Changes for 2022

Because of the ongoing impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there are some changes to how GCSE Citizenship Studies will be assessed in 2022.

These changes are for 2022 only.

Advance information on exams

To help students focus their exam preparation, we have released advance information on what exams will cover.

The advance information for GCSE Citizenship Studies is available to view.

Completing the Citizenship Action Investigation

Revised AQA guidance at a glance

  • ‘Out-of-classroom’ elements must be carefully planned to ensure the safety and security of all students
  • Students may complete work on their Citizenship Action Investigation at home
  • For Stage 2 research, we’d recommend that students use online secondary sources of information where possible.
  • There are no other planned changes

Ensuring safety and security for teachers and students

  • The safety and security of teachers and students is paramount. Section 3.1 of the specification (page 8) sets out the skills, processes and methods that students must demonstrate. These should be developed in a safe environment and at all times.
  • Whilst there is a requirement to take Citizenship Action in a ‘real out-of-classroom context’, this must be planned carefully in order to maintain the safety and security of students.
  • We expect much of the work for a Citizenship Action Investigation to take place in the classroom as we consider this to be the safest environment. Students may also undertake this work at home. Any other non-classroom based (group) activity should be dependent upon, and carried out in accordance with, your school/college policy.


Stage 2 of the Investigation requires students to research their issue using both primary and secondary sources. It’s important that the research is undertaken in a safe environment. We’d recommend that students use online secondary sources of information where  possible. Instead of conducting research in person, students can use online methods to conduct research, for example surveys, online interviews, etc.

It’s important that students remain safe in online environments when carrying out the Investigation, and they may need additional support and guidance in order to do this.

No other changes

There are no other planned changes to our GCSE Citizenship Studies specification or to the exams. For Paper 1, we anticipate that students may write about the ways in which they have adapted or evaluated their Citizenship Action as a result of the pandemic. All answers will be credited if they meet the relevant criteria in the mark scheme.

Help and support

If you require further guidance, please contact us.