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Scotland: what maths qualifications are needed for jobs/courses (inc. Lifeskills Maths & Maths)

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Smeddlesboy, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. Smeddlesboy

    Smeddlesboy New commenter

    I've been teaching Lifeskills maths for the last two years, and I often get asked about whether Universities, colleges, employers will accept it in the same way as "regular" maths.

    For that reason I'm going to do a bit of research to try and find out which jobs, courses etc. have specific requirements when it comes to maths. I thought I'd post this thread to ask if anybody knew of:
    1. particular jobs and courses that require any specific Maths qualification at any level (Nat 3, Nat 4, Nat 5, Higher, Adv Higher, degree) so that I can create a list for pupils
    and then more specifically for when it comes to Maths vs Lifeskills Maths...
    1. any employers/universities/colleges who will *only* accept Mathematics for their course/job and not Lifeskills Maths
    2. any employers/universities/colleges who will accept *either* Maths or Lifeskills Maths
    I don't particularly want to get into discussing the merits of either course in this thread; or in the problems that may or may not have been encountered with the various exams last year - although if someone else wants to create a separate thread to discuss this then I certainly have some opinions!

    So far I have found the following:
    • Army/Navy require no specific qualifications (unless you want to be an officer). Most Air Force careers seem to require minimum of National 5: I've emailed to ask them if they would treat Lifeskills and Maths as comparable.
    • teacher training requires National 5 maths minimum (except maths teaching, obviously). Most Scottish Universities will accept either Lifeskills or Maths; but University of Aberdeen only accepts maths (I'm not sure why, but have emailed them to get some background on their decision).
    • there are no specific academic requirements to join the Police; but applicants must sit a test, and the numeracy test is, in my opinion, broadly comparable to National 4 Lifeskills Maths (possibly Nat4 Numeracy)
    • University degrees in maths, science subjects, engineering, medicine, veterinary medicine, architecture require Higher maths or above. Obviously this has to be in Mathematics, since there is no Lifeskills Maths course.
  2. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    Edinburgh guidance here:
    tl;dr lifeskills is accepted where N5 in maths/science is required, but not where maths specifically is required
    St. Andrews:
    Will accept lifeskills but at a grade higher than for mathematics
    Strathclyde PGCE secondary
    accepts lifeskills as equivalent

    The general sense seems to be that you should take maths if you can pass it, as it is more generally useful. So long as you're not encouraging people to take lifeskills when they could pass maths then that shouldn't be an issue.
    Smeddlesboy likes this.
  3. Smeddlesboy

    Smeddlesboy New commenter

    Thanks, that's exactly the sort of information I was looking for. If other people have any other similar pieces of knowledge (including others from colleges and employers, as well as Universities), it would be grateful to know.

    Obviously I've been doing a fair amount of googling and emailing myself; but it's hard to cover everything!
  4. LaurzD

    LaurzD New commenter

    Hi- do you know of any Edinburgh colleges that offer a Lifeskills Maths course? I’m trying to get into a PGDE primary teaching and finding national 5 a bit above me! Thanks, Lauren

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