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General Certificate of Secondary Education

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The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is a set of exams taken in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and other British territories. They are usually taken by students aged 13-14, after two years of study. Some pupils can take their exams early if their teachers think them able. Most students taking their GCSEs study nine or ten subjects.

All pupils have to study English, mathematics and science until they are 13-14. They do not have to take the GCSE exams, but the large majority do so. In Wales, students must also study Welsh until they are 14.

Most schools require that a pupil passes 5 or more GCSE exams at grades C or above before they can move on to study A-levels.


Many of the subjects in this list are not offered by every school.


In all schools students have to study Mathematics, Science, and English lingustics and literature.




  • Electronics
  • Engineering and Manufacturing (Double Award)
  • Graphic products
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
    • Applied ICT (Double Award)
  • Product Design
    • Electronics with Resistant Materials
    • Resistant Materials
    • Systems and Control Technology
    • Textiles
    • IT


People and society-related

Natural sciences


  • Further Mathematics (Further Pure Mathematics for Edexcel IGCSE)
  • Applied Business (Double Award)
  • Archaeology (may not currently be available as a separate GCSE [1])
  • Business Studies
  • Business and Communication Systems
  • General Studies
  • Outdoor Pursuits - Birdwatching - Fishing
  • Physical Education (PE)
  • Sports Studies
  • Statistics
  • Media Studies

Related pages

[[Category:Education in the United Kingdom