We offer two additional qualifications to our A Level courses, Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and Core Maths. These can fit alongside your choice of A Level subjects. You can find our further information about these options when you come in for your interview.
The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) provides you with an opportunity to explore a topic that interests you. The EPQ can only be taken as a fourth A Level course to complement your three main subject choices. EPQ has no exams, just coursework, so you’ll need to be self-motivated and enjoy working independently.
You will learn skills that are highly valued in Higher Education, such as research, developing arguments, organisation and presentation skills.
The EPQ carries UCAS points and is highly regarded by many universities. It can’t be used against a grade offer (such as AAA) but some universities may offer an alternative for candidates studying the EPQ (such as ABB instead of AAB).
You can decide what you want to study. With the help of your tutors, you’ll choose a topic to explore – it is recommended the topic is one you might like to study in Higher Education or pursue as a career.
There are four types of project to pick from:
Core Maths is a newly developed one-year qualification, carrying the same number of UCAS points as an AS Level. This Level 3 Certificate in Mathematical Studies is beneficial to students in maintaining their mathematical skills from GCSE and developing these skills further.
It supports students well for progression to future study or employment that requires skills in quantitative reasoning and critical analysis.
Many students have found the style of Core Maths has given them a new insight into the subject and they have enjoyed seeing how Maths can be applied in a wide range of meaningful contexts, either relating to their other A Level courses or in everyday situations such as personal finance.
This course is an award of AQA.
The skills developed in the study of Mathematics are increasingly important in the workplace and in Higher Education; studying Core Maths will help you keep up these essential skills. Most students who study Maths after GCSE improve their career choices and increase their earning potential.
The course has been designed to maintain and develop real-life maths skills. Unlike A Level Maths, where there is an emphasis on algebra and purely abstract mathematical thought, with Core Maths the focus is instead on using Maths in real contexts, such as interpreting data from the media and personal finance. The emphasis on problem solving and modelling supports the study of other A Level subjects – in particular, business, economics, geography, PE, psychology and science.
You will need to have a Grade 5 or above in GCSE Maths to be accepted onto the course. Students with a Grade 4 will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
This course is unique as it is a one-year qualification, meaning that you can study Core Maths in Year 12 or Year 13. Since Core Maths is designed to support the study of other A Level subjects, it is studied alongside your A Levels, meaning that it is taken as a fourth subject.
Students will need to purchase the Casio Fx-991EX calculator for the course.
You will explore Core Maths by discussion and group work as well as independent research and technology using computers and spreadsheets.
This is a one-year qualification with two exams at the end (no coursework). Each exam lasts 1 hour 30 minutes.
Paper 1 – Analysis of data, personal finance and estimation.
Paper 2 – Correlation and regression, normal distribution and confidence intervals.
Preliminary Material – Both papers require using real-world figures and information to critically analyse and evaluate.
Core Maths plays a vital role, not only supporting students with the mathematical content in their other subjects but providing an opportunity for students to continue with their mathematical study in situations when A Level Mathematics may not be appropriate.
Meet the A Level expert
Since graduating from the University of Teesside with an Honours Degree in Mathematics in 2001, Vicky has worked as a Maths teacher, gaining QTS in 2002. Vicky has taught in schools and sixth forms for 19 years, and has worked for Barnsley College since 2020 teaching a wide range of Mathematics qualifications.
Vicky says: “Maths can be challenging but it is important to know why you are doing Maths and how it impacts on your life. This can be anything from managing your personal finances to understanding the validity of what Maths is being used by the media. What I love about Maths is that it always follows the rules and Maths is always right.”