“I have found studying by distance learning a rewarding yet challenging experience. 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 learning” – Emma, NEC science student.

In response to student demand, the National Extension College (NEC) has launched a new IGCSE Double Science distance learning course which is equivalent to two GCSEs. There are 21 sections – seven each across biology, chemistry and physics meaning that students gain a broad scientific perspective. 

NEC already has a strong offer in single science subjects at both GCSE and A level and has seen the sciences grow in popularity over the years. This is in line with national trends where students studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) has increased in recent years, especially amongst women. 50% of students who sat IGCSE sciences with NEC this year were female. There was also an exceptional 100% pass rate in IGCSE chemistry. 

The requests for Double Science GCSE is reflected in the national statistic, where double science entries rose from 740,916 in 2018 to 778,626 this year (Schools Week, 2019).

Double Science opens up a fascinating world of discovery. As Professor Brian Cox says: “One of the great joys of science is to understand something for the first time–to really understand, which is very different from, and far more satisfying than, knowing the facts.”

NEC’s Double Science specification enables the learner to develop essential skills in enquiry, problem-solving and analysis in a flexible way which suits their lifestyle. Covering three sciences helps students make an informed choice about pursuing science in the future, such as at A level. It also provides a strong foundation for students wanting to go on to health-related professions like nursing or physiotherapy. Apprenticeship providers, universities and employers value candidates who can demonstrate science-based skills. 

GCSE success stories 

Callum, 25, IGCSE Biology grade 9: “I failed all of my GCSEs at school, I returned to education in my mid 20’s through NEC and received a grade 9 in Biology. It’s never too late for education.” 

Daniel, 29, IGCSE Combined Science grade B: “I am over the moon with my results as it means I can start teacher training in September and fulfill my dream of becoming a primary school teacher!”

All students who enrol with NEC have access to comprehensive, high quality online learning materials with support from an experienced and qualified personal tutor who marks their assignments.

Meet Julie who is just one of NEC’s first-class Double Science tutors:

“I love learning and I love inspiring other people to learn. I’ve worked with students from primary to undergraduate level as I have taught in schools and universities. Now, I specialise in home education and distance learning, teaching people in the UK and overseas. I have a degree in physics with astrophysics and a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) in physics, science and maths, both from the University of Birmingham, and an LLM in Law from the University of Leeds. A senior examiner for several exam boards, I am also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors.”

NEC is unique among distance learning providers. NEC is an approved exam centre able to offer a guaranteed exam place and complete exam booking service to their students. They can also provide additional support to students and families under 18. 

Dr Ros Morpeth, CEO of NEC comments: “Science qualifications both at GCSE and A Level open doors to jobs, careers, university places and professional training. NEC is delighted to add IGCSE Double Science to our existing range of subjects.”

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