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King’s College Online students follow the Pearson Edexcel International GCSEs. All courses are for one year, with students able to choose from a wide variety of International GCSE subjects. The courses have been designed to prepare students for further A level study in each subject the following year. Students can choose to study at King’s College Online or at one of Inspired’s premium schools around the world.

For full time study for International GCSEs, students should select a programme of five subjects from the following options. Students should be guided by potential future choices of A levels, university degree ambitions and further career aspirations. Pearson’s International GCSEs have been specifically designed to support the learning of international students.

Subjects available at GCSE level:

  • Biology

  • Business Studies

  • Chemistry

  • Double Science 

  • Economics

  • English Language

  • English Literature

  • French

  • Geography

  • Global Citizenship

  • History

  • Maths

  • Physics

  • Spanish

Read our guide for parents and students below to learn more about why Pearson qualifications are studied by more students than any other awarding organisation.

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Virtual school biology

This highly popular International GCSE course is for students who enjoy the study of all living organisms within the world. Students studying International GCSE Biology will learn the foundations of key biology theory, and the course is a solid basis for progression to International A level Biology or other courses that require knowledge of biology. This qualification will teach students about unifying patterns and themes in biology and how to use these in changing and new situations. Students will acquire knowledge and understanding of biological facts, terminology, concepts, principles and practical techniques, applying these to different contexts, whilst recognising the importance of accurate experimental work and scientific methodology. Content includes the nature and variety of living organisms, structures and functions in living organisms, reproduction and inheritance, ecology and the environment and the use of biological resources.

How this course is assessed

A written examination counts for 100% of the course assessment and requires no practical coursework.

Course career prospects

International GCSE Biology is a core science and is a requirement of a multitude of careers. Studying at International GCSE level will lead to A level Biology, a required subject for university courses in Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Medicine, Optometry, Veterinary Science and many more.

- How is the light from the sun the ultimate energy source for all living organisms?
- How does the immune system respond to small cuts or a deadly virus?
- How do vaccines protect against future infection?

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Virtual school Business

The study of Business in the global environment combines an understanding of theory and subject knowledge with an application to relevant modern case-studies. Students studying International GCSE Business investigate small and large businesses, developing knowledge and understanding of business activity and influences on business, people in business, business finance, marketing and business operations. Students deepen their understanding of business theory through practical and engaging case studies, using globally recognised brands, with engaging and contemporary contexts designed for international students, enabling them to interpret and respond to different business sources and information.

How this course is assessed

The International GCSE Business course is assessed through two externally marked written examinations, each 90 minutes long.

Course career prospects

An International GCSE in Business can lead to further study at A level in Business and/or Economics.

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Virtual school Chemistry

This course focuses on the understanding of energy changes and rates of chemical reaction. It provides an introduction to Organic Chemistry and an appreciation of the huge impact that the chemical industry has had on our daily lives.

The course also provides the best basis for further study due to the consistent focus on core chemical concepts. Students studying International GCSE Chemistry learn the principles of chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry and organic chemistry.

Students learn about unifying patterns and themes in chemistry and use them in new and changing situations. They acquire knowledge and understanding of chemical facts, terminology, concepts, principles and practical techniques and apply these to different contexts. Students evaluate chemical information and appreciate the practical nature of chemistry, recognising the importance of accurate experimental work.

How this course is assessed

International GCSE Chemistry is a linear course, assessed through written examinations, which do not require practical coursework. The course is designed to support progress to International A level Chemistry.

Course career prospects

International GCSE Chemistry is a core science and is a requirement of a multitude of careers. Study at International GCSE level will lead to A level Chemistry, which is a required subject for university courses in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Medicine, Veterinary Science and many more.

- How do metals react with acid to form explosive hydrogen gas - but under control enable batteries to power our cars?
- How does the study of organic chemistry enable us to develop new pharmaceutical drugs?

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Virtual school Economics

Students studying International GCSE Economics learn the principles of economic theory and apply these concepts to real-life situations. This course develops an awareness of economics change and its impact on developing and developed economies.

How this course is assessed

International GCSE Economics is a linear course which is assessed through two examinations; one on microeconomics and one on macroeconomics.

Course career prospects

This course establishes a secure foundation for further study of International A level Economics.

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Virtual school English

English Literature is the study of a range of poetry, prose and drama texts from different time periods. It involves discussion, analysis and skills of individual interpretation.

How this course is assessed

The International GCSE English Literature course is a linear course which is assessed through two separate components. The first component examines Poetry and Modern prose in a two-hour written examination. The second component examines Modern Drama and Literary Heritage Texts in a 90-minute open book written examination. This course requires each student to submit two internally assessed pieces of coursework.

Course career prospects

Many students choose to continue the study of English Literature at A level, however, the subject develops skills which underpin most humanities and essay-based subjects.

