GCSE Science

What does this qualification cover?

Students have the option of studying two GCSE Science Routes. Combined Science (AQA Trilogy) covers core concepts in all three strands of Science and students gain two GCSE grades after two years of study. Or students can study Triple Science, reading for Biology, Chemistry and Physics as three separate GCSE’s and are awarded individual grades in each subject after two years of study. Triple scientists cover all the core concepts of the combined course in greater depth.  

Either route is an excellent gateway to Post-16 study of apprenticeships. GCSEs from both courses hold the same weight in this regard.  


What’s included?

The content is divided into three sciences with several core areas of study: 

Biology Topics  Chemistry Topics  Physics Topics 
  • Cell Biology 
  • Atomic Structure & The Periodic Table 
  • Energy 
  • Organisation 
  • Bonding & the Properties of Matter 
  • Electricity 
  • Infection & Response 
  • Quantitative Chemistry 
  • Particle Model of Matter 
  • Bioenergetics 
  • Chemical & Energy Changes 
  • Atomic Structure 
  • Homeostasis & Response 
  • Rate of Chemical Change  
  • Forces 
  • Inheritance, Variation and Evolution 
  • Organic Chemistry 
  • Waves 
  • Ecology 
  • Chemical Analysis 
  • Magnetism & Electromagnetism 
  • Chemistry of the Atmosphere 
  • Space (Triple Only) 
  • Using Resources  


Within each route there is a practical assessment component which is assessed within the written exams of both courses. Students will apply theoretical knowledge gained to experimental techniques and developing competence in safe laboratory practice, making and recording observations, analytical thinking, making and drawing conclusions and evaluation of results.  

Combined Science requires students to carry out and have knowledge and understanding of 21 required practical methods including the use of microscopes, the effect of solutes on osmosis and rates of enzymatic reactions within Biology. Chemists will get to grips with preparing pure samples, electrolysis, and the effect of variables on the rate of reaction while in Physics practical aspects include setting up and testing circuits, measuring density, and investigating the relationship between force and extension of a spring.  

Triple Science shares some practical aspects with combined science and contains additional practical techniques including the effect of antibiotics on bacterial growth, titrations, and the effectiveness of thermal insulators.  

Combined Science Assessment 

  • Six exams (2 for each science), 1hr and 15mins long containing a range of questions including multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open responses. 
  • There 2 tiers, foundation or higher.  
  • Each paper is worth 70 marks and is 16.7% of the two GCSE grades awarded.  

Triple Science Assessment 

  • Two exams for each separate science. Each exam is 1hr and 45mins long containing a range of questions including multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open responses. 
  • There 2 tiers, foundation or higher.  
  • Each paper is worth 100 marks and is 50% of the GCSE grade awarded.  

    Key Features

    Science offers interesting and challenging learning experiences with a broad range of study from the smallest building blocks of matter to cells, organisms, earth and its ecosystems and natural resources to how the world around us works.  

    Students will develop transferable skills that are useful outside of science and directly applicable to the world of work including: 

    • Investigative skills 
    • Problem solving 
    • Research 
    • Decision Making 
    • Mathematical Skills 
    • Analytical Skills 
    • Communication Skills  

      Useful GCSEs to have ‘in the bag’ to take on further study, apprenticeships, or employment.  

      Links to workplace

      By studying GCSE Science, students will gain access to a wide range of potential courses at Post 16 and apprenticeships. They also gain many transferable skills that employers desire in colleagues. It will also compliment engineering qualifications. 

      Careers that these qualifications can lead to with further training and study include: 

      • Sports and fitness (nutritionist, personal trainer) 
      • Engineering (biochemical, civil, electrical, chemical, and mechanical engineering 
      • Medicine and health 
      • The police and emergency services (paramedic, crime scene investigator or police officer) 
      • And many other potential careers 



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