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How Much Does a GCSE Qualification Cost?

Enrolling on a GCSE course has a lot of benefits for aspiring students and working professionals alike, and while studying your GCSEs isn’t always cheap, it doesn’t have to be expensive either.

To give you more insight, we’re taking a look at the individual factors that play into the cost of a GCSE qualification so that you can decide for yourself whether the investment is worth your valuable time and money (and we think it will be).

Let’s get started!

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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.

Your age

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 £100 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.

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How do I benefit from gaining a GCSE qualification?

Gaining a GCSE qualification is a genuine investment for all those who decide to enrol on a course. This is because in doing so, you’re benefitting in multiple ways, including:

  • Qualifying yourself for further education
  • Opening doors for better sixth form and university options
  • Adding value to your CV for jobs and apprenticeships
  • Making room for greater earning potential in the future

So, how much does a GCSE qualification really cost?

Since the cost of your GCSE qualification will fluctuate depending on the learning provider, the course, and how you study, no one can give you a concrete answer to this question. What we can do, however, is give you some further detail on what additional cost factors you’ll come by. 

As a GCSE student studying in-person through a sixth-form or college, you can expect to pay tuition fees of £8000 or more for your GCSE course. Alternatively, online GCSE qualifications are often more affordable and range from between £285 to £420 per course. 

For International GCSE qualifications, course costs are often similar if not the same as GCSE courses as they’re simply the international equivalent of GCSE qualifications.

It’s also worth taking a look at whether your provider offers, low, interest-free monthly payment plans or the option to take advantage of a multi-course discount to save you a few pennies on your GCSE costs (like we do!)

Now you have a better understanding of how much a GCSE qualification might cost if you’re over 16, we hope that you can appreciate why GCSEs are worth investing both your time and money - ultimately turning your costs into profits.


Enhance your future with a 100% online GCSE qualification and get your free online GCSE course guide today.