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GCSE Biology – Foundation Tier

Course Codes

OSC1357 / OSC1356

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Achieve a GCSE in Foundation Tier Biology with this distance learning course from Open Study College. With our online GCSEs you can gain an official qualification whilst you study whenever and wherever suits you. We will even book your exams for you if you choose to add on exams to your package.

  • Achieve an accredited AQA Foundation Tier GCSE in Biology
  • Gain an understanding of biological facts, concepts and principles
  • Develop your interest in the study of living organisms
  • Gain a recognised qualification for further studies
  • Choose to study online or via printed materials with a study pack
  • Enrol on a package to include exams and practicals and we'll book your exams for you!
Please choose a course option to see prices
Course overview

The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is the UK’s most widely recognised certification for the end of secondary school education. It is often the entry-level requirement to further study, such as A Levels and apprenticeships.

GCSE biology will teach you about living organisms and is ideal for those wanting to go on to study A Level Biology, progress into a biology-related career or even just purely for knowledge.

This course can be completed without taking the exams and practicals, however to achieve the recognised GCSE biology qualification you must take an exam and practical assessments. If you add on the exams and practicals with your enrolment, we will book and pay for your exams and practical sessions on your behalf.

Please note, with this Foundation Tier Biology the highest grade you can achieve is 5. Students who fail to meet the minimum standard for grade 1 will be recorded as U (unclassified) and will not receive a qualification certificate. For students wishing to achieve grade 6-9, please choose our GCSE Biology – Higher Tier. 

Course Duration

Up to 1 year.

Course Outcome

GCSE Foundation in Biology (you must take the exams and practical to achieve this).

Entry Requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this course.


2 paper-based exams and practical assessments.

Course content

Extra info


To achieve a GCSE Foundation Tier in Biology you will be assessed across the above sections.

In order to successfully complete the GCSE Biology course, you will need to pass two GCSE written examinations and undertake a series of practicals. These must be conducted under supervision at an examination centre.

Questions in the written exams will draw on the knowledge and understanding students have gained by carrying out the practical activities. These questions will count for at least 15% of the overall marks for the qualification.

This course comes with the option of including practicals and exams in the cost of the course. We will book and pay for these on your behalf when you’re ready to take them if you choose to add on exams. If you choose this option, our GCSE exam centre locations for this course are as follows:

  • Birmingham
  • Coventry
  • Doncaster
  • Bolton
  • Wimbledon
  • Taunton
  • St Neots

Regardless of the centre you choose to sit your exams at, you will need to complete your practical sessions at our centre in Birmingham, so you must be able to travel to Birmingham to complete your practicals.

A more detailed breakdown of the assessment details is provided below.

Course Duration

You have 1 full year to complete your course which starts from your enrolment date. During this time, you have access to full tutor support through email.

Course Requirements

You do not need any previous knowledge to enrol on this course. This course is for students aiming to achieve grades 1-5.

If you are wishing to study towards grades 4-9 choose our GCSE Biology Higher Tier.

Study Method

Study for your GCSE biology around your life commitments. Whether that’s alongside work, college or family – study at a pace that suits you.

Choose to study online or from a course pack where you’ll get printed materials sent to you in the post. As long as you have your study materials, you can study wherever you want.

Tutor support is available through email, so help is only a click away!

Course Outcome

Once you have studied the course and successfully passed the examinations, you will be awarded your AQA GCSE biology.

You will achieve grade between 1-5 with the foundation tier paper. If you just fail to achieve minimum grade 1, you will be awarded a U.

Students who fail to meet the minimum standard for an allowed grade 3 will be recorded as U (unclassified) and will not receive a qualification certificate.

For students wishing to study towards grades 4-9, please choose our GCSE Biology Higher Tier course.

Exam details

Paper 1

  • Type: Written examination
  • Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Weighting: 50% of GCSE
  • Total Marks: 100

Question type: multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response

Assessed: Topics 1-4 (cell biology; organisation; infection and response; bioenergetics)

Paper 2

  • Type: Written examination
  • Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Weighting: 50% of the GCSE
  • Total Marks: 100

Question type: multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response

Assessed: Topics 5-7 (homeostasis and response; inheritance, variation and evolution; ecology)


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