All about GCSE Science

Latest update in GCSE Science

General Certificate of Secondary Education or GCSE
General Certificate of Secondary Education or GCSE is the qualification taken by 15 and 16 year old students attempted to graduate from the Key Stage 4 phase (Years 10 &11) of secondary education in the UK – England, Wales and Northern Inland. The GCSE and IGCSE (International GCSE) courses are both two-year courses with students appearing for external examinations at the end of the Year 11. Besides, few subjects have a controlled assessment which will tally up towards the final grade. These supervised assessments are carried out in school, and can be completed during the course. Every pupil will study GCSE courses in English Language and Literature or English as an Additional language (EAL), Mathematics and Science (Three GCSEs in Biology, Physics & Chemistry or Double Science Award which is equivalent to two GCSEs).

GCSE Science:
When it comes to GSCE Science, pupils take Triple Award Science (also called ‘Single Sciences’ or ‘Separate Sciences’) where students study all three sciences and complete three GCSEs.
Double Award Science (also called ‘Trilogy’ or ‘Combined Science’) is where students take up all three sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) but complete two GCSEs.
This blog is intended for schools and students preparing for GCSE Science examinations. It covers Biology GCSE, Chemistry GCSE and Physics GCSE. Find details below on Biology, Chemistry and Physics Curriculum for GCSE and exam resources.

GCSE Science Curriculum Changes:
Recently, there have been significant changes made to the English education system, and in 2016, the British Government announced that the new GCSE and IGCSE qualifications that would be introduced will be graded on a scale from 9 down to 1 instead of the traditional grades A*, A, B, C, D, E, F, G. These changes have been included with some awarding bodies and subjects making use of the old scale and some the new. Most GCSE courses commencing in 2019 will be graded with the new 9 to 1 scale, however, with the new changes in the offing, it will mean that a few IGCSE subjects will still be graded with the A* to G scale.

GCSE Chemistry Syllabus:
Let’s take a bit-sized look at the topics covered by the GCSE chemistry syllabus:
Atomic structure and the periodic table

  • Atoms, elements and compounds
  • Mixtures
  • Atomic structure
  • The periodic table
  • Groups in the periodic table
  • Transition metals

Bonding, structure and the properties of matter

  • The three states of matter
  • Ionic compounds
  • Small molecules
  • Giant covalent molecules
  • Metals and alloys
  • Nanoscience

Quantitative chemistry

  • Calculations in chemistry
  • Calculations in chemistry (Higher)
  • Atom economy, percentage yield and gas calculations

Chemical changes

  • Reactions of metals
  • Acids, alkalis and salts
  • Titrations
  • Electrolysis

Energy changes

  • Exothermic and endothermic reactions
  • Chemical cells

The rate and extent of chemical change

  • Rates of reaction
  • Reversible reactions

Organic chemistry

  • Crude oil, hydrocarbons and alkanes
  • More organic chemistry

Chemical analysis

  • Analyzing and identifying substances
  • Analyzing substances

Chemistry of the atmosphere

  • Developing the atmosphere
  • Polluting the atmosphere

Using resources

  • Sustainable development
  • Water
  • Ways of reducing the use of resources
    • Using materials
    •    Fertilizers

Practical skills

  • Practical skills

The recipe for success of Chemistry subject at GSCE level is to plan your revision in advance of the examination data. The GSCE chemistry syllabus has a numbers of topics to cover, whether that is atoms, chemical reactions, or acid and alkalis. In order to cover all the topics, you are required to find time for enough revision and mock sessions.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                GCSE Biology:
Students will investigate the below mentioned topics in Biology:

Cell biology

  • Cell structure
  • Cell division
  • Transport in cells


  • Animal organisation – gaseous exchange systems
  • Animal organisation – digestion
  • Animal organisation – transport systems
  • Plant organisation
  • Non-communicable diseases

Infection and response

  • Communicable diseases
  • Treating, curing and preventing disease
  • Monoclonal antibodies – Higher
  • Plant disease


  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration

Homeostasis and response

  • Coordination and control – The nervous system
  • Coordination and control – The human endocrine system
  • Hormones in human reproduction
  • Homeostasis in humans
  • Plant hormones

Inheritance, variation and evolution

  • Reproduction, the genome and gene expression
  • Genetic inheritance
  • Variation
  • Evolution
  • Classification of living organisms


  • Adaptations, interdependence and competition
  • Organisation of an ecosystem
  • Decomposition
  • Biodiversity and the effect of human interaction on ecosystems
  • Trophic levels in an ecosystem
  • Food production

Practical skills

  • Practical skills

GCSE Physics:
The below topics are considered in the GCSE Physics Syllabus:


  • Changes in energy stores
  • Work, power and efficiency
  • Energy and heating
  • Energy demands


  • Electric circuits
  • Mains electricity
  • Static electricity

Particle model of matter

  • Density of materials
  • Temperature changes and energy
  • Particles in gases

Atomic structure

  • Models of the atom
  • Atoms, isotopes and ions
  • Radioactive decay
  • Uses and dangers of radiation
  • Nuclear fission and fusion


  • Scalar and vector quantities
  • Contact and non-contact forces
  • Gravity
  • Forces and elasticity
  • Moments, levers and gears
  • Pressure in fluids
  • Describing motion
  • Forces, acceleration and Newton’s Laws
  • Momentum – Higher


  • Properties of waves
  • Transverse and longitudinal waves
  • Reflection and refraction
  • Sound and ultrasound – Higher
  • Lenses
  • Black body radiation

Magnetism and electromagnetism

  • Magnetic fields
  • Electromagnets
  • Electromagnetic induction – Higher
  • Transformers – Higher

Space physics

  • The Solar System
  • The life cycle of a star
  • The expanding Universe

Practical skills

  • Practical skills for carrying out a scientific investigation

    Learning GCSE Science at Chemistry Bench:

    Chemistry Bench has a unique one-on-one methodology for learning Science subjects for the GSCE Curriculum online with enhanced focus on understanding the various topics, concepts or even specific module at a much deeper level with a tailored, systematic and procedural approach to ace your grades for the exam.