Combined Science International GCSE

IGCSE Combined Science is one of our most popular GCSE courses. The study of science will help you to explore the world around you, from how the human circulatory system works to how a rainbow is made. In this IGCSE in Combined Science you'll discover key ideas and applications of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.



Course requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this course, but you need to be able to read and write in English and have some basic mathematical skills. This is an online course so you will also need access to the internet.

Duration of study

It's really up to you but, as a guide, a GCSE course takes about 120-150 hours plus extra time for assignment work you submit to your tutor. You will have tutor support for a period of up to 18 months from the date of enrolment.


This course follows specification 0653 from the awarding organisation CAIE (formally CIE). Full details of the specification can be obtained from CAIE's website.


Unit 1 - Physics
  • Motion
  • Matter and forces
  • Energy, work and power
  • Energy resources
  • The kinetic model of matter

Unit 2 - Chemistry
  • Atoms and molecules, elements and compounds
  • Chemical and physical change
  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Chemical bonds
  • Formulae and equations

Unit 3 - Biology
  • Living things
  • Movement in and out of cells and the role of enzymes
  • Animal nutrients
  • Plant nutrition
  • Animal nutrition

Unit 4 - Physics
  • Thermal energy
  • Waves
  • Reflection of light
  • Refraction and total internal reflection
  • Electromagnetic spectrum

Unit 5 - Chemistry
  • Electricity and chemistry
  • Periodic trends
  • Acids and bases, preparation of salts
  • Reactivity series
  • Identification of ions and gases

Unit 6 - Biology
  • Transport in plants
  • Transport in humans
  • The human circulatory system
  • Respiration and gas exchange
  • Coordination and response

Unit 7 - Physics
  • Sound
  • Electric charge
  • Electric current
  • Practical electricity
  • Series and parallel circuits

Unit 8 - Chemistry
  • Metals
  • Reactions: energy changes and rates
  • Air and water
  • Fuels
  • Alkanes and alkenes

Unit 9 - Biology
  • Reproduction in plants
  • Sexual reproduction in humans
  • The development of the human baby
  • Energy flow in ecosystems
  • The human influences on the ecosystem

Exams and assessment

Three exams:
  • 1 hour 15 minutes, 50% of marks
  • 45 minutes, 30% of marks
  • 1 hour, 20% of marks

Non-exam assessment (NEA):
  • None


Assignments do not contribute towards your final grade but provide you with an opportunity to submit work to your tutor for marking and feedback. This will help you to gauge your progress as you work through the course.

This course has:
  • 1 introductory assignment
  • 9 assignments

Set texts and resources

There are no additional set texts.

Using learn@nec

Your course is delivered online through learn@nec, so it’s important that you have access to a computer and the internet. We recommend that your computer is using one of the following operating systems and browsers to improve your experience of using learn@nec:

Operating systems:
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OSX 10.7 or later
  • Google Chrome OS
  • Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
  • iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser

  • Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari 6 or later
  • Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)

learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.

How to enrol

There are several ways to enrol with NEC:
  • Click the ‘Enrol now’ button above.
  • Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team.
  • Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.

Paying in instalments

It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or you can spread the cost over monthly instalments with our finance offer. To pay in instalments you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative example:
Course fee:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
Total repayable:  
Rate of interest:  
0% APR representative.  
  6 months
  0% (fixed)

The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.

Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd who act as a credit intermediary. They are registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please go to or visit
Including area code and country code (if outside of UK)

IGCSE Combined Science Course Sample

Thank you for your interest in this course.

Please fill out your details below, and you will receive an email containing a link to download the course sample.

What our students say...

"I have found studying by distance learning a rewarding yet challenging experience. I feel studying in this way lets you choose your own hours to study and go through the course at your own time. I have enjoyed being in control of my own learning."

— Emma Wellings