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Luton Sixth Form

Mathematical Studies (Core Maths AQA Level 3)

Why study Mathematics?

The skills and techniques which are developed in Mathematics play a significant part in many other disciplines. Mathematics, as well as being an important subject in its own right, is vital as a support for many subjects, especially in the Sciences and Social Sciences, e.g. Biology, Business Studies, Economics, Computing, Geography, Psychology, BTEC Applied Science, Business, Health and Social Care, IT. For those interested in further study at university, many universities offer a grade drop in their standard offer for those who successfully complete a Mathematical Studies qualification. Regardless, a qualification in Mathematics is a valid and desirable goal for many students, whatever their long-term aims may be.

Entry Requirements

In addition to our general entry requirements, you must have:

  • GCSE Mathematics - grade 5 achieved either on the Foundation or Higher course.
  • GCSE English - grade 4

To be successful, you should enjoy problem-solving and bring a positive attitude to your mathematical endeavours.

You will also need to purchase a new calculator (expected cost £20-£25) which will support advanced statistical distributions such as the normal distribution. The calculator you used for GCSE will not be suitable.

The Course

Mathematical Studies is a Level 3 qualification, equivalent to an AS level and studied over two years. It is known informally as Core Maths.

It provides an incredible opportunity to build on GCSE Mathematics skills to support understanding of the Mathematical content of KS5 courses and better prepare students for their post-school experience whether in Education or the world of work.

It focuses on authentic, real-life examples where Mathematics is used to solve problems across a wide range of different contexts. Students spend their time focusing on practical examples to improve their problem-solving and analysis skills. This course consolidates key topics from GCSE. Students are introduced to more sophisticated analysis in statistics (data handling) as well as deepening their understanding of probability, linear programming, sequences and growth.

Course Structure and Assessment

This is a two-year course and runs alongside three other main subjects. All examinations are at the end of the second year and cover all topics listed below:

  • Analysis of data
  • Maths for personal finance
  • Estimation
  • Critical analysis of data and models
  • The normal distribution
  • Probability and estimation
  • Correlation and regression

The examinations consist of two 90-minute papers. Calculators can be used in both papers. A source booklet (Preliminary Materials) is provided which contains mathematics-based scenarios for both papers which is also made available several weeks before the examination.


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