Bored with GCSEs? UK Students Should Try These 4 Alternative Courses for a Change!

4 years ago



Every secondary school student in the UK knows GCSE exams (General Certificate of Secondary Education) are taken at the age of 16 after two-three years of studies and the GCSEs results are usually a good indicator of how well you’ll do in A-level exam, what colleagues you may rely on and what qualifications you will choose depending on your grades after GCSEs tests. The Typical Student team aims to educate you about the New 9-1 GCSE Grading System: KEY DIFFERENCES 2018 (+INFOGRAPHIC), so check that one out!

The majority of universities expects you to have at least a C grade in Math GCSE as well as in English and Science (grade 4 or 5 under the new structure). Keep in mind that some universities may ask you to attend specific GCSE courses while top academic universities (like Russell group universities) expect you to have AAB or higher grades for most GCSE exams.

Some experts believe that students should be allowed to study not only standard subjects like Biology or Math, but also alternative GCSE courses.

So what are the possible alternatives?

1. DJing as a part of Music GCSE


If you have a talent for music and would love to become a professional DJ, now you can do it at school by taking a GCSE Music test. And it is not a joke! Exam board AQA has added DJing to GCSE Music syllabus as a solo performance option. We should be grateful to Austen and Scott Smart, professional DJs, who took part in writing the DJ course curriculum.

2. Drama GCSE


Creative and artistic students may choose to take Drama GCSE exam. This course often involves aspects of acting, music, dance and performing arts and usually weighted at 60% practical performance, and 40% written theory. But keep in mind that it is not the easiest subject that consists of team work, group motivation, personal challenge, imagination, good writing skills and extra effort. 

3. Welsh GCSE

Welsh is the oldest living language in Europe and there was seen a significant revival since the Welsh Language Act of 1993. So it’s not a surprise that it was added to the GCSE exam in the UK. This course teaches not only how to read and write this poetic language, it also teaches about the rich tapestry that is Welsh history and gives an insight into the Welsh cultures of past and present. However, there are experts who argue a worthwhile avenue of this study.

4. Bedales Assessed Courses (BACs)


BACs were invented as an alternative to traditional qualifications with a heavy emphasis on research, extended writing and discussion. They also meet the minimum requirements of universities.   

More and more schools around Great Britain adopt curriculum changes where students can study traditional courses but in a new modern and interesting way that cover current affairs, culture, debating, ethics, leadership, global studies and risk. BACs enthusiasts claim that it’s a chance for students and staff to unleash their creativity. While their opponents presume that these qualifications might be regarded as sub-GCSE.


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Any questions or propositions?