Background to new GCSE, AS and A-levels

In 2015, Government changes to the exam system and qualifications meant that only new qualifications accredited by the exams regulator Ofqual could be offered by awarding bodies in the future.

We developed a new generation of GCSE, AS and A-levels in collaboration with teachers and other subject experts. Not all qualifications were offered for a number of reasons – read Ofqual's decisions.


Our aim is to ensure that we offer qualifications that meet the current and future needs of most students, and teachers. As an education charity, we also have to ensure we use our resources most effectively. So, we regularly review our qualifications to ensure they meet these needs, and sometimes can’t justify continuing to invest in those that don’t.

After our 2019 review, we made the difficult decision that we’ll no longer be offering some of our AS qualifications, all of our Tech-level qualifications and our Award and Certificate in Personal and Social Education (PSE). Read our qualifications update to find out more about this decision.

GCSEs we’re offering

For first teaching September 2015

  • GCSE English Language
  • GCSE English Literature
  • GCSE Mathematics

For first teaching September 2016

  • GCSE Art and Design
  • GCSE Biology
  • GCSE Chemistry
  • GCSE Citizenship Studies
  • GCSE Computer Science
  • GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition
  • GCSE Dance
  • GCSE Drama
  • GCSE French
  • GCSE Geography
  • GCSE German
  • GCSE History
  • GCSE Music
  • GCSE Physical Education
  • GCSE Physics
  • GCSE Religious Studies
  • GCSE Science (Double Award)
  • GCSE Spanish

For first teaching September 2017

  • GCSE Bengali
  • GCSE Business Studies
  • GCSE Chinese (Mandarin)
  • GCSE Design and Technology
  • GCSE Economics
  • GCSE Engineering
  • GCSE Italian
  • GCSE Media Studies
  • GCSE Modern Hebrew
  • GCSE Panjabi
  • GCSE Polish
  • GCSE Psychology
  • GCSE Sociology
  • GCSE Statistics
  • GCSE Urdu

GCSEs we’re no longer offering

  • GCSE Applied Business Studies (Double Award)
  • GCSE Classical Civilisation
  • GCSE Electronics
  • GCSE Law
  • GCSE Leisure and Tourism
  • GCSE Additional Applied Science
  • GCSE Application of Mathematics
  • GCSE Business and Communication Systems
  • GCSE Design and Technology: Short Course
  • GCSE Environmental Science
  • GCSE Expressive Arts
  • GCSE Further Additional Science
  • GCSE General Studies
  • GCSE Health and Social Care
  • GCSE Home Economics: Child Development
  • GCSE Home Economics: Food and Nutrition
  • GCSE Human Health and Physiology
  • GCSE Humanities
  • GCSE Methods in Mathematics
  • GCSE Performing Arts (incl. Double Award)
  • GCSE Information and Communication Technology

For details of last exam dates, please look on the relevant subject page.

AS and A-levels we’re offering

For first teaching September 2015

  • A-level Art and Design
  • AS and A-level Biology
  • AS and A-level Business
  • AS and A-level Chemistry
  • AS and A-level Computer Science
  • AS and A-level Economics
  • AS and A-level English Language
  • AS and A-level English Literature
  • A-level English Language and Literature
  • AS and A-level History
  • AS and A-level Physics
  • AS and A-level Psychology
  • AS and A-level Sociology

For first teaching September 2016

  • A-level Dance
  • A-level Drama and Theatre Studies
  • AS and A-level French
  • AS and A-level Geography
  • AS and A-level German
  • A-level Music
  • A-level Physical Education
  • AS and A-level Religious Studies
  • AS and A-level Spanish

For first teaching September 2017

  • A-level Accounting
  • A-level Design and Technology: Product Design (3-d design)
  • A-level Design and Technology: Product Design (textiles)
  • A-level Environmental Science
  • AS and A-level Further Maths
  • A-level Politics
  • A-level Law
  • AS and A-level Mathematics
  • A-level Media Studies
  • A-level Philosophy

For first teaching September 2018

  • A-level Bengali
  • A-level Biblical Hebrew
  • A-level Modern Hebrew
  • A-level Panjabi
  • A-level Polish

AS and A-levels we’re no longer offering

  • AS Accounting
  • A-level Anthropology
  • AS and A-level Archaeology
  • AS level Art and Design
  • A-level Applied Business
  • A-level Applied Science
  • A-level Citizenship Studies
  • AS and A-level Classical Civilisation
  • A-level Communication and Culture
  • AS and A-level Creative Writing
  • AS Dance
  • A-level Design and Technology: Systems and Control
  • AS Design and Technology: Product Design (3-d design)
  • AS Design and Technology: Product Design (textiles)
  • AS and A-level Design and Technology: Food Technology
  • AS Drama and Theatre Studies
  • A-level Electronics
  • AS English Language and Literature
  • AS Environmental Science
  • A-level General Studies
  • AS and A-level Health and Social Care
  • AS and A-level History of Art
  • A-level Human Biology
  • AS and A-level Information and Communication Technology
  • AS Law
  • AS Philosophy
  • AS Physical Education
  • AS Politics
  • AS Media Studies
  • AS Music
  • A-level Science in Society
  • AS and A-level Statistics
  • AS Use of Mathematics and FSMQs
  • Pilot A-level Use of Maths and L3 Pilot FSMQs

For details of last exam dates, please look on the relevant subject page.

Ofqual guidance

You can read Ofqual's guidance online to see the timings for the withdrawal of outgoing GCSEs, AS and A-levels.

You might also find it useful to read Ofqual's guidance document, Get the facts: AS and A-level reform as well as their overview of Changes to GCSEs, AS and A-levels that will affect each current school year group.

Our view on Ofqual's consultation

We’ve submitted our response to Ofqual's consultation on standards in new GCSEs and A-levels.