Is A-Level Maths Compulsory?

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A-Level Maths is one of the most popular A-Levels in the UK, but it isn’t for everyone, and that’s completely fine! You only have a limited number of A-Level choices, so it’s important that you choose the subjects you like and know you will perform well in. However, it is true that there are compulsory GCSE subjects. This leads students to wonder whether there are compulsory A-Level subjects too, and is Maths one of them?

No, A-Level Maths is not compulsory. A-Levels as a qualification are not compulsory. Education in England and Wales is only compulsory up to and including GCSEs (aged 16). Students are allowed to study any A-Levels they want. Although Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced plans to make all students study maths in some form up to the age of 18 in 2023, this does not necessarily mean making A-Level Maths a compulsory subject.

If you want to learn more about whether or not A-Level Maths is compulsory, understand the entry requirements for A-Level Maths, and why else you might study Maths at sixth form/college, check out the rest of this article!

Do you have to study A-Level Maths?

No, A-Level Maths is not being made compulsory in the UK.

As stated on the government website, “When we talk about all young people studying maths to 18, this doesn’t mean everyone will have to take Maths A-Level.

“Instead, it’s about making sure that all young people, whatever path they take after school, have access to high-quality maths education that is suited to their needs.”

You can read more about this in this article on the government website’s Education Hub.

In 2023, the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced plans to make all students up to the age of 18 study maths in some form. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that A-Level Maths will be made mandatory.

Instead, there may be a new, different maths qualification. If you’d like more information on the government’s plans to continue maths to 18, check out this article on the UK Parliament website.

What are the entry requirements for A-Level Maths?

The specific entry requirements for A-Level Maths will vary by sixth form/college. When you complete your GCSEs, you may choose to continue studying at your school (if it has a sixth form/college) or apply for another sixth form/college.

As a general requirement, you will probably need to have passed GCSE Maths at grade 4 or above. Again, this will vary by school. For example, at my school, the entry requirements for A-Level Maths were grade 6 or higher at GCSE.

Some schools also offer Further Maths A-Level, which will typically have higher entry requirements than A-Level Maths, such as a grade 7 or above at GCSE.

Can you still study A-Level Maths without passing Maths GCSE?

It is possible to study A-Level Maths without the GCSE, but it will be incredibly unlikely, and even if you do, you will most likely have to study Functional Skills alongside it. I’ll be talking about this later in the article, so keep reading for more.

This is because Maths GCSE is one of the two compulsory GCSEs in the UK, the other being English Language. To read more about compulsory GCSEs, I’d recommend checking out this Think Student article.

It is possible to study most A-Levels without having done the GCSE first. However, it may be difficult for Maths as the A-Level is taught on the understanding that you have a Maths GCSE.

Why would you have to study Maths at sixth form college?

As mentioned earlier in the article, Maths GCSE is a compulsory GCSE, meaning that it is a general requirement for most further and higher education institutions and employers.

Because of this, if you carry on to sixth form/college without a pass in GCSE Maths, you will probably be required to take Functional Skills.

To read more about what exactly Functional Skills are, check out this page of the Pearson Qualifications website.

Are there any compulsory A-Levels?

There are no compulsory A-Levels in the UK.

Education in England and Wales is compulsory up to the age of 16, which goes up to and includes GCSEs. A-Levels are part of post-16 further education, so even A-Levels as a qualification aren’t compulsory.

If you want to read more about whether or not sixth form is compulsory in the UK, check out this Think Student article.

Since A-Levels themselves are not compulsory, there are no A-Levels subjects that are compulsory. This means that students are able to pick up to 4 subjects, whichever these may be.

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