Core Maths & Accelerated Core Maths has been added to My Courses


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Course specifics

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above (including English Language). Level 2 vocational qualifications (e.g. BTEC/OCR) must be a merit grade or above and only one will count as one GCSE equivalent.
  • If taken over two years GCSE Mathematics at grade 4 or 5
  • If taken over one year GCSE Mathematics at grade 6



Exam board: OCR

95% Pass rate and 43% A-B in 2019

Core Maths is for those who want to keep up their valuable maths skills but who are not planning on taking A-level Mathematics. The Course enables students to maintain and develop real-life mathematics skills. What you will study is not purely theoretical or abstract; it can be applied on a day-to-day basis in work, study or life. 

Mathematics Open Event Presentation

Who should study Core Maths?

Approximately 20 per cent of students study maths 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 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 maths after GCSE. The aim is to ensure that the vast majority of all students in post-16 education continue to study some form of maths.

Although everyone is encouraged to take Core Maths, it will be particularly helpful to you if you are going to be studying Science, Geography, Business Studies or Economics.

What qualifications will I receive if I am successful?

It is a Level 3 qualification so it is equivalent to an AS Level.

How long does it last?

  • Core Maths is a two-year course. 
  • Core Maths Accelerated is a one year course.

Core Maths Accelerated

This is aimed at students who would like to take their Maths beyond GCSE but intend/are likely to take an EPQ in their second year.

What will the course be like?

Core Maths isn't like GCSE Maths. Instead, it is more practical-based; focusing on activities that give you the chance to find new properties or create new ways of thinking to solve concrete problems.


You will take two terminal examinations. The examinations will include questions based on material released approximately two months prior to the exam.


Studying Core Maths will help you keep up essential skills which are increasingly important in the workplace and higher education. On average, students who study maths after GCSE improve their career choices and increase their earnings prospects. Universities and employers are increasingly looking at this qualification as evidence of confidence and resilience when dealing with data, budget management and problem-solving.

Mathematical problem-solving and modelling is becoming increasingly important in the workplace and in higher education. It is essential young people to study maths for longer to develop greater understanding

Professor Hodgen - Kings College London

Core Maths - example question

Meet the Mathematics teachers and students