Why choose this specification?

GCSE Science B focuses on using Science as a tool to explain the world we live in, to solve problems and create technologies to improve our lives. Students develop practical Science skills with hands-on experience and investigation.

Students cover the same content as the Unit 1 of the single Science GCSEs for Biology, Chemistry and Physics – allowing for progression to GCSE Additional Science.

GCSE Science B can be used for the Science component of the English Baccalaureate if grades A*- C are achieved in both Science B and GCSE Additional Science.

Teachers like:

  • that Science subjects are brought to life in the classroom
  • it's the same subject content as Science A, so switching to the B specification or teaching both is simple
  • integration of the Science subjects, allowing students to see connections between the disciplines
  • students learn about three core sciences
  • students learn evidence and data-handling skills useful for further study
  • students get the opportunity to study Science at a higher level if they also take Additional Science
  • it follows on well from Key Stage 3
  • the Entry Level Certificate in Science is matched against the Science B specification to help teachers bridge the gap between Key Stage 3 and GCSE Science for students who are low achievers. 

Students like:

  • seeing how Science benefits their lives
  • getting to grips with science theory
  • the practical work
  • understanding more about the range of jobs that scientists do
  • the variety of content.

Knowledge/skills gained:

  • understanding of the material, physical and living worlds
  • developing practical and investigative skills
  • maths skills
  • learning to evaluate claims based on scientific processes
  • using hypotheses and theories to apply knowledge of the scientific process
  • better communications skills in scientific contexts.

GCSE Science B or Science A?

Science A and B cover the same subject matter for Key Stage 4, but have different approaches.

  • Science A allows Biology, Chemistry and Physics to be taught and assessed separately with a pure Science approach. It looks at theory and how this can be applied
  • Science B integrates the three disciplines to show how Science can be seen in real situations, putting science in context.

Science A can also be used to prepare students for separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, or for learners preparing for two Science GCSEs when followed by Additional Science.


  • past papers, tools to plan workload, create exam resources, check student progress and achieve consistent marking
  • free analysis of results to reflect students' strengths and weaknesses
  • access to subject departments
  • training
  • support for controlled assessment
  • 24-hour support through our website and online with Ask AQA
  • range of printed and electronic resources.

Follow-on study

Science B can be followed by Additional Science or Additional Applied Science. Choosing Additional Science could lead to a range of AS Science courses. For students wanting more vocational options, progression through Additional Applied Science could lead to study for an Advanced Applied Science qualification.

Examination series

Students have to enter all the assessment units at the end of the course, at the same time as they enter for the subject award. Re-sits can be taken in any of the June series available, until the end of the specification. Students who choose to re-sit must sit all of the exams in the same series.

With the move to linear assessment, students may carry forward their controlled assessment unit result(s) following the initial moderation and aggregation, during the lifetime of the specification.

Private candidates may take this qualification if they attend an AQA centre to have their controlled assessment supervised and marked.