Which GCSEs Have Coursework? English GCSE Coursework

Which GCSEs Have Coursework?English gcse coursework
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Coursework is a way of showing your skills and knowledge in GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education), especially English Language. It can help you boost your grades and learn more deeply. But which GCSEs have coursework? And how much does it count for your final mark? 

In this article, we will give answers to the above questions. We will also explain what English GCSE coursework involves and how to do well in it. English GCSE coursework is one of the few subjects that still has coursework in GCSEs. 

According to the BBC, about 100,000 pupils a year leave school without basic qualifications. This means they do not have five GCSEs at grade 4 or C and above. Coursework can make a difference for these students, as it can show their potential and abilities. 

Also, coursework can be fun and creative, especially in subjects like Art, Music, and Drama. These subjects have 60% coursework and 40% exam. Other subjects that have coursework are Food Preparation and Nutrition, Design and Technology, and Physical Education. 

To find out more about these subjects and how to ace your coursework, read on.

What is GCSE Coursework?

GCSE coursework is a type of assessment that tests your skills and knowledge in different subjects. It is usually done in school, under the supervision of your teachers. GCSE coursework can be a project, an essay, a presentation, or a practical task. 

It can cover topics that are not in the exam, or go into more depth on the topics that are. This coursework can help you improve your grades, as it can count for a percentage of your final mark.

It can also help you prepare for further education or work, as it can develop your research, writing, and problem-solving skills. 

Furthermore, GCSE coursework is not available in all subjects, as some subjects are assessed only by exams. However, some subjects still have coursework, such as English GCSE coursework. English GCSE coursework can be either spoken language or written language. 

Spoken language coursework involves giving a speech or a presentation on a topic of your choice. You will be assessed on your speaking and listening skills, as well as your use of language. Written language coursework involves writing a piece of creative or analytical work on a text or a theme. 

Also, you will be assessed on your writing skills, as well as your understanding and interpretation of the text or theme.  To do well, you need to plan, research, draft, and edit your work carefully. You also need to follow the guidelines and criteria given by your teacher and the exam board.  

GCSE coursework can be a great opportunity to show your potential and abilities in different subjects. It can also be fun, especially if you choose a topic that interests you.

See also: GCSE vs A-Level: What’s The Difference & Similarities Between A-Levels And GCSEs?  

Why is GCSE Coursework Important?

As we’ve already established, the GCSE coursework is a piece of work that you complete independently, over some time.  Coursework can take many different forms, such as an essay, a project, or a presentation.

However, the English GCSE coursework is particularly important. This is because it allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the English language and literature. It is done in a more in-depth way than is possible in an exam.

Here are some of the key reasons why GCSE coursework is important:

1. It allows you to study a topic in more depth 

It typically requires you to choose a topic of your interest and research it independently. This allows you to learn more about a topic that you are passionate about and to develop your unique perspective.

2. It helps you to develop your research skills 

Also, this coursework requires you to gather information from a variety of sources, including books, articles, websites, and interviews. It helps you to develop your ability to find and evaluate information critically.

3. It helps you to improve your writing skills 

Furthermore, it requires you to write a clear, concise, and well-organized piece of work. Which will help you to develop your writing skills and to learn how to communicate your ideas effectively.

4. Helps you to develop your critical thinking skills 

Coursework requires you to analyze and evaluate information, and to form your conclusions. This helps you to develop your critical thinking skills and to learn how to think independently.

5. Can improve your overall GCSE grade 

Another interesting benefit is that it typically counts for a significant proportion of your overall GCSE grade. The good news is that doing well in your coursework can significantly improve your overall performance in the subject.

See also: 15 Ideas on What to Do After GCSEs in Summer in 2024

Types of GCSE Coursework

Before we go into the English GCSE coursework, let’s see the types of GCSE coursework. Here, we will see the common types of GCSE coursework and their significance in the educational process.

1. Essays

Essays are a common type of coursework in most subjects. They allow students to demonstrate their understanding of a topic and their ability to write clearly and concisely.

2. Reports

Reports are commonly utilized in subjects like science, geography, and humanities. They are structured documents that allow students to present information in an organized and systematic manner. Reports often involve research, data collection, and analysis. 

For instance, in a geography coursework, students may create reports on environmental issues. This may include data on pollution levels, climate change impacts, and mitigation strategies.

3. Presentations

Presentations are an excellent way for students to demonstrate their research and communication skills. They are commonly employed in subjects like business studies, history, and geography. 

However, a presentation requires not only the ability to gather relevant information but also to deliver it effectively to an audience. Students must create engaging slides, speak confidently, and answer questions, all of which contribute to their overall assessment.

4. Practical Experiments

Practical experiments are integral to science and technology subjects like biology, chemistry, and physics. These experiments allow students to apply theoretical knowledge in a hands-on setting. 

Through practical work, students can test scientific theories, observe phenomena, and develop essential laboratory skills. 

5. Creative Projects

Creative projects are particularly prevalent in subjects such as art, music, and drama. They provide students with an opportunity to express themselves creatively and explore their artistic abilities. 

In addition, creative coursework often involves creating artwork, compositions, or performances. In art, for instance, students might produce original paintings, sculptures, or digital designs, showcasing their artistic talents and imaginative thinking.

See also: Do You Have to Pass Science GCSEs to Get a Job?

Which GCSEs Have Coursework?

Most GCSEs do not have coursework, as they are assessed by written exams only. This is because the government reformed the GCSE system in 2015 to make it more rigorous and comparable across subjects. 

