GCSE Mathematics in a key requirement for many job roles as it demonstrates an understanding of numbers and an ability to work with them. And yet many people find numbers intimidating. With this in mind, this home study course has been designed to guide you through the subject in logical, easy-to- follow steps, building on your understanding as your confidence grows.

The GCSE places great emphasis on "doing mathematics" and relating this wherever possible, to everyday life. Certain techniques and formulae need to be learnt, but the emphasis on "doing" means that you should work carefully through all the examples and exercises in order to be able to solve problems effectively.

Mathematics is essentially a holistic subject and, as such, should be taught in this way with connections being made between the sections on Number and algebra, Shape, space and measures and Handling data as demanded in the National Curriculum. For example, Number underpins the whole of mathematics.

The Maths GCSE distance learning course gently guides the student through basic mathematical skills, progressing onto more advanced material as the student's skills and abilities develop. A reasonable level of proficiency in arithmetical skills is assumed.

Each lesson begins with a set of clearly stated objectives and an explanation of its place in the overall programme of study. Effective learning is encouraged through frequent activities and self-assessment questions. There are thirteen tutor-marked assignments and a practice exam paper.

The Syllabus:

Our Maths GCSE course prepares students for AQA GCSE Mathematics Specification 4365 for exams in May/June 2016. The course covers an intermediate and higher tier level. The course covers the intermediate level with an optional unit included to also cover the additional higher tier so you have a choice of which tier to complete.

We have chosen this syllabus as the most suited to distance learning. Assessment is by two examination papers.

  • Paper 1 is 40% of the total marks. The paper is a Written Paper (Non-calculator). The exam is 1 Hour, 15 Minutes for the Intermediate Tier & 1 Hour 30 Minutes for the Higher Tier.

  • Paper 2 is 60% of the total marks. The paper is a Written Paper (With calculator). The exam is 1 Hour, 45 Minutes for the Foundations Tier & 2 Hours for the Higher Tier.

Please Note: This Syllabus is being retired after the May/June 2016 exams which gives no option for deferral. There will be an exam in November, although this is only for students who have failed the May/June 2016 exam. A new course covering the AQA GCSE Mathematics 8300 specification is available for students if they prefer to aim for the May/June 2017 examinations. All candidates taking this specification would sit three 90-minute written papers, the first being without a calculator. 


There are no prerequisites for starting this course, however a reasonable level of proficiency in arithmetical skills is assumed.


No coursework is required.

Additional Reading:

The course is fully self-contained and is designed to prepare you for the examination without the use of a textbook. However, you are strongly advised to supplement your studies by reference to one of the many specially written GCSE textbooks.

Student Support:

Every student receives a personal tutor with whom they should keep in regular contact. All tutors are fully qualified experienced teachers holding either a Postgraduate Certificate in Education or a degree in education. Most work from home and are able to offer flexible contact times. The tutor will contact students with an introductory letter and a telephone call to help decide on a study plan. They will also let the student know the best ways and times for contact.

There is no limit on how often you can contact your tutor. The advice and encouragement our tutors provide are an important part of your learning experience. You can contact your tutor by Phone, Post or Email. There are tutor-marked assignments (TMA's) in every course. These help the student to consolidate their learning and prepare for examinations.

All tutors have a Freephone 0800 telephone number and most will have Skype capabilities. Whilst you are still actively submitting assignments, you should expect to be in contact with your tutor regularly. Remember, to get the most out of your tutor, you will need to tell them when you need assistance.

Examination Centres:

All distance learning students will sit their exams as a private candidate in a registered school or college. The finding of an examination centre and the booking of exams is the responsibility of the student. In December/January students are contacted and advised to start arranging their examinations. AQA have over 300 exam centres in the UK. Examination officers are available for registered students for advice on finding suitable centres or you can use AQA’s Private Candidate Page which details information about being a private candidate and has a search facility showing a small selection of centres set out geographically.

Nearest Examination Dates:

Please review the GCSE Overview page for detailed information on possible examination dates and procedures.

GCSE Examination Fees:

Examination fees need to be paid direct to your chosen exam centre. Prices for exams will vary depending on the exam centre's administration costs. You can find out further information about the Private Candidate process and locate suitable exam centres from the AQA Private Candidate Page.

Studying from Abroad:

It is possible to study GCSE Courses from anywhere in the world. However some home study courses are easier to study from abroad than others and some restrictions to the type of tuition available apply. If you wish to study a GCSE then you will need to sit the examinations in the UK. Please remember that most GCSE's have several examinations which may well be spread over several weeks.

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