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Combined Science International GCSEs


GCSE Combined Science

Join 1000s of NEC distance learners and study biology, chemistry and physics through our popular IGCSE Combined Science online course.


Multi-buy GCSEs:

Purchasing more than one GCSE or IGCSE? Use voucher code GCSEMB10 to receive a 10% off at checkout. 

Combined Science IGCSE explores the basic principles and applications in biology, chemistry and physics and leads to a single award qualification, one IGCSE, based on your performance in all three subjects.

Through our IGCSE Combined Science online course you’ll learn key scientific concepts through a mix of theoretical and practical studies. Practical skills are developed using experiments suitable for home completion, alongside engaging animations. This course also explores science in a broader sense – for example, its impact on technology, its role and limitations in everyday life and in caring for the environment.

By studying science you’ll also develop skills of enquiry, accuracy, initiative and inventiveness – qualities that are highly valued by universities and employers.

Why study Combined Science?

If you’re keen to gain a broad introduction to scientific thinking, our IGCSE Combined Science online course is perfect. From studying the human circulatory system to explaining how a rainbow is made, through Combined Science you’ll open up a fascinating world of discovery.

By choosing online distance learning, you’ll have the flexibility to fit study around your lifestyle, learning at your own pace as you work through a series of engaging topics.

Our Combined Science IGCSE course is ideal if you:

  • Are keen to gain a broad foundation in the key ideas and applications of biology, chemistry and physics.
  • Want to learn more about how science is studied and applied.
  • Would like to discover how scientific research impacts everyday life.
  • Are interested in building your observational, analytical and problem-solving skills, to improve your employability.

Future opportunities

  • Employers value candidates who can demonstrate science-based skills – such as enquiry, accuracy, initiative and inventiveness.
  • Gaining a firm foundation in each subject will help you make an informed choice about pursuing science at A level.

Course content

Unit 1: Physics 1

  • Motion
  • Matter and forces
  • Energy, work and power
  • Energy resources
  • The kinetic model of matter

Unit 2: Chemistry 1

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

Unit 3: Biology 1

  • Living things
  • Movement in and out of cells and the role of enzymes
  • Animal nutrients
  • Plant nutrition
  • Animal diet and digestion

Unit 4: Physics 2

  • Thermal energy
  • Waves
  • Reflection of light
  • Refraction and total internal reflection
  • Electromagnetic spectrum

Unit 5: Chemistry 2

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

Unit 6: Biology 2

  • Transport in plants
  • Transport in humans
  • The human circulatory system
  • Respiration and gas exchange
  • Coordination and response

Unit 7: Physics 3

  • Sound
  • Electric charge
  • Electric current
  • Practical electricity
  • Series and parallel circuits

Unit 8: Chemistry 3

  • Metals
  • Reactions: energy changes and rates
  • Air and water
  • Fuels
  • Alkanes and alkenes

Unit 9: Biology 3

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

Study IGCSE Combined Science with us and benefit from:

  • Flexible learning
  • Support from a personal tutor by email, phone or Skype
  • Any time enrolment
  • Our exam booking service
  • Assignments with tutor feedback
  • Ongoing support from Student Support
  • Forums to discuss your course with other students


Choose when and where you access your course, using learn@nec our 24/7 learning platform.

This easy-to-use learning platform includes interactive checkpoints, quizzes and activities to help you evaluate your progress.

Your tutor

You’ll have access to support from a personal tutor. All NEC tutors are subject experts, with experience of supporting online learners.

Meet Julie who is just one of our first-class combined 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.”

What you need to know

Exam board

  • CAIE 0653


  • Online learning with support from a personal tutor


  • Complete at your own pace
  • Approx. 120-150* hours plus time for completing assignments

*The specification suggests that 150 hours is needed. You’ll also need time to complete assignments and prepare yourself for exams. Everyone is different so it’s impossible to say with certainty how long a course will take you, but you should expect it to take you approximately 300 hours. Taken across the length of time we recommend, this equates to approximately 4 hours per week. This will increase if you choose to take it over a shorter time frame.


  • 10 assignments (one introductory) – these do not contribute towards your final grade


  • No additional set texts required


  • Internet access
  • Computer operating system and browser to support learn@nec

What's included?

Our course fees are clear and transparent to help you plan for any additional costs.

Your course fee includes:

  • 24/7 access to learn@nec platform and resources
  • Expertly designed online course materials (including ebook versions of textbooks where specified) that you need to complete the course and written to cover the carefully selected awarding body specification
  • Support from our Student Services team
  • Structured assignments to help you track your progress throughout your course
  • Guidance from your tutor for up to 18 months from your date of enrolment
  • Constructive feedback on your assignments from your tutor, to help you improve and prepare for exams
  • Guaranteed exam place
  • NEC’s guide to study skills: How to Succeed as an Independent Learner
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar guide
  • Time planner template to help you plan your study timetable
  • Information on how to apply for exams

Your course fee does not cover:

  • Any fees in relation to exam entries or assessments
  • Centre Assessment Grades (CAG) in the event of exam cancellation
  • Recommended textbooks for additional reading or set texts
  • Equipment for core practicals

If you need more support, you can purchase:

  • Online tutorials – if you need help with a specific topic you can arrange a 30 minute or 1 hour tutorial
  • Additional past paper marking – to help with your exam preparation
  • Revision tutorial –  to plan your revision and explore revision techniques
  • Help with your UCAS application service

For further information on additional/optional support you can purchase, please visit our additional services page.

Exams and assessment

Exams (three):

Core tier (Foundation):

  • Paper 1 – 30% of marks (45 minutes)
  • Paper 3 – 50% of marks  (1 hour 15 minutes)
  • Paper 6 – 20% of marks (1 hour)

Extended tier (Higher):

  • Paper 2 – 30% of marks (45 minutes)
  • Paper 4 – 50% of marks  (1 hour 15 minutes)
  • Paper 6 – 20% of marks (1 hour)

There is no non-exam assessment (NEA) for this course

Additional support if you’re under 18

We know that our younger students often need an extra helping hand with their studies. In our experience learning online works best when either a parent or guardian are involved. This is why NEC has developed our unique Progress Tracker to help you to support your child.

NEC’s Progress Tracker will allow you to easily track your child’s progress across their subjects and gain insight to how well they are doing through access to their assignment grades and tutor feedback.  

Read more about how we work with young students who are studying at home or through a school.

Arrange a callback with a member of our Course Advice Team.

Would you like to talk to our Course Advice Team about the best route for you? Visit our Contact Us page, fill in the form and a member of the team will get back to you!