What is Core Mathematics?
Core Mathematics is a brand new course for those who want to keep up their valuable Mathematics skills but who are not planning on taking A-level mathematics. At the end of the two-year course, you will come out with a level 3 qualification – similar to an AS. The qualification is assessed by final examination and some courses also offer the option of submitting a portfolio of coursework.
What do I need to be able to study Core Mathematics?
You will need a grade 4 or above in mathematics at GCSE.
Should I do Core Mathematics?
Core Mathematics has been designed to maintain and develop real-life 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 Mathematics 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 Mathematics will help you keep up these essential skills. On average, students who study Mathematics after GCSE improve their career choices and increase their earning prospects.
Will it be recognised by universities and employers?
Core Mathematics 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 Mathematics qualification will help you hit the ground running at university.
Employers from all different sectors are also firmly behind the Core Mathematics qualification. Many roles in today’s workplace require high levels of budget management and problem-solving skills; Core Mathematics will be a useful tool in equipping you with these skills.
‘It is essential that students keep up their Mathematics skills but clearly A-level and AS-level mathematics aren’t for everybody. Core Mathematics gives students the opportunity to maintain and develop everyday Mathematics skills that will be really useful to them both at university and when they start work.’
Dr Deidre Hughes OBE, chair of the National Careers Council, England
Why haven’t I heard of it?
Core Mathematics is a brand new course and is part of a wider initiative to improve Mathematics in England – and you could be a part of it. Forward-thinking sixth forms and colleges are offering the qualification from September 2014 and it will be available to all schools and colleges from September 2015.
Why Core Mathematics?
Only 20 per cent of students study mathematics beyond GCSE in the UK – the lowest rate in leading developed countries in the world; in Japan, this figure is 85 per cent. This puts young people in the UK – you – at a major disadvantage in a global job market. The UK government wants this to change and has put in place a plan to encourage more students to carry on studying mathematics after GCSE. The aim is to ensure that by 2020, the vast majority of all students in post-16 education continue to study some form of mathematics.
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