Science GCSE

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Course Overview

Changes are planned for GCSE Science exams in 2016/ 2017 that assess the old specification; we will update the website when we have further details.

GCSE Science is a one-year course aimed at developing the scientific skills of students wishing to gain a broad understanding of science in the world around us. Within this course students will have the opportunity to study the subjects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics to develop their scientific literacy and numeracy skills. GCSE Science is an important prerequisite qualification for many level 3 and university courses.

How is the Course Assessed?

The course is assessed by examinations in both January and the May/June Period and a controlled assessment carried out in lessons. Students will have the opportunity to do either foundation or higher tier papers for their exams.

Units Covered

Biology 1: Adaptation, Evolution and body maintenance (25% Written Exam)


  • Adaptation
  • Evolution
  • The Variety of Life
  • Inheritance
  • Health
  • Response and Regulation
  • Monitoring the Environment Nutrient Flow and Energy Transfer


Chemistry 1: The Earth and its Resources (25% Written Exam)


  • Elements and the Periodic Table
  • Compounds
  • Metals and Non-Metals
  • Reactions of Acids and Alkalis
  • The Productions and Uses of Fuels and Plastics
  • The Ever-Changing Earth


Physics 1: Energy, Radiation and the Universe (25% Written Exam)


  • Generation of Electricity
  • Transmission of Electricity
  • Energy Supply and the Home
  • Energy Transfer calculations
  • Characteristics of Waves
  • Ionising Radiation and Radioactivity
  • The Solar System and the Evolving Universe


Controlled Assessment (25% Written Exam)

Students will have to complete 3 short set exercises based upon the subject content of the three units. They assess the scientific skills of students.

Exercise 1 – Research skills and using information

Exercise 2 – Practical work and testing hypotheses

Exercise 3 – Experimental Techniques and Safety

What Next?

GCSE Science is a prerequisite qualification for studying certain A Level and Vocational courses. It provides students with important transferable skills for employment and is vital for university entry into courses such as teaching, nursing and many other professional careers.

You will be able to apply for this course at interview.