Alternative admissions offers for level 3 maths

Some universities have shown their recognition of level 3 maths qualifications, including Core Maths, by giving reduced offers for admissions to some of their degree courses, including:

  • Aston University
  • University of Bath
  • University of Essex
  • University of Kent
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Reading
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Surrey
  • University of York

These universities recognise the benefits students gain from taking a level 3 maths qualification, which will not only support their university studies, but also their future career and employment.

A summary of the alternative offers provided by these universities can be viewed below.

Aston University makes alternative offers for students who have a Core Maths qualification, across a wide range of subject areas, for example:

  • BSc Psychology and Sociology – offer reduced from ABB to BBB for students with grade B in Core Maths or the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).
  • BSc Economics – offer reduced from BBB to BBC for students with grade B in Core Maths or the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).
  • BSc Biology Science – offer reduced from BBB to BBC for students with grade B in Core Maths or the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).
  • BSc Politics and Social Policy – offer reduced from BBC to BCC for students with grade B in Core Maths or the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).
  • BSc History and English Literature – offer reduced from BBC to BCC for students with grade B in Core Maths or the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).

Since 2020, the University of Bath has been using alternative offers that reduce one of the entry grades that are usually required for their degree courses. For example, where the typical offer is AAA, the alternative offer would be AAB. You can view details of their alternative offers on their website. In this interview, David Howells, Head of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Bath, explains why the University values level 3 maths and what it is doing to encourage participation in it.

A summary of the alternative offers provided by the University of Bath:

  • All degrees that do not require A level Mathematics, such as Architecture, Business Courses, Biosciences, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Education, Health and Sport degrees, Languages, Politics, Psychology, and Social Sciences, include alternative offers based on achieving a grade B in a Core Maths qualification, AS or A level Mathematics or AS or A level Statistics, when it is studied in addition to three other subjects.
  • Degrees that do require A level Mathematics, such as Civil, Chemical, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, Economics and Accounting & Finance, include alternative offers based on achieving a grade B in AS or A level Further Mathematics where this is studied in addition to three other subjects.

The University of Essex believes that Core Maths provides valuable preparation for university study, particularly for those wishing to study courses which involve the use of statistical data such as the social sciences. They state on their website that if a student’s results fall short of the offer level by a small margin, results in other qualifications such as the Extended Project, a Core Maths qualification or an additional AS-level may be taken into account.

The University of Kent welcomes the introduction of Core Mathematics qualifications to provide students with the opportunity to develop their mathematical skills beyond GCSE. As the University is a nationally recognised Q-Step centre for quantitative social science skills, they value the importance of giving students the chance to develop broader statistical, problem-solving, evaluation and data analysis skills. They believe students taking degree subjects that do not require an A level in Mathematics benefit from taking a Level 3 Core Mathematics qualification. Although not a prerequisite for admission, they continue to look positively on applications from students offering Core Mathematics qualifications.

The University of Huddersfield welcomes applications from students who have taken one of the Core Maths qualifications. They believe that this qualification supports the development of mathematical skills for progression to higher education, particularly for those students applying to courses in subject areas such as psychology, geography, business and computing. For the majority of our courses, they will make offers which can include the UCAS tariff points gained from Core Maths, but advise student to check their course-specific web pages for the specific entry requirements.

The University of Manchester welcomes and recognises the value of Level 3 core mathematics qualifications. Core Mathematics is not a compulsory element of post-16 study and as a result they will not normally include it in the conditions of any offer made to the student. However, if a student chooses to undertake a core mathematics qualification this may be taken into account when they consider their application, particularly for certain non-science courses with a distinct mathematical or statistical element.

The University of Reading supports and values the ethos behind Core Maths and recognises that it may be beneficial to a range of degree subjects that do not generally ask for AS or A Level Mathematics but where enhanced numerical or statistical skills may be helpful. Core Maths is not a compulsory element of post-16 study and they are not currently able to accept Core Maths in lieu of AS or A Level Mathematics where this is a specified requirement for entry. However, whilst they do not, at this time, include it as a formal condition of an offer to our applicants, they do welcome the evidence of breadth of study and skills development that studying mathematics at post-16 level can provide.

The University of Sheffield makes alternative offers based on a reduction of one grade. For example:

  • AAB would be reduced to ABB for students who attain a grade B or above in Core Maths across around 90 undergraduate degree courses including Geography, Biology, Politics, Architecture and Economics.
  • A reduction of one grade in the offer for students who attain a grade A or B in AS or A level Further Mathematics in addition to A level Mathematics across a range of over 100 undergraduate degree courses including Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science and Mathematics.

The University of Surrey supports the ethos behind this new qualification in that it may be beneficial to a range of degree subjects that do not generally ask for A level Mathematics but where enhanced numerical or statistical skills may be helpful. For this reason, whey encourage applicants to consider taking this qualification where practical.

The University of York welcomes the introduction of Core Maths qualifications, and some of its departments will make a reduced offer for their courses where such a qualification is taken alongside three A levels or equivalent. You can view more information on the University of York websiteOpens a new window (under Typical requirements, click United Kingdom and scroll down to Core Maths). These offers are applicable to around 40 subject areas, including Accounting, Business, Finance & Management, Social Work, Genetics, Linguistics, and Archaeology.

Other universities, whilst not making formal reduced offers, do offer strong encouragement for the study of Core Maths and recognise its usefulness in preparation for their degree courses. For example:

  • The University of Bristol “welcomes the additional breadth of study that Core Maths can bring to an application”
  • The University of Cambridge “recognise the value of Core Maths in strengthening mathematical ability”.
  • Coventry University “would be pleased to receive applications from students offering these qualifications.”
  • Keele University “welcomes Core Maths qualifications. Skills in Mathematical and statistical problem solving, data analysis and interpretation can provide a useful preparation for applicants wishing to progress to degrees in Business, Health, Psychology, Sciences and Social Sciences”.
  • Loughborough University state that “Core Maths may be useful for a range of degree subjects where enhanced numerical or statistical skills are beneficial”.
  • Queen Mary College, University of London “welcomes the introduction of the new Core Maths qualifications and believe they will be beneficial to students wishing to study Social Science subjects that may involve the use of applied mathematical skills, such as Business Management, Geography, and Politics.”
  • The University of Warwick “welcomes the development of the Core Maths qualifications, and the additional relevant skills that the qualifications can provide in preparation for a range of our courses.”

The AMSP offers guidance for universities on the advantages of recognising level 3 maths qualifications, including Core Maths, in admissions requirements.

If level 3 maths would be useful preparation for a degree course at your university, please consider including it in your published admissions criteria, perhaps in a similar way to the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).