OxfordAQA International GCSE Plus

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  • International

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 help students prepare for their next stage of education by fostering creativity, initiative and independent learning.

Education context

Have been available for teaching internationally since January 2018.

The qualification is available for teaching as an optional component in OxfordAQA International GCSEs.

The qualification is available to students  throughout the Middle east, South east Asia and China.

These GCSEs are separate from Level 1/Level 2 certificates: UCAS has published a QIP for these qualifications.

Awarding organisation
  • Oxford International AQA Examinations

A single optional component.

Subject areas
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Science - integrated science / combined science
  • Computer science
  • English literature
  • Geography
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • English as a second language

International GCSEs are comparable to Levels 1 and 2 of the Regulatory Frameworks in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales.


International GCSE Plus is an optional endorsed component of OxfordAQA International GCSEs in the subjects listed above. The endorsement is reported as a separate grade – Distinction, Merit, Pass – and does not contribute to the overall GCSE.


International GCSE Plus is a single optional component. It is internally assessed.

The student undertakes a project which requires 20 hours of supervised study following 10 hours of taught skills. The project is developed and extended from one of the student’s study areas.

The student submits a 2000-word report alongside a progress diary.

The supervisor grades the project against defined assessment criteria.

Assessments are verified by OxfordAQA.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

The project is assigned a grade against published criteria.

AO1: Organisation (30%)

AO2: Research (30%)

AO3: Realisation (30%)

AO4: Review (10%)

Resit arrangements

Students may only re-sit International GCSE Plus alongside a re-sit of their associated International GCSE.

They may do this any number of times within the shelf-life of the specification.

Any re-sit must involve the development of a new Progress diary along with a new title.

Students may not re-sit by enhancing previous work.

Guided/notional learning hours notes

30 GLH, 10 of which are taught. A student who completes more than one International GCSE Plus only needs to do the taught element once.

Key issues for UK HE admissions

HEPs can expect to receive applications from overseas students holding International GCSEs with the GCSE Plus endorsement.

Since they are not available in the UK, HEPs will not receive applications from UK educated students holding GCSE Plus endorsements.

Learners use the GCSE Plus endorsement to supplement their International GCSE studies and to support their application to gain places at universities worldwide.

Timing of assessments/results for learners


Assessments take place in June and November each year.

Candidate Results

Results are issued in August and January each year.

Certificates are issued in October and March each year.

Qualification dates notes

GCSE Plus is available from Summer 2019, except for Geography which is available from 2020.

Reporting and certification information

Arrangements to be confirmed in future years as entries grow.

Progression information

Sufficient Level 2 achievement in International GCSEs enables progression to Level 3.

There may be 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 provides a foundation for A-level specialism or the IBDP Extended Essay.

Further information

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 GCSE qualifications which AQA operates within the regulated UK market. Further information can be found at https://www.oxfordaqaexams.org.uk/subjects/projects/gcse-plus.