What institutions award GCSE qualifications?
The two most recognised high school awarding bodies in the UK are AQA and Pearson Edexcel, both of which set examinations and award GCSE qualifications to thousands of students each year.
With their courses being taught all over the world, AQA is considered the UK's most popular awarding body for high school qualifications while Pearson Edexcel is the UK’s largest awarding organisation, working with educational leaders to maintain their world-class qualification standards
Both institutions are highly valued among employers and universities and are taught in schools, colleges, and online.
Other honourable awarding body mentions include CIE and OCR.
What affects the cost of a GCSE qualification?
There are a few things you have to consider when looking at the costs of studying a GCSE qualification, and here we break them down for you.
Your learning provider
GCSE qualification costs will vary depending on the provider, so it’s important to take your time to compare course fees and save money where you can.
Learning providers tend to set prices of their qualifications based on guidelines from awarding bodies and associations, however, each provider will set individual prices for the GCSE subjects they offer.
If you don’t already have any GCSE qualifications and you’re under the age of 25, you might be able to study your GCSEs without having to pay any tuition fees if you’re looking to enrol on a course that will lead you to your first full Level 2 or Level 3 qualification.
If you’re past the age of 25 or don’t meet the criteria for free tuition, then the cost of getting your GCSE qualification as an adult will depend on the school you choose to study with, your course, and how you study.
Your study route
You have the choice to study your GCSE qualification in a classroom or online - it all comes down to what works best for you.
Studying in a classroom means you’ll attend regularly scheduled in-person classes, usually in a sixth form or college. Lessons are taught alongside other students, and you’ll need to cover the costs of your course materials, commute, parking, food, and drink (because we all need a little on-campus caffeine kick sometimes). Due to these varying costs, classroom learning is often considered a less cost-effective option.
If you choose to study an online course, on the other hand, you’ll benefit from the flexibility of studying on your own schedule from anywhere with an internet connection. Course costs are also often less-costly as course materials and assignments are all online, so there’s no need to worry about dragging your bookbag across town to get to class.
GCSE exam fees
Exam entry fees are generally not covered in your initial course costs and can range from anywhere between £38 to upwards of £75 per exam, depending on the GCSE course and the exam centre you choose to sit with.
If you choose the online route, you’ll sit your exams in-person alongside students who chose to study in school. The only difference is that you’ll be solely responsible for booking your exam - but not to worry, AQA post a list of exam centres that accept private candidates. Don’t see one near you? You can approach local schools directly to see if they’ll accept you.