Edexcel GCSE Astronomy (2017)
Opening up the universe
Here, you'll find everything you need to prepare for GCSE Astronomy from 2017 (first assessment 2019), including our accredited Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Astronomy specification and sample assessment materials.
This course has been developed to build on our natural fascination with the night sky and our continued exploration of the universe. Astronomy is constantly in the media in both fact and film which makes this course all the more engaging and relevant to students.
This course builds on the astronomy covered in the KS3 curriculum. It complements the GCSE (9-1) Science specifications, in particular the combined science which does not feature any astronomy content, and, as a visually more accessible subject, promotes science to a wider base.
As with our GCSE (9-1) Science specifications, this qualification has been designed to be straightforward to deliver, with clear expectations at each level. This course suits a wide range of abilities, providing stretch for gifted science students while engaging lower-ability students in more relevant content. It can be taken as an optional class but could equally be offered alongside GCSE Combined Science or A level subjects to add breadth of content and skills.
We don’t think budgets should be a barrier to astronomy, so the specification recommends a number of possible observations to ensure that there is a choice for schools.
We’ll provide detailed content and assessment guidance as well as free teaching and learning support and a subject advisory service to help you implement the new specification with confidence.
- Qualification type:
- General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)
- Level 1/2
- Accreditation status:
- Specification codes:
- UK and international
- First teaching:
- First assessment:
GCSE Astronomy 2017: What's changing
We’re working with the teaching community, higher education and subject associations to design our new qualifications for 2017. Our ambition is to develop an astronomy qualification that you will know and recognise, but updated in line with the subject content changes and in response to your feedback.
These changes will apply to all awarding organisations’ specifications:
- Alteration of the grading system from A*- G to 9 – 1.
- Removal of controlled assessment for observational tasks.
- Requirement to assess relevant mathematical skills on written examinations (20%) and observational skills (15%).
- a requirement for candidates to undertake at least two observational activities (one unaided i.e. with the naked eye, and the other aided i.e. with binoculars or telescope).
- Introduction of questions in written examinations assessing observational skills.
- An increase in the depth and breadth of the subject content.
- Content broadly in the areas of Earth, Moon and Sun; Planetary Systems; Stars; and Galaxies and Cosmology.
Get the latest information on our new astronomy qualification, including details of launch events.
Free Getting Ready To Teach events
Our free Getting Ready to Teach events will support you in delivering our new Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Astronomy specification for first teaching from September 2017.
If you don’t have an Edexcel Online account, you can book by emailing us at email@example.com.
This presentation was last updated on 2nd November 2016. You can download the slides or listen to the presentation below
Why choose this specification?
Pearson is the only awarding body to offer GCSE Astronomy. This engaging, practical course is designed to appeal to a wide range of students, building on their skills and understanding of How Science Works.
Key features of our Edexcel GCSE in Astronomy:
- Assessment to challenge students of all abilities
- A clear, concise mark scheme, so you can use the sample paper with students to help them prepare for the real thing
- Controlled assessment support that shows you the activities students will undertake, so you can help them fulfil their potential.
We'll provide support for you to plan and deliver the new GCSE Astronomy Whatever guidance you're looking for, we're here to help.