Separate Sciences GCSE

Full name of specification

Edexcel GCSE Biology (1BIO)

Edexcel GCSE Chemistry (1CHO)

Edexcel GCSE Physics (1PHO)

Exam board specification link




What is GCSE Separate Sciences?

GCSE Separate Sciences (also known as Triple Award Science) is where students study all three sciences and end up with three GCSEs.

Why study this course?

By taking sciences separately at GCSE level you will cover more science content, so you’ll be better prepared if you want to take science A-levels. Pupils who take separate GCSE science are also more likely to get higher grades in A-level sciences.

What can you expect from this course?

Theoretical and practical Science at the highest GCSE level, separated out into Biology, Chemistry and Physics. See “What Will I Study?” below for further information.

How is it assessed?

GCSE Biology – 2 exam papers

GCSE Chemistry – 2 exam papers

GCSE Physics – 2 exam papers

Each paper is 1hour 45mins long and worth 100 marks.

Papers are split according to topic, with half the content for each discipline in each paper.

The first topic in each specification lists key ideas that may be assessed in paper 1 and e as they are fundamental ideas, eg. Cells in Biology; atomic structure and bonding in Chemistry and handling units in Physics

What are the entry requirements?

Students must show the potential to achieve a grade 4 or above across all three Sciences.

What can I do after completing this qualification?

Separate Science GCSE leads on to A Levels in Science. If you’re already thinking about university and careers and are interested in science-based degrees and jobs then it is definitely worth considering taking separate science GCSEs. Most top universities prefer applicants for science subjects to have taken the triple award option at GCSE. Employers are crying out for candidates with science-based skills.

What will I study? (include unit numbers and names)

Key concepts in biology, cells and control, genetics, natural selection and genetic modification, health, disease and development of medicines, plant structures and their functions, animal coordination, exchange and transport in animals, ecosystems and material cycles

Key concepts in Chemistry, states of matter and mixtures, chemical changes, extracting metals, groups in the periodic table, rates of reaction and energy changes, fuels and earth science

Key concepts in Physics, motion and forces, conservation of energy, waves, light and electromagnetic spectrum, radioactivity, astronomy, energy, forces, electricity and circuits, static electricity, magnetism, electromagnetic induction, particle model, forces and matter

Additional activities within this subject

Core Practicals

Looking at cells
pH and enzyme activity
Food tests
Osmosis in potato strips
Microbial cultures

Investigating the composition of inks
Investigating pH
Preparation of copper sulfate
Acid-alkali titration
Rates of reaction
Identifying ions
Combustion of alcohols

Force, mass and acceleration
Speed, frequency and wavelength of waves
Refraction in glass blocks
Thermal energy
Electrical circuits
Density of solids and liquids
Properties of water
Extension of a spring


Mrs. Houghton, Mr. Marshall-Clarke, Dr. Dyer, Dr. Moore