How did the Great Depression shape two of literature’s most famous Steinbeck characters, George and Lennie from Of Mice and Men?
How does greed and ambition justify regicide but also destroy Shakespeare’s Macbeth?

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Virtual school geography

IGCSE Geography is a challenging and exciting course that studies the modern world by looking at its interreacting human and physical systems. It uses a wide range of subjects such as Economics, Politics and Environmental Science to explain what is happening in the world, why it is happening there, and how things might change in the future.

How this course is assessed

The International GCSE Geography qualification is a linear course assessed through two examinations at the end of the course. Each examination is between 70 minutes and 105 minutes long. 

Course career prospects

Whether students consider themselves a humanist, a scientist, a linguist, an artist or a generalist, Geography will make a strong supporting subject for and A level course. Geography teaches a wide range of useful transferable skills. It is also a great subject. It will make students look at the world in a different way and help them to understand what is going on and why.

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History logo icon

IGCSE History is a fascinating subject which explores the rich tapestry of events over history. Students who enjoy developing their knowledge and understanding of specified events, periods and societies will thrive in this subject. Most importantly, the subject begins to explain the diversity of human experience and reasons for decisions made in the present day.

How this course is assessed

The International GCSE History qualification is a linear course assessed through two examinations at the end of the course. Each examination is 90 minutes long. 

Course career prospects

IGCSE History develops skills such as critical thinking and analytical writing. It also tests the ability to recall and select relevant information. IGCSE History teaches students to put together clearly articulated, coherently structured and well-supported arguments, whether in standard historical essays or in critical response to source materials. It encourages independence and organisation. This course thus provides an excellent foundation for further study in a range of subjects at A Level.
 

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Virtual school maths

The International GCSE in Mathematics enables students to focus on problem-solving. The topics included are used to develop thinking skills just as much as they are used to provide a universal language for scientists.

How this course is assessed

The International GCSE in Mathematics course is a linear course assessed through two examinations at the end of the course. Each examination is between 90 minutes and 150 minutes long.

Course career prospects

By combining geometry, data handling, calculus, algebra and number theory into a logical whole, the International GCSE Mathematics course provides an excellent foundation for further study of Mathematical subjects.

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Virtual school Physics

Students studying International GCSE Physics learn a wide variety of Physics content.

Students will learn about focus and motion, electricity, waves, energy resources and energy transfer, solids, liquids and gases, magnetism and electromagnetism, radioactivity and particles, and astrophysics.

Students gain knowledge about the unifying patterns and themes of physics, an understanding of physical facts, terminology, concepts, principles and practical techniques. These principles and concepts of physics are applied to different contexts, alongside an appreciation of the practical nature of Physics, with the development of experimental and investigative skills.

How this course is assessed

The International GCSE Physics course is a linear course assessed through two written examinations at the end of study.

Course career prospects

International GCSE Physics is a core science and is a requirement of a multitude of careers. Study at International GCSE level will lead to A level Physics, which is a required subject for university courses such as Engineering.

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Virtual school Spanish

The Spanish IGCSE course provides a valuable opportunity to make significant progress towards becoming a specialist in the language and the culture of Spain and Latin-America. Building on the foundations laid over previous years, students will develop their language skills in three key areas: grammatical awareness, comprehension, and communication. As a result, students will become capable of understanding the language in a variety of registers as well as writing and speaking it accurately and increasingly fluently. The development of language skills will take place within a framework of topics and issues of interest and relevance to pupils and to young people in the Spanish-speaking world.  
 

How this course is assessed

The International GCSE Spanish qualification is a linear course assessed through three different assessments. The first assessment is a 30-minute listening examination. The second assessment is a 105-minute reading and writing examination. The third assessment is a 10-minute speaking assessment.

Course career prospects

IGCSE Spanish will go some way towards providing students with the language skills that are currently so sought after by a range of employers. The course will also offer them the chance to broaden their cultural horizons and thus equip themselves to impress university admissions tutors when the time comes. If students are even vaguely considering a Modern Languages degree at university, they are strongly advised to study languages at IGCSE level.
 

English Language is the study of written and spoken English. Over the IGCSE course students will study and create a range of spoken, creative and non-fiction texts. English Language students develop a range of skills including original writing skills, the close study of texts, speaking skills and listening skills. These 21st Century Skills are nurtured through wide reading of a range of texts fluently and with a good understanding of each. Students will learn to read critically and to use the knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing. Through the study of English Language, students will be taught a wide range of language skills, engaging with a diverse range of materials.

How this course is assessed

The International GCSE English Language course is a linear course which is assessed through two separate components. The first assesses non-fiction texts and transactional writing – developing the skills to analyse how writers use linguistic and structural devices to achieve their effects, exploring links and connections between texts and developing transactional writing skills for a variety of purposes and audiences. The second exam assesses a student’s development of language analysis with poetry and prose texts, and the writing task is an imaginative one from a choice of three.

Course career prospects

It is anticipated that the love of English Language will lead to many students continuing their studies of the subject to A Level. However, for other students the skills learnt throughout this course will be excellent preparation for future study in all fields., Students will learn to communicate accurately and confidently through discussion, debate and presentations. These attributes are highly valued by all employers and universities.

The French IGCSE course provides a valuable opportunity to make significant progress towards becoming a specialist in the language, the culture of France and the French-speaking world. Students will develop their language skills in three key areas: grammatical awareness, comprehension and communication. As a result, they will become capable of understanding the language in a variety of registers as well as writing and speaking it accurately and increasingly fluently. The development of language skills will take place within a framework of topics and issues of interest and relevance to all students as well as to young people in the French-speaking world.

How this course is assessed

The International French GCSE qualification is a linear course assessed through three different assessments. The first is a listening examination, the second assessment is a reading and writing examination and the third assessment is a shorter speaking assessment. 

Course career prospects

The IGCSE French course equips students with a number of key transferable skills such as: communication (oral and written); analytical and logical thinking; creativity; literacy; independent learning; cultural and geographical awareness; team work; presentation skills. These skills alongside French language skills are highly prized by employers and many students will continue to study French at A Level. The course will also offer students the chance to broaden their cultural horizons, thus equipping themselves to impress university admissions tutors when the time comes. 

The Double Science International GCSE incorporates key elements of all three core sciences; Biology, Chemistry and Physics, with reduced overall content for each compared to taking the single International GCSE in each of these sciences separately. This International GCSE is a double award, counting for 2 International GCSE qualifications. 

How this course is assessed

The Pearson Edexcel International GCSE in Science (Double Award) comprises three end of course exams:
• Biology Paper 1 • Chemistry Paper 1 • Physics Paper 1.

Course career prospects

International GCSE Science (Double Award) prepares students for A Level studies and pathways beyond. Students with a particular focus on Biology, Chemistry or Physics for further A Level study might consider the three single sciences rather than this double award. 

The Global Citizenship IGCSE is an engaging and relevant course that aims to widen students’ knowledge of contemporary issues. Through the study of stimulating and exciting modern material the subject encourages all students to reflect on what makes them a ‘global citizen’, and how their learning will develop their skills and knowledge within their local and national communities. Through the content studied and assessment, students will engage in responding to issues and take part in the community project, which allows them to ‘engage’ with global society. Students will develop an understanding of key changes affecting societies across the world, enabling them to have a global outlook and understand diverse points of view. For students who are internationally mobile, or wish to study and work in fields that require a global outlook, this qualification will support them to become global citizens, and understand how they can affect positive change. 
The course content is organised around the following key themes: Politics and Governance, Economic Development and the Environment, Culture and Community, and Technology.

How this course is assessed

This linear course is assessed by one examination that lasts 2 hours and 30 minutes and is worth 100% of the qualification. The paper consists of three sections: in section A students are assessed on their previously completed citizenship community action project. In sections B and C the assessment is key questions on four main themes (Politics and Governance, Economic Development and the Environment, Culture and Community, Technology). Section D is a synoptic essay. 

Course career prospects

Global Citizenship students are well prepared for a wide variety of A Level pathways, especially into subjects such as Economics, History and Geography. The breadth of study will also be an attractive asset for universities and employment applications. 

International English as a Second Language GCSE is specifically designed for students whose first language is not English. Students develop the skills to read in different ways for different purposes, to read and understand a wide range of texts, assessing purpose of writing and distinguishing bias, opinions, ideas and facts. Students learn to write for a variety of audiences and for a range of purposes, using a wide range of grammatical forms and structures and a wide range of relevant and appropriate vocabulary. Optionally, students can also learn to convey information in speech on a range of topics, speaking fluently and coherently. 

How this course is assessed

The International GCSE in English as a Second Language (ESL) qualification comprises two assessments at the end of the course: Paper 1 is a written examination paper assessing reading and writing;  Paper 2 is a written examination paper assessing listening skills. Separately, students may also be entered for the optional, separately assessed and separately endorsed English speaking examination.

Course career prospects

Studying this course supports students in successful progression to a wide variety of A Levels, including further study in English at A Level, as well as developing the English language skills to access further education and career pathways. 

PEARSON EDEXCEL ONLINE PARTNER & ISI STATEMENT
 

Pearson, the UK's largest awarding organisation, is delighted to be the trusted qualifications partner of King's College Online, part of Inspired Education Group.

 

King’s College Online places the highest emphasis on student safety, safeguarding and safer recruiting, guided by the rigorous Independent Schools Inspectorate (‘ISI’) standards, prescribed by the United Kingdom’s Department for Education (‘DfE’) for the inspection of independent schools, and in anticipation of the DfE’s Online Education Accreditation Scheme.