Maths Foundation and Higher GCSE (New)

Due to the short amount of time left until the Summer 2018 exam session, we advise students to reconsider moving their exam intention to Summer 2019.

If you do decide to go ahead with 2018 exams, the deadline for enrolling is 31st October. After this date we strongly recommend adding our Fast Track service to your enrolment. We are able to accept enrolments with Fast Track until 31st December. After this final date you would need to wait until 2019 to sit your exams.

Maths GCSE is an essential qualification, vital for many career paths and further education choices. Maths is used in business, engineering, computing and the sciences. It plays a vital role in areas of endeavour as diverse as space travel, public health and predcting stock market prices.

Would you prefer to pay for your course by instalments? Please see the ‘How to enrol’ section below for details of our low cost, interest free finance available.

This course is one of our new Gold Star GCSEs. Find out more about them here.



Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this course, but you need to be able to read and write in English.


This course follows specification 1MA1 from the awarding organisation Edexcel. Full details of the specification can be obtained from Edexcel's website.

Hours 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.

Exams and assessment

The Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE in Mathematics is a tiered qualification. You must choose which tier to enter for. There are two tiers:

  • Foundation tier – grades 1 to 5 available. Grade 5 is the highest award you can achieve at this tier.
  • Higher tier – grades 4 to 9 available. Grade 9 is the highest award you can achieve at this tier.

Three exams:

  • 1 hour 30 minutes, 33.3% of marks (non-calculator)
  • 1 hour 30 minutes, 33.3% of marks (calculator)
  • 1 hour 30 minutes, 33.3% of marks (calculator)

Non-exam assessment (NEA):

  • None

NEC's tutor-marked assignments:

  • 1 introductory assignment
  • 10 assignments

Additional information

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

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.

How can you pay?
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

Section 1 topics:

  • Working with numbers
    Directed numbers

Section 2 topics:

  • Decimals
  • Percentages and ratios
  • Beginning algebra
  • Angles

Section 3 topics:

  • Patterns
  • Coordinates and straight lines
  • Shapes and symmetry
  • Factors, Multiples and Primes

Section 4 topics:

  • Probability
  • Quadratics
  • Presenting data
  • Using graphs

Section 5 topics:

  • Indices and surds
  • Using data
  • Length and area

Section 6 topics:

  • Constructions and diagrams
  • Estimations
  • Pythagoras’ theory

Section 7 topics:

  • More graphs
  • Shapes and solids
  • Trigonometry

Section 8 topics:

  • Enlargements
  • Compound measure
  • More trigonometry

Section 9 topics:

  • Transformations
  • Variation
  • More probability and statistics
  • Vectors – Higher level only

Section 10 topics:

  • Similarity
  • Everyday calculations
  • More algebra
  • Circle theorems (proof) – Higher level only
Including area code and country code (if outside of UK)

GCSE Maths 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 to say that [my NEC tutor] Graham is a supreme help. I've been in touch with LOTS of questions and he's been able to help walk me through problems and furthermore has responded really quickly whenever I've asked him for anything."

— NEC Maths student