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Join 1000s of NEC distance learners and study biology, chemistry and physics through our popular IGCSE Combined Science online course.
Combined Science IGCSE explores the basic principles and applications in biology, chemistry and physics and leads to a single award qualification, one IGCSE, based on your performance in all three subjects.
Through our IGCSE Combined Science online course you’ll learn key scientific concepts through a mix of theoretical and practical studies. Practical skills are developed using experiments suitable for home completion, alongside engaging animations. This course also explores science in a broader sense – for example, its impact on technology, its role and limitations in everyday life and in caring for the environment.
By studying science you’ll also develop skills of enquiry, accuracy, initiative and inventiveness – qualities that are highly valued by universities and employers.
Why study Combined Science?
If you’re keen to gain a broad introduction to scientific thinking, our IGCSE Combined Science online course is perfect. From studying the human circulatory system to explaining how a rainbow is made, through Combined Science you’ll open up a fascinating world of discovery.
By choosing online distance learning, you’ll have the flexibility to fit study around your lifestyle, learning at your own pace as you work through a series of engaging topics.
Unit 1: Physics
- Matter and forces
- Energy, work and power
- Energy resources
- The kinetic model of matter
Unit 2: Chemistry
- Atoms and molecules, elements and compounds
- Chemical and physical change
- Atomic structure and the periodic table
- Chemical bonds
- Formulae and equations
Unit 3: Biology
- Living things
- Movement in and out of cells and the role of enzymes
- Animal nutrients
- Plant nutrition
- Animal nutrition
Unit 4: Physics
- Thermal energy
- Reflection of light
- Refraction and total internal reflection
- Electromagnetic spectrum
Unit 5: Chemistry
- Electricity and chemistry
- Periodic trends
- Acids and bases, preparation of salts
- Reactivity series
- Identification of ions and gases
Unit 6: Biology
- Transport in plants
- Transport in humans
- The human circulatory system
- Respiration and gas exchange
- Coordination and response
Unit 7: Physics
- Electric charge
- Electric current
- Practical electricity
- Series and parallel circuits
Unit 8: Chemistry
- Reactions: energy changes and rates
- Air and water
- Alkanes and alkenes
Unit 9: Biology
- Reproduction in plants
- Sexual reproduction in humans
- The development of the human baby
- Energy flow in ecosystems
- The human influences on the ecosystem
You’ll have access to support from a personal tutor. All NEC tutors are subject experts, with experience of supporting online learners.
Meet Julie who is just one of our first-class combined science tutors:
“I love learning and I love inspiring other people to learn. I’ve worked with students from primary to undergraduate level as I have taught in schools and universities. Now, I specialise in home education and distance learning, teaching people in the UK and overseas. I have a degree in physics with astrophysics and a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) in physics, science and maths, both from the University of Birmingham, and an LLM in Law from the University of Leeds. A senior examiner for several exam boards, I am also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors.”
What you need to know
- CAIE 0653
- Online learning with support from a personal tutor
- Complete at your own pace
- Approx. 120-150* hours plus time for completing assignments
*The specification suggests that 150 hours is needed. You’ll also need time to complete assignments and prepare yourself for exams. Everyone is different so it’s impossible to say with certainty how long a course will take you, but you should expect it to take you approximately 300 hours. Taken across the length of time we recommend, this equates to approximately 4 hours per week. This will increase if you choose to take it over a shorter time frame.
- 10 assignments (one introductory) – these do not contribute towards your final grade
- No additional set texts required
- Internet access
- Computer operating system and browser to support learn@nec
Our course fees are open and honest to help you plan for any additional costs.
Your course fee includes:
- Access to learn@nec
- All the course materials you need to complete the course
- Support from a personal tutor for up to 18 months from your date of enrolment
- Assignment marking
- Guaranteed exam place
- NEC’s guide to study skills: How to Succeed as an Independent Learner
- Spelling, punctuation and grammar guide
- Time planner to help you plan your study timetable
- Information on how to apply for exams
Your course fee does not cover:
- Exam entry fees
- Additional past paper marking
- Revision tutorial
- Optional tutorial
- Additional review
Exams and assessment
- Paper 1 -30% of marks (45 minutes)
- Paper 2 or Paper 3 – 50% of marks (1 hour 15 minutes)
- Paper 6 – 20% of marks (1 hour)
There is no non-exam assessment (NEA) for this course.
Additional support if you're under 18
We know that our younger students often need an extra helping hand with their studies. In our experience, learning online works best when the parents are involved, so when you enrol your child with NEC, you’ll have a unique set of services to help you to support your child.
- Your own log in to learn@nec to access the course so you can view the course materials and other information for yourself.
- Access to your child’s gradebook to help you to monitor progress and provide appropriate and timely intervention and support
- You’ll receive emails and forum posts so that you have all the examination and assