To provide a qualification recognised by universities and colleges worldwide, which can support progression internationally.
To enable a curriculum which includes internationally relevant content and use of local contexts.
To facilitate and standardise assessment in many countries, the programme does not require controlled assessment, and has a linear structure with terminal assessment, except English language and English literature, which have non-examined assessment (NEA) options. In addition, English as a second language (ESL) assesses speaking skills by NEA.
Have been available internationally for teaching in core subjects since 2016.
The first group of students will take GCSEs in summer 2018.
Are only available outside the UK of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Are not regulated by Ofqual and do not appear on the Register of Regulated Qualifications
These International GCSEs are separate from Level 1 and Level 2 certificates: UCAS has published a QIP for these qualifications.
- Oxford International AQA Examinations
International GCSEs are characterised by a linear structure with terminal assessment.
International GCSE Plus allows a student-led project to be undertaken as part of OxfordAQA International GCSEs.
- Computer science
- English language
- English literature
- Combined science (double award)
- English as a second language
International GCSEs are comparable to Levels 1 and 2 of the Regulatory Frameworks in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales.
Subjects are graded at overall qualification level using the new 9 – 1 grading structure being implemented for GCSEs in England.
Combined science (double award) is graded 9 – 9 to 1 – 1.
English language offers an optional endorsement for speaking and listening (pass, merit, or distinction).
International GCSE Plus is an optional endorsed component of all OxfordAQA International GCSEs except International GCSE English language. This endorsement will be reported as a separate grade – Distinction, Merit, Pass – and will not contribute to the result of the overall GCSE.
|Qualification grade Structure||Module qualification structure (if required)||Date grade applicable from|
English language, Speaking and Listening: Distinction
|8||English language, Speaking and Listening: Merit|
|7||English language, Speaking and Listening: Pass|
All assessment is external, except for optional NEA units in English language and English literature, which are teacher assessed and AQA moderated, and ESL, where the speaking component is NEA marked by AQA.
English language has an optional endorsement for speaking and listening, which is teacher assessed.
International GCSE Plus is a student-led project which is teacher assessed and OxfordAQA verified.
Practicals are included in the course curriculum for the science subjects. There is no coursework or practical examination. Working scientifically is assessed across the papers.
Maths and combined science are tiered exams. Grades 5 to 1/5 – 5 to 1 – 1 are available at core tier, and 9 – 4/9 – 9 to 4 – 4 at extension for the respective subjects.
For mathematics students take two one hour and 30 minute papers at either core or extension.
For combined science students take three one hour and 45 minutes papers (one each in biology, chemistry, and physics) at either core or extension.
For biology, chemistry, and physics, students take two one hour and 30 minute papers.
For English language, students take Paper 1 in two hours and either Paper 2 in two hours or NEA project. There is an optional endorsement in speaking and listening, which is an extended task spoken presentation, or interview.
For English literature, there are two routes:
- Route A: Paper 1: one hour and 30 minutes and Paper 2a: two hours and 15 minutes
- Route B: Paper 1, one hour 30 minutes; Paper 2b: one hour and 30 minutes and NEA.
For ESL, students take Paper 1: one hour and 15 minutes; Paper 2: one hour and 15 minutes, Paper 3: 45 minutes, Paper 4: NEA speaking.
For business and computer studies: students take two two hour papers.
For geography, students take Paper 1: one hour and 30 minutes, Paper 2: one hour and 30 minutes, and Paper 3: one hour and 15 minutes.
- Papers 1c (50%) and 2c (50%)
- Papers 1e (50%) and 2e (50%)
- Paper 1 (Biology), 33.3%
- Paper 2 (Chemistry), 33.3%
- Paper 3 (Physics), 33.3% at either core or extension
Biology, chemistry, physics:
- Paper 1 (50%)
- Paper 2 (50%)
- Paper 1 (60%); and either Paper 2 (40%) or NEA (40%)
- Route A: Paper 1 (40%) and Paper 2a (60%)
- or Route B: Paper 1 (40%); Paper 2b (40%) and NEA (20%)
- Paper 1 (30%)
- Paper 2 (30%)
- Paper 3 (20%)
- Paper 4, NEA (20%)
Business and computer studies:
- Paper 1 (50%)
- Paper 2 (50%)
- Paper 1 (34%)
- Paper 2 (34%)
- Paper 3 (32%)
These are linear specifications. Students can retake the whole qualification as many times as they wish.
Students may only re-sit International GCSE Plus alongside a re-sit of their associated OxfordAQA International GCSE.
Retakes are available in November and June.
The GLH for each subject is 120 hours, except combined science, which is 240 hours, as it is a double award.
The GLH for International GCSE Plus is 30 hours, 10 of which are taught. Students who complete more than one International GCSE Plus need only go through the taught element once.
Higher education providers can expect to receive applications from overseas students holding International GCSEs.
Since they are not available in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, higher education providers will not receive applications from UK educated students holding OxfordAQA International GCSEs.
UK NARIC has carried out an independent benchmarking of International GCSEs and found them comparable to the standard of UK GCSEs.
GCSE English language, English literature, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, and combined science are available for teaching from September 2016 onwards. First examination in May or June 2018, then November and May or June onwards.
GCSE ESL, business, and computer science are available for teaching from September 2017 onwards. First examination in May or June 2019, then November and May or June onwards.
GCSE geography is available for first teaching from September 2018. First examination in May or June 2020, then November and May or June onwards.
The International GCSE Plus endorsement is available in examinations from Summer 2019, then November and May or June onwards, except Geography which is available from Summer 2020.
Results are issues in August and January.
Certificates are issued in October and March.
GCSE English language, English literature, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, and combined science are available for teaching from September 2016 onwards.
GCSE ESL, business, and computer science are available for teaching from September 2017 onwards.
GCSE geography is available for first teaching from September 2018.
Arrangements to be confirmed in future years as entries grow.
Sufficient Level 2 achievement in International GCSEs enables progression to Level 3.
There is progression to International A levels, UK A levels, or other Level 3 qualifications.
International GCSEs enable international progression, and are accepted by universities and employers worldwide.
International GCSE Plus helps students prepare for their next stage of education by fostering creativity, initiative and independent learning.
Oxford International AQA Examinations is a joint venture between AQA and Oxford University Press, a department of the University of Oxford. These qualifications are administered and awarded by AQA, on behalf of Oxford International AQA Examinations, using the same quality control procedures and quality standards applied to the GCE qualifications which AQA operates within the regulated UK market. Further information can be found www.oxfordaqaexams.org.uk/subjects.