GCSE Astronomy

The new GCSE Astronomy course details are here. The first teaching for this will be 2017, with first examinations taking place in 2019 the final assessment for the old GCSE format being in the summer of 2018.

We now accept students all year round, the deadline for final examination in 2017 and the new format is September 18th 2017, which is also the day the course officially starts. We would ask those interested should have paid the balance of their course deposit or paid for their other fees by August 31st to allow distribution of material and induction.

After Sept 18th 2017, any new students will be accepted for the 2020 examination cohort. There are no resits for the old format in 2019

Perspective students in Scotland please read

Sample of new material can be seen here

How is the new coursework assessed

Click here to see a sample of our new classroom!

SEN requirements

Terms and conditions – please read

Exam centres

Please also see our position on exam centres

Please read the terms and conditions before going to enrol

Given the new GCSE Astronomy format, there is now no requirement to meet with the tutor for supervised projects. Just the requirement to attend an exam centre twice, for two exams (detailed below).  Please check back regularly as this can change but we now have centres in

Peak District

If the student would like to work with their own centre, this is also encouraged).

*(please refer to the updated terms and conditions on exam centres)

Assessment changes

  • Alteration of the grading system from A*- G to 9 – 1. (9 being highest, 1 the lowest)
  • Removal of controlled assessment for observational tasks.
  • Requirement to assess relevant mathematical skills on written examinations (20%) and observational skills (15%).
  • a requirement for candidates to undertake at least two observational activities (one unaided i.e. with the naked eye, and the other aided i.e. with binoculars or telescope).

There are now two papers, covering aided and unaided tasks (With/ without a telescope or binoculars

Click here for Special Educational Needs information

We also support schools who wish to incorporate GCSE Astronomy into their curriculum, please click here for more information

Paper One – Naked Eye Astronomy

Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes 50% of the qualification 100 marks

Assessment overview

A mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations, graphical and extended-open-response questions.

● Topic 1 – Planet Earth

● Topic 2 – The lunar disc

● Topic 3 – The Earth-Moon-Sun system

● Topic 4 – Time and the Earth-Moon-Sun cycles

● Topic 5 – Solar System observation

● Topic 6 – Celestial observation

● Topic 7 – Early models of the Solar System

● Topic 8 – Planetary motion and gravity


Paper 2 – Telescopic Astronomy

Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes 50% of the qualification 100 marks

Assessment overview:

A mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations, graphical and extended- open-response questions.

● Topic 9 – Exploring the Moon

● Topic 10 – Solar astronomy

● Topic 11 – Exploring the Solar System

● Topic 12 – Formation of planetary systems

● Topic 13 – Exploring starlight

● Topic 14 – Stellar evolution

● Topic 15 – Our place in the Galaxy

● Topic 16 – Cosmology


So, what does this mean for our GCSE Astronomy students, how will we be delivering this?

We are in the process of developing an all singing and dancing online classroom. Well, before we put you into the classroom, we have refined our induction process. All students are invited to view the “New Student Classroom” where they can read more information about the GCSE programme and learn about other things we do. We also have a new induction video which guides the student through how the VLE works and how to navigate it.

All tutors are online and on hand. We have dedicated forums for the whole cohort as well as individual tutor groups. So we can always guarantee to keep you updated re important milestones. Each student will be given a study planner to help them keep up with the topics and ensure noone falls behind.


With a new format, comes a new textbook, Dr Nigel Marshall is busy writing a who new book which will be available to students once the course begins September this year.

Robotic Telescopes

We have teamed up with the Faulkes Telescope to offer our students access to professional quality telescopes. Based around the world, it is possible to gain training on how to use these and actually control one to take your very own images? How cool would that be, using a professional telescope to gather date for your course!

Also, we improved our classroom, now each topic includes learning objectives with references to the course specification throughout. There are links for you to download your own copy of this.

Source, the course specification handbook


Click Here to enrol now


Please check we cover your area before signing up and our terms and conditions

Have a go at a sample test paper

Enrol now



This also means we are now not accepting students for examination in 2018 (unless under exceptional circumstances). We are now accepting enrollments for examination in 2019. The classroom of which will not be available (or the new text book) until September to 2017.


Given the length of the course has increased, so the fees have now increased to £300, or £150 per year.

Exam Centers

Again we still arrange this and the exams costs are still covered in the fee’s (subject to terms and conditions). However if you decide halfway to change to another center or wish to use another center, due to the extra admin this will mean for the tutor, the exam fee becomes the admin fee.

Resitting in 2018.

If you took your exam with us in 2017 and wish to retake, this is possible in 2018 with the final resit for this spec in 2019, after this the old format is discontinued.

We still offer Biology and Chemistry as an added freebie. (these are not tutor supported and do NOT lead to a final qualification)


At the moment our exam center for candidates in the south is in Leamington Spa. As there is no longer the requirement to meet with your tutor on a regular basis, as long as you can get there for both exams at the prescribed date and time, we can accept your enrollment.

For students North of the country, please email.

 Got more questions? By all means please feel free to ask anything

PLEASE NOTE, When making payment, if you choose the BACS, transfer method, you will need to do the transfer from your bank MANUALLY, the system does not automatically do it. PLEASE ensure you use the order number provided as reference

Please read the terms and conditions before going to enrol

Ready to enrol? click here

*Please note we have changed our policy and terms and conditions on exam centres, please refer to the T’s and C’s link above (under exam centre).