However, some GCSEs still have coursework, as it is essential for the subject. These are mainly creative and practical subjects, such as:

  • Food Preparation and Nutrition
  • Drama
  • Art
  • Music
  • Design and Technology (DT)
  • Physical Education (PE)

See also: GCSE Retake for Adults: 7+ Ways To Get GCSEs After Leaving School (for Adults)

What Percentage of GCSEs is Coursework?

The percentage of coursework varies depending on the subject and the exam board. However, no GCSE is 100% coursework, as there will always be some written exams or practical tests.

For example, in Art, there is a creative project that counts as 40% of the final grade. There is also a written exam that counts as 60%. In PE, there is a practical performance that counts as 40% and a written exam that counts as 60%. 

The table below shows the percentage of coursework and exams for some of the GCSEs that have coursework. This is according to the AQA (Assessment and Qualifications Alliance)  exam board.

Subject% Coursework% Exam
Food Preparation and Nutrition50%50%
Design and Technology (DT)50%50%
Physical Education (PE)40%60%

Note: The English GCSE coursework can be either spoken language or written language. This will be treated later in the article. Keep reading!

See also: What Are “Good” GCSE Grades?

What does GCSE Coursework Involve?

The type of coursework depends on the subject and the exam board. However, coursework usually involves some kind of practical or creative work, such as:

  • Cooking a menu of three dishes in Food Preparation and Nutrition
  • Performing a scripted or devised piece in Drama
  • Creating a portfolio of artworks in Art
  • Composing and performing music in Music
  • Designing and making a product in DT
  • Demonstrating skills in different sports in PE

Coursework also requires students to write a report or an evaluation of their work. It also requires them to provide evidence of their process and outcome, such as photos, recordings, or sketches.

See also: Do You Have to Do GCSEs if You Are Home Schooled?

Why Choose GCSEs with Coursework?

GCSEs with coursework can be a good option for students who want to:

  • Showcase their talents and interests in a specific subject
  • Develop their practical and creative skills
  • Work independently and in-depth on a project
  • Have more control over the pace and style of their learning
  • Balance out their exam pressure with other forms of assessment

See also: Choosing The Best GCSE Options: Everything You Need To Know About


However, GCSEs with coursework also have some challenges, such as:

  • Meeting deadlines and managing time effectively
  • Following the rules and criteria of the exam board
  • Avoiding plagiarism and ensuring originality
  • Balancing coursework with other subjects and commitments
  • Dealing with feedback and criticism

Therefore, students should consider their strengths, weaknesses, and preferences before choosing GCSEs with coursework.

See also: The 10 Easiest GCSE Subjects

English GCSE Coursework

This coursework is typically assessed in two parts: speaking and listening, and writing.

The speaking and listening assessment may involve students giving presentations, taking part in debates, or discussing texts in groups. The writing assessment may involve students writing essays, stories, or poems.

English GCSE coursework is typically worth 40% of the final grade. The other 60% of the grade is based on two written exams.

See also: What Are The Best Books To Read For GCSE English Language?

Preparing for GCSE Coursework

As a student taking GCSEs, you’re aware that coursework is an important part of many subjects. It can count for up to 50% of your final grade, so it’s important to put your best foot forward.

Here are some tips on how to prepare for the coursework:

Start Early 

Don’t wait until the last minute to start working on your coursework. Give yourself plenty of time to plan, research, and write your work.

Understand the Requirements

Read the coursework brief carefully and make sure you understand what you’re being asked to do. If you have any questions, ask your teacher.

Make a Plan

Break down the coursework into smaller tasks and set deadlines for yourself. This will help you stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Do your Research

Gather information from a variety of sources, including books, articles, and websites. Be sure to evaluate your sources and only use reliable information.

Write a Draft

Once you have a good understanding of the topic, start writing a draft of your coursework. Don’t worry about making it perfect at this stage. Just get your ideas down on paper.

Get Feedback

Ask a friend, family member, or teacher to read your draft and give you feedback. This will help you identify any areas that need improvement.

Revise and Edit

Once you have received feedback, revise and edit your coursework. Make sure it is well-written, organized, and free of errors.

Proofread Carefully

Before you submit your coursework, proofread it carefully to catch any errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation.

See also: Are English Language And Literature Separate GCSEs? 9-1 GCSE English Explained


Coursework can be a valuable way for students to demonstrate their skills and knowledge more creatively and practically. It can also help students to develop important skills such as independent research, time management, and problem-solving.

However, it is important to note that coursework can also be challenging and time-consuming. Students need to be able to manage their time effectively and be organized to complete their coursework to a high standard.

Also, the English GCSE coursework is a valuable opportunity for students to develop their writing and communication skills. It also allows them to explore their creativity and express their unique ideas.

FAQs on English GCSE Coursework 2024

Is coursework mandatory for all GCSE subjects?

No, it’s not. While some subjects require coursework, others, like Mathematics and some foreign languages, rely solely on exams.

Can I choose my coursework topics within a subject?

In some subjects, you may have a choice of topics, while others may assign specific topics or themes for coursework.

How is coursework marked and moderated for these GCSEs?

Coursework is usually marked by the teachers in the school, and then a sample of the work is sent to the exam board for moderation.

How many GCSE English exams are there?

The content for the English GCSE is taught across the two different focus points. In total, four different exams need to be sat in the exam hall – two for English Language and two for English Literature.

Who marks GCSE English coursework?

During standardization, a panel of senior examiners marks a set of students’ answers. Examiners are then given these answers to mark, and their marks are compared with those agreed by the senior examiner panel. If there are any differences, the examiner’s team leader will discuss the discrepancies with them.



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