Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment

GCSE Double Award Science

For first teaching from September 2017
A guide to changes in GCSE Grading

Our GCSE Double Award Science specification is a broad and coherent course that develops studentsí knowledge and understanding of the material, physical and living worlds. It encourages them to have a positive view of science and recognise its importance in our lives.

Students develop their observational and problem-solving skills in the laboratory and during fieldwork. They also enhance their ability to evaluate scientific claims through qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Students gain two GCSEs for completing Double Award Science. Practical science is a key part of this revised specification; students carry out 18 prescribed practicals during the course.

Our GCSE science specifications are the only ones to directly examine practical work, an important element of the subject, as part of a unit titled Practical Skills. There is also a written exam for each of the seven units in the specification.

All parts of the assessment are externally marked.

Specification and Specimen Assessment Materials

Our GCSE in Double Award Science is unitised, so itís possible to take part of the assessment before the end of the course.

The specification has seven units:

  • Biology Unit B1: Cells, Living Processes and Biodiversity
  • Biology Unit B2: Body Systems, Genetics, Microorganisms and Health
  • Chemistry Unit C1: Structures, Trends, Chemical Reactions, Quantitative Chemistry and Analysis
  • Chemistry Unit C2: Further Chemical Reactions, Rates and Equilibrium, Calculations and Organic Chemistry
  • Physics Unit P1: Motion, Force, Moments, Energy, Density, Kinetic Theory, Radioactivity, Nuclear Fission and Fusion
  • Physics Unit P2: Waves, Light, Electricity, Magnetism, Electromagnetism and Space Physics
  • Unit 7: Practical Skills.

Specification
(PDF), Last Updated: 16 June 2017

Specification (Irish-Medium)
(PDF), Last Updated: 25 July 2018
Specification (Irish-Medium)

Related Circulars

S/IF/59/18 - October 2018 - Apparatus and Materials Lists and Confidential Instructions for the Practical Skills Assessment Unit (Booklet A)
(PDF), Last Updated: 13 November 2018

S/IF/60/18 - October 2018 - Instructions to Teachers: October 2018 Uploads
(PDF), Last Updated: 05 November 2018

S-IF-56-17 GCSE Sciences (New)
(PDF), Last Updated: 24 October 2017

GCSE Assessment Arrangements
(PDF), Last Updated: 20 September 2017

Specimen Assessment Materials

Specimen Assessment Materials (Irish-Medium)
(PDF), Last Updated: 26 July 2018

Specimen Assessment Materials
(PDF), Last Updated: 04 October 2017

Practical Skills Assessment

For each of the three sciences, Unit 7: Practical Skills includes a practical skills assessment (Booklet A) and a practical theory exam (Booklet B). For each of the three Booklet As, students carry out one practical task in the laboratory. Each Booklet B is a written exam, with questions based on any of the prescribed practical tasks and any other practical tasks from the specification.

Support

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Past Papers


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