Science for all: our new qualifications

Our philosophy

We believe that science has something to offer every student. From a trainee chef to a nuclear physicist, a construction apprentice to a cancer researcher, everyone needs some level of relevant science understanding.

That's why we've developed an exciting new suite of seven Key Stage 4 (KS4) qualifications, to suit students of all abilities and all aspirations.

Flexible and adaptable

You can use our new Entry Level Certificate (ELC) in Science in year 9 as progression to GCSE, or teach it alongside our new Level 1 Technical Award. You can choose from two different approaches to the new GCSE Combined Science. And our Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSEs provide seamless progression to AS and A-level.

Designed by teachers

Over 700 teachers have helped create our new qualifications by responding to surveys, giving their views in focus groups, writing papers, developing resources and reviewing our draft specifications and question papers.

Practical is still at the heart of science

There's no better way to learn about science than through purposeful practical activities that form a natural part of day to day teaching and learning.

Our new specifications don't include any controlled assessment, so you'll have more flexibility to create the sort of rich practical experiences that will inspire your students. We've provided clear guidance for our practical and investigative activities, so you know exactly what's required.

Straightforward questions mean straightforward answers 

Our assessment experts have made improvements to our question papers. You'll find that our exams:

  • have fewer words, so they're easier to understand
  • have fewer contexts, so students don't get confused
  • have questions that increase in difficulty, so students feel confident 
  • are being written with our GCSE Maths and AS and A-level science teams, giving students consistency between content and questions.
I would recommend anyone considering their KS4 science course options to take a good look at AQA, and enquire about the wealth of support that comes with it. Nicholas Colclough, Head of Physics, Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School

Nicholas Colclough, Head of Physics, Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School