Global Study


Education in Great Britain. The Abbey College - GCSE & IGCSE Level Courses

Education in Great Britain. The Abbey College - GCSE & IGCSE Level Courses

The first stage of secondary education.

The GCSE, or General Certificate of Secondary Education (formerly O' Level) is the standard qualification marking the end of the first stage of high school. GCSE examinations are taken by all students, normally at the age of 16, and are usually required in order to progress onto AS/A Level and University Foundation programmes. They are therefore the natural choice for overseas students who wish to come to the UK at an earlier stage in order to get a grounding in British education before moving on to those courses.

GCSE & IGCSE Level Courses

The IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) is usually recommended for overseas students. This qualification is exactly the same as the GCSE, and has the same value to universities and employers, yet the English language used in the course is more suited to international students. The actual course content and difficulty levels are the same for IGCSEs as for GCSEs.

Courses normally last for three, five or six terms (1 - 2 years). This period may be longer if an English language preparation course is required, or shorter in exceptional circumstances. Students normally take a minimum of five subjects, as well as ongoing English language lessons where necessary. Please see the course structure below.

Students may have a number of private study periods within their timetables which can be spent in the library or computer rooms. Practical work in our science laboratories is a necessary requirement for those subjects. Study Skills are taught as part of every course, to familiarise students with what is expected of them. Homework sessions, lasting 1½ - 2 hours per weekday evening, are always supervised by a teacher and assistance is given when required. Our rules and disciplinary systems are also stricter for these younger students.Students completing these courses normally stay with us to move on to AS/A level or Foundation Course studies.

Keys Facts

Minimum Age: 14
Maximum Age: 17
Start Dates: September & January
Course Length: Normally 3, 5 or 6 terms, (3 terms = 1 year).
Number In Class: 15
Course Content: A minimum of 5 subjects, offering a broad and general first stage of secondary education, with English language lessons provided where necessary.
Appropriate: For Students wanting detailed preparation for university students wanting to go on to a demanding course at an elite university students who have not completed secondary schooling.
Course Progression: University. This independent qualification can also be used for employment.

Core Subjects

Main Optional Subjects

Other Supplimentary Subjects



English Literature








Business Studies

Foreign languages









Further Mathematics