GCSE Combined Science

Why is Combined Science important?

Science affects every aspect of our lives from understanding and protecting our environment to understanding medical information, how buildings are built, cars work and the fundamentals of technological development. Science is the building blocks of understanding the world around us and can provide numerous job opportunities in the future.

This is a core subject, meaning all students will access this course, unless they are recommended to choose the Triple Science option. This course covers all the key scientific knowledge that students would need to know to access A-level courses in the future.

What is involved in the Combined Science course?

The Biology content covers core understanding of Cell biology, Organisation, Infection and response, Homeostasis and response, Inheritance, variation and evolution, Ecology

In Chemistry, students cover Atomic structure and the periodic table, Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter, Quantitative chemistry, Chemical changes, Energy changes, The rate and extent of chemical change, Organic chemistry, Chemical analysis, Chemistry of the atmosphere, Using resources

In Physics, students learn about Energy, Electricity, Particle model of matter, Atomic structure, Forces, Waves, Magnetism and Electromagnetism.

How will you be assessed?

There are 6 exams that are completed at the end of the two-year course. Two exams in biology, 2 exams in chemistry and 2 in physics. They are all worth 60 marks and are 1 hour and 15 mins long.

Students also complete a number of practical activities as part of the course which will be done during lessons.

What can you do with Combined Science in the future?

Science creates many opportunities to students. Medicine, health, engineering, architecture and environmental science are all fields that are growing and changing as time progresses. It is an area where industries are searching for talented and qualified individuals to take on roles and where employment rates among graduates are high. The skills you will develop through your lessons are transferable and highly valued.

What do you need to do to prepare for the course?

Students have been completing the first part of the course (the fundamentals) in Year 9 lessons, and this provides a good foundation for this course. In Year 10 students will explore more specific and challenging content whilst recapping some of what has been studied previously. All students should ensure that they complete Year 9 studies to a high standard and revise the content regularly to ensure they are prepared for scientific studies in Year 10.

How do I find out more?

The AQA GCSE Combined Science specifications can be found here:


BBC Bitesize, Seneca and GCSEPod also have subject specific content on them that students can look at in advance to see what you will be working on during this course.

Need to know

This is a compulsory course and you must complete the biology, chemistry and physics aspects of the course. You will be awarded 2 GCSE grade equivalents at the end of the course but they will be awarded together under the bracket of combined science.

Student/Staff/Famous Person quote about the subject

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.
― Marie Curie

This quote feels particularly appropriate with the current COVID-19 situation.

Marie Curie (1867 – 1934) was a famous scientist who was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1903 for her contributions to physics. She was again awarded the 1911 Nobel Prize for her contributions to chemistry. She had to overcome huge obstacles to even be allowed to study science as woman born in Poland, she had to travel to France to study because Polish universities at the time would not allow women. She was a committed research scientist and an inventor. During world war one she developed a mobile x-ray machine and trained nurses on the battlefields to use it so that they could treat soldiers. She is a perfect example of how one scientist can have a lasting and significant impact on our world.