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Topping up your maths skills

Topping up your maths skillsThere are lots of reasons for non-mathematicians to top up their maths skills. Find out about some of the options.

Taking an A-level

You might have dropped maths at the first chance you got - but that doesn't mean you can't go back to it. You can study for a maths A-level after leaving school either at a college or through distance learning. Find out more about independent A-level study.

There are a variety of maths A-levels available, some of which focus more on practical maths that can be applied to many careers. Find out which maths A-level is most suitable for you.

Functional skills

If you just want to develop and demonstrate essential maths skills, Functional Skills may be for you. These are available through colleges and distance learning providers as stand-alone qualifications. They are also included in GCSEs, apprenticeships, foundation learning and the 14-19 diploma.

Find out more about functional skills.

Independent study

There are lots of ways to improve your maths skills independently, such as buying a coursebook or taking a free online course from the Open University or Coursera. You won't get a formal qualification from these courses, but you can improve your skills and demonstrate your interest to employers.

While at university

Even if maths isn't a part of your course, maths skills can be extremely useful. Because of this, many universities offer supplementary maths courses for people studying other subjects. These will not normally be a formal part of your degree: you won't get a qualification and there won't be any exams, but you will gain useful skills and knowledge.

Exactly what's on offer will depend on your university, so enquire with your department, the maths department, or student services to find out more.

On top of a degree

If you have a degree in a subject that involves maths skills, such as economics or a science, you might be looking for something a bit more advanced. Many universities offer diplomas or certificates specifically designed for this situation.

These are normally one- or two-year courses, often based on the university's undergraduate maths course. As well as providing maths skills that can be used in your career, they can also offer a route into a master's or PhD in maths. Some courses are specifically designed for this, and are called 'pre-master's programmes'.