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GCSE Biology - Foundation Tier

OSC1357 / OSC1356

Achieve your GCSE Biology Foundation Tier qualification with this distance learning course from Open Study College. With our online GCSEs, you can gain an official qualification whilst you study whenever and wherever suits you.

Course duration

Up to one year.

Course outcome

GCSE Biology Foundation Tier qualification (you must complete the exams and practicals to achieve this qualification).

Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this course.


Two paper-based exams and practical assessments.

Course Options

Study Options

or £35.43 /month*
Course code: OSC1357
£50 off site-wide with code 50FORYOU. Hurry, this offer is on for a limited time only!

*Pay monthly option available via Snap Finance on payment page in checkout


Course overview

  • Achieve an accredited AQA GCSE Biology Foundation Tier qualification.
  • Gain an understanding of biological facts, concepts and principles.
  • Develop your interest in the study of living organisms.
  • Gain a recognised qualification for further studies.
  • Choose to study online or via printed materials with a study pack.
  • Enrol on a package to include exams and practicals and we'll book your exams for you!

The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is the UK’s most widely recognised certification for the end of secondary school education. It is often the entry-level requirement to further study, such as A Levels and apprenticeships.

This GCSE Biology foundation tier course will teach you about living organisms and is ideal for those wanting to go on to study A Level Biology, progress into a biology-related career, or even just purely for knowledge.

This course can be completed without taking the exams and practicals, however, to achieve the recognised GCSE biology qualification you must take an exam and practical assessments. If you add on the exams and practicals with your enrolment, we will book and pay for your exams and practical sessions on your behalf.

Please note, with this Foundation Tier Biology the highest grade you can achieve is 5. Students who fail to meet the minimum standard for grade 1 will be recorded as U (unclassified) and will not receive a qualification certificate. For students wishing to achieve grades 4-9, please choose our GCSE Biology - Higher Tier.

Course content

Exam details

AQA specification code: 8461

  • Type: Written examination
  • Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Weighting: 50% of GCSE
  • Total marks: 100

Question type: multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response

Assessed: Topics 1-4 (cell biology; organisation; infection and response; bioenergetics)

  • Type: Written examination
  • Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Weighting: 50% of the GCSE
  • Total marks: 100

Question type: multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response

Assessed: Topics 5-7 (homeostasis and response; inheritance, variation and evolution; ecology)

You will undertake required practical activities to enhance your investigative thinking, improve techniques and consolidate understanding of key scientific concepts. You will be required to attend the exam centre laboratory to conduct the practical session. This is a mandatory component of the qualification. Although you will not be assessed on your performance, there will be questions in your written exams related to the practical activities.

Extra information

To achieve a GCSE Foundation Tier in Biology you will be assessed across the above sections.

In order to successfully complete the GCSE Biology course, you will need to pass two GCSE written examinations and undertake a series of practicals. These must be conducted under supervision at an examination centre.

Questions in the written exams will draw on the knowledge and understanding students have gained by carrying out the practical activities. These questions will count for at least 15% of the overall marks for the qualification.

This course comes with the option of including practicals and exams in the cost of the course. We will book and pay for these on your behalf when you’re ready to take them if you choose to add on exams.

If you choose to add your exams and practicals to your enrolment, you will need to sit your exams at our GCSE exam centre in Birmingham.

A more detailed breakdown of the assessment details is provided below.

You have one full year to complete your course which starts from your enrolment date. During this time, you have access to full tutor support through email.

You do not need any previous knowledge to enrol on this course. This course is for students aiming to achieve grades 1-5.

If you are wishing to study towards grades 4-9 choose our GCSE Biology Higher Tier.

Study for your GCSE biology around your life commitments. Whether that’s alongside work, college, or family, you can study at a pace that suits you.

Choose to study online or from a course pack where you’ll get printed materials sent to you in the post. As long as you have your study materials, you can study wherever you want.

Tutor support is available through email, so help is only a click away!

Once you have studied the course and successfully passed the examinations, you will be awarded your AQA GCSE Biology.

You will achieve grade between 1-5 with the foundation tier paper. If you just fail to achieve minimum grade 1, you will be awarded a U.

Students who fail to meet the minimum standard for an allowed grade 3 will be recorded as U (unclassified) and will not receive a qualification certificate.

For students wishing to study towards grades 4-9, please choose our GCSE Biology Higher Tier course.


Yes! Our online GCSEs are exactly the same as those studied in school or college, accredited by awarding body AQA. We have to undergo rigorous assessments to ensure our course content is up to AQA’s standard.

You do not need any previous knowledge to enrol onto our GCSE Biology Foundation Tier course.

Included in the cost of our GCSE Biology course is the following:

  • Dedicated personal tutor support
  • Dedicated learner services
  • Formal accreditation if exams are taken
  • Assignment marking and feedback
  • FREE CV critique service
  • FREE employability guide to help you impress future employers when getting a job
  • FREE XO Student Discounts membership
  • Open Study College pen, highlighter, and notebook*

* Not included with the online study option

No extra reading is required for the completion of our GCSE Biology course.

You are still able to study this GCSE course if you live outside of the UK, but you must take the examinations within the UK, as this is the only guaranteed way to access exam centres.

It's not a problem. We offer a course replacement service, so if you get into trouble and your course pack is lost or damaged, our Learner Services Team can provide you with a new set of materials for a one-time additional fee.

That's not a problem. We want to make sure you're 100% confident about enrolling on the course and starting your study. So, just give our team of education specialists a call on 03300 563 100 and they'll do their best to help.

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