
  • WJEC
  • Eduqas
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)
Structure

All Core Maths qualifications are required to be linear in structure, with assessments that count towards grading taking place at the end of the course of study.

They are generally taken over two years.

Subject areas

Core Maths qualifications are required to contain content which will achieve the following objectives for learners:

  1. Deepen competence in the selection and use of mathematical methods and techniques.
  2. Develop confidence in representing and analysing authentic situations mathematically and in applying mathematics to address related questions and issues.
  3. Build skills in mathematical reasoning and communication.
Levels
  • Level 3

Level 3 qualifications regulated by Ofqual to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

A levels are also Level 3 qualifications regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

Level 3 is the same level as the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 6.

Grading

A – E

Assessment

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.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

The exact contribution of assessment components to the overall grade differs between awarding organisations. However all are subject to the following conditions:

  • a minimum of 25 per cent synoptic assessment
  • a minimum of 80 per cent external examination assessment
  • a maximum of 20 per cent coursework assessment
Resit arrangements

Core Maths qualifications allow retakes of the full qualification with the best result counting for the student.

All qualifications are linear and so all components must be retaken in the same series.

Written coursework for summative assessment can only be submitted once within a sitting of the qualification.

Guided / notional learning hours
180 hours
Guided / notional learning hours notes

All Core Maths qualifications are 180 glh.

For comparison AS is also 180 glh; A levels are 360 glh.

UCAS Tariff points

AQA Certificate in Mathematical Studies (Core Maths)

Grade Points
A 20
B 16
C 12
D 10
E 6

City & Guilds Certificate in Using and Applying Mathematics (Core Maths)

Grade Points
A 20
B 16
C 12
D 10
E 6

OCR Certificate in Quantitative Problem Solving (MEI) (Core Maths)

Grade Points
A 20
B 16
C 12
D 10
E 6

OCR Certificate in Quantitative Reasoning (MEI) (Core Maths)

Grade Points
A 20
B 16
C 12
D 10
E 6

Pearson Edexcel Certificate in Mathematics in Context (Core Maths)

Grade Points
A 20
B 16
C 12
D 10
E 6

WJEC Eduqas Certificate in Mathematics for Work and Life (Core Maths)

Grade Points
A 20
B 16
C 12
D 10
E 6
Key issues for UK HE admissions

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

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: www.ucas.com/advisers/guides-and-resources/qualification-reform#stateme…

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.

Timing of assessments and results

Assessments take place at the end of the course in May/June each year.

Results are issued in mid-August on the same day as A level results.

Qualification dates notes

This qualification is current.

National teaching of the qualifications in England started in September 2015.

The first assessment opportunities were in summer 2016.

Reporting of results and certification information

Since August 2016, awarding organisations involved in the pilot have published a report on results on their websites.

From August 2017, all awarding organisations offering Core Maths will publish a report on their website.

Results are reported to JCQ.

Results are also sent to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL).

Progression information

Core Maths qualifications equip students with the general mathematical knowledge and skills required by higher education and employment.

They should be highlighted when applying for jobs, training, or university since there are many reasons why mathematical skills are valued.

Students can progress to a wide range of higher education courses but not those that specifically request AS or A level Mathematics or Further Mathematics as part of their entry requirements.

These qualifications all appear in Apply with ‘(Core Maths)’ at the end of their titles to aid students in finding their qualifications.

Further information

Further information on the generic requirements for Core Maths qualifications can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/450294/Core-Maths-Technical-Guidance.pdf

The six 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:

www.aqa.org.uk/1350

www.cityandguilds.com/coremaths

www.ocr.org.uk/coremaths

www.edexcel.com/coremaths

http://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/mathematics/level-3/