Astronomy (GCSE) | New College Courses

Astronomy (GCSE)

Course Code

·       The Course

The course is designed to meet the needs and aspirations of students wanting to discover more about our place in the Universe. It builds on many of the topic covered in GCSE Physics and Additional Science courses, for example the life cycle of stars and the origin of the universe, whilst developing the practical skills needed to observe the Solar System and beyond.

The course also complements many of the topics covered in A Level Physics, supporting and developing the Cosmology section in a more practical setting.

This course is ideally suited to students who are studying AS Physics and those who want to develop their knowledge of the universe and their practical skills to observe it.


·       Where It Will Lead

A grade B in GCSE Astronomy will enable you to access AS/A Level Physics along with a C in GCSE Physics / Additional Science and a B in GCSE Mathematics.

As the course covers and re-enforces many of the A Level Physics topics it will probably enable students to attain a higher grade in A Level Physics, enabling them to access more Physics related university courses and apprenticeships.


·       Course Requirements

You should have at least a grade C in GCSE Physics / Additional Science and a Grade 5 or C in GCSE Mathematics. 

Those who do not have a grade C in GCSE Physics / Additional Science and a Grade 5 or C in GCSE Mathematics may still study GCSE Astronomy providing that they pass an initial assessment.

*Please note that these entry grade requirements may be different to those published in the 2017 prospectus.  Grade requirements as detailed here and on the website should always be used as the most accurate and up-to-date ones.





·       Study Programme

The course provides a broad base of astronomical knowledge and skills, within a historical and contemporary scientific and cultural context.  There are five main topics:

·       Planet Earth

·       The Moon and the Sun

·       The Solar System

·       Stars and Galaxies

·       Observing techniques and space exploration

In addition, you will complete two pieces of coursework, one of which will involve making astronomical observations.


·       Assessment

·       Written Paper worth 75% of the marks

·       Controlled Assessment worth 25% of the marks


·       Time

The normal College allocation for a GCSE course is 3 hours per week.  You will need to spend several hours a week on private study. 



·       Further Information

For more information about this subject, including work which you may wish to do in preparation, please contact:

For general enquiries please contact –