Which syllabuses and subjects are available to external candidates / private candidates?
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Many of the new 9-1 GCSEs are now available to private candidates. The main exceptions which present difficulties are:
All GCSE sciences - there are core practical activities which are not assessed, but the exam centre has to sign off saying that you have done them, or had the opportunity to do them in the centre.
Geography GCSE - compulsory fieldwork activities have to be signed off. The fieldwork is not assessed - it doesn't form part of the grade, but the head of the exam centre has to sign a declaration that you have undertaken two separate fieldwork sessions.
English language GCSE- has a speaking and listening component which most centres won't offer.
If the subject you want is not available as an exam-only GCSE, you can usually sit an International GCSE instead. These are equivalent to GCSEs and are accepted by all universities and colleges as such; you do not need to be at all concerned about their status. Many independent schools enter their students for IGCSEs as routine. For more discussion and references, see the page on IGCSEs.
For practical subjects such as Physical Education or Dance, you are unlikely to find any centre which will accept external candidates for the Controlled Assessment element. Instead, home-ed students generally take Alternative Qualifications such as sports and coaching qualifications accredited by the National Governing Body in their sport. Please see the Alternative Qualifications page for more.
GCSEs without controlled assessment:
- Maths - all boards.
- Economics - AQA
- Modern Languages - no coursework but there are compulsory speaking and listening tests, which can be hard to arrange. This is the same for new 9-1 GCSEs and International GCSEs. Including:-
- Greek (Modern)
- French, German, Spanish
- History - new GCSEs for examination from 2018
If a subject is not listed here, it may well still be available to external candidates. For more information see the individual subject pages as listed on the Main Page of this wiki.
List of CIE IGCSE exam subjects which are open to external candidates as of Summer 2013:
Afrikaans - First Language 0512
Arabic - First Language - 0508
Art and Design 0400
Bangladesh Studies 0449
Business Studies 0450
Chinese - First Language - 0509
Computer Science 0478
Development Studies 0453
Dutch - First Language - 0503
English First Language 0500
English Literature 0486
Environmental Management 0680
[[French - First Language - 0501
Additional Mathematics 0606
ICT (0420)- involves a practical which can be difficult, but not impossible, to arrange.
International Mathematics 0607
Pakistan Studies 0448
Physical Science 0652
Religious Studies 0490
Science (Combined) 0653
Science Coordinated (Double) 0654
Travel and Tourism 0471
Second Language Subjects - all involve a compulsory oral element and so can only be taken if you can find an exam centre willing to assist with this. However, if your children are lucky enough to be bilingual, ALL of the First Language subject exams are open to private candidates with NO oral component. There is a wide range of those languages open to PCs.
Most of the subjects listed below are International GCSEs (IGCSEs), although there are a few coursework-free GCSEs such as maths and psychology.
All Edexcel International GCSEs are linear, which means you need to take all the exams in the same exam session.
[Edexcel IGCSEs - Complete list] - for some less common qualifications not listed below, you can check if it is available to private candidates by opening the Specification and searching for 'private candidates'.
Maths International GCSE and Further Pure Mathematics IGCSE
Physics International GCSE
Chemistry International GCSE
Biology International GCSE
Business Studies International GCSE
Human Biology International GCSE
Economics International GCSE
English Language International GCSE
English Literature International GCCSE
Geography International GCSE
History International GCSE
Science - Combined Double Award and new single Combined Science
Religious Studies International GCSE
AQA has its own list of AQA qualifications available to private candidates, so check for updates.
AQA Certificates - available specifications Edit
Further Mathematics (8360) (AQA Level 2 Certificate)
Preparation for Working Life full course (4801) (Level 1/2 Certificate)
Preparation for Working Life short course (4800) (Level 1 and Level 2 Certificate)
AQA Free- Standing Maths Qualifications: Edit
FSMQ - available specifications
Foundation Level - Money Management (4981)
Foundation Level - Using Spatial Techniques (4982)
Foundation Level - Using Data (4983)
Higher Level - Financial Calculations (4984)
Higher Level - Shape and Space (4985)
Higher Level - Data Handling (4986)
Higher Level - Algebra and Graphs (4988)
Advanced Level (pilot) - Data Analysis (9993)
Advanced Level (pilot) - Hypothesis Testing (9994)
Advanced Level (pilot) - Dynamics (9995)
Advanced Level (pilot) - Mathematical Principles For Personal Finance (9996)
Advanced Level (pilot) - Decision Mathematics (9997)
Advanced Level (pilot) - Calculus (9998)
AQA Functional Skills Edit
English Level 1 (4720)
English Level 2 (4725)
ICT Level 1 (4527)
ICT Level 2 (4528)
Mathematics Level 1 (4367)
Mathematics Level 2 (4368)
AQA GCSEs Edit
AQA list quite a few GCSEs as being available to private candidates, but realistically many will not be an option because of controlled assessment. Nevertheless, it's worth reading through the requirements just in case:
The following AQA GCSEs are definitely available to private candidates and are regularly taken by home-educated students:
Maths GCSE/IGCSE Further Mathematics (Level 2 Certificate/IGCSE), FSMQ
Religious Studies (GCSE no controlled assessment for either A or B)
Economics GCSE (no controlled assessment)
General Studies GCSE (no controlled assessment)
Level 1/2 Certificates
Latin 3 Choices: Latin Language, Latin Language and Roman Civilisation, Latin Literature
Law GCSE (no controlled assessment)
Classical Greek GCSE (no controlled assessment)
Latin GCSE (no controlled assessment)
Religious Studies GCSE (Spec A or B)