Separate Sciences

This course provides a wider science education than combined science. It counts as an option subject (you will have 3 more periods of science per week than combined science students).

We teach A-level assuming that students have not done this course. It is appropriate only if students have a very strong interest in science. All of the medical schools we have contacted have said they do not mind whether students have taken dual or separate sciences for admission to medical school.

The course includes a number of practicals which are specified by the DfE and we do others as appropriate.


Exam Board and Title

AQA Biology; AQA Chemistry; AQA Physics


Lessons per Week

8 x 50 minutes


What is my final qualification?

Three grades at GCSE: one for each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. There are two tiers of entry: Foundation and Higher.


Is Separate Sciences a good choice?

Separate Sciences might be a suitable choice for students who particularly like Science. It is not necessary to take separate sciences for careers in Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science and it does limit your breadth of experience at GCSE.

The Chemistry and Physics units have quite a high Maths content compared with the rest of the science course.


What does the course contain?


Cell biology, Organisation, Infection and response, Bioenergetics, Homeostasis and response, Inheritance, variation and evolution, Ecology


Atomic structure and the periodic table, Bonding, structure and the properties of matter, Quantitative chemistry, Chemical changes, Energy changes, The rate and extent of chemical change, Organic chemistry, Chemical analysis, Chemistry of the atmosphere, Using resources


Energy, electricity, Particle model of matter, Atomic structure, Forces, Waves, Magnetism and electromagnetism, Space physics.

These are identical to the combined science units, with the exception of space physics. The separate science units have slightly more content compared with the combined science units.


How is my work assessed?

Everything is examined in 6 papers at the end of Year 11. These papers are slightly longer than the equivalent Combined Science papers.

    • Biology x2
    • Chemistry x2
    • Physics x2

Each exam is 1 hr 45 mins (100 marks)

These examinations will test your knowledge of both the theoretical components of the course and the required practicals which you will have met during the two years.


Will Separate Science classes be ‘cleverer’ than Dual Science Classes?

We teach Separate Sciences students separately from the Combined Science students. There tend to be two separate science groups in each population. The Separate Science students are not allocated sets according to ability. Students are allocated to their group depending on their other option choices.

The classes have a full range of ability but the majority of students are relatively good at science.


Does Separate Sciences prepare me better for A levels?

Some students say that separate science is helpful if you go on to study A level science. However, we assume that students haven’t done separate sciences when we teach A-levels.


Progression to A levels

If students have done separate sciences and want to do Biology, Chemistry or Physics at A-level, one of their two science 6 grades must be from the corresponding GCSE.


Other Information

Students have eight 50 minute science lessons each week.  All our science teachers are science graduates.

We run a variety of trips and other extracurricular opportunities for students (often within a STEM context).



Science Contact

Gareth Butcher
Head of Science Faculty