September 2016 update | Pearson qualifications

September 2016 update

21 September 2016

This month's update includes reminders for GCSE, A level, BTEC and international qualifications.

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A Level and GCSE reminders for your diary

A few academic qualification reminders to clear the deck for 2016-17. 

  • The legacy GCSE 2011 sciences suite, Core, Additional, Further Additional, Biology, Chemistry & Physics, has its last full sitting in summer 2017, with a final resit opportunity in 2018.
  • The new GCSE 2016 Science suite (9-1) is up and running with first awarding summer 2018.
  • The legacy GCE 2008 Biology, Chemistry & Physics specifications have almost expired with the final re-sit opportunity for candidates in summer 2017.
  • Centres who entered students for the new standalone AS 2015 Biology (A or B), Chemistry & Physics this summer 2016 continue to complete the new full A-levels with first awarding in summer 2017.
  • Centres who entered students for the new standalone AS 2015 Psychology this summer 2016 continue to complete the new full A-levels with first awarding in summer 2017.

BTEC Qualification reminders

Some popular vocational qualifications have also been subject to change as follows:

  • the NQF BTEC 2012 Level 1/2 Firsts in Applied Science are still available to centres but for schools they no longer count towards Performance Tables after 2016
  • the new NQF BTEC 2016 Level 3 Nationals in Applied Science are available to deliver with the smaller sized qualifications having first award summer 2017 and the larger sizes summer 2018.

International Qualifications

If delivering International GCSEs including Edexcel Certificates (International GCSEs for UK state schools, the same specifications but counting towards school performance tables and EBacc.) the following points are drawn to your attention:

  • for the International GCSE sciences suite, the current specifications have their final sitting in January 2019. The new updated specifications, IGCSE 9-1 are available to deliver from this September for new Yr 9 with first awarding in summer 2019.
  • the Edexcel Certificates have their final sitting summer 2017 and will cease to count towards performance tables after 2017 having expired
  • the International Advanced Levels, IAL, Biology, Chemistry & Physics, are only available to overseas centres and they now include a practical examination option in Chemistry and Physics. 

Reformed GCSE 9-1 & International GCSE 9-1 (2017) science subjects


GCSE Astronomy has had some very exciting reforms to bring it in line with the GCSE 9-1 grading and the removal of the coursework.  

Find out more about GCSE Astronomy 2017


Psychology has been reformed to bring it in line with the new 9-1 grading. It will continue to be a fascinating and thought-provoking qualification.

Find out more about GCSE Psychology 2017 

International GCSE

International GCSE 9-1 sciences (2017) are being reformed in line with the new science curriculum and to introduce the 9-1 grading. The specifications are available on the International GCSE (2017) 9-1 web pages, where you can see the additions.

International GCSE (2017) 9-1 Biology

International GCSE (2017) 9-1 Chemistry

International GCSE (2017) 9-1 Physics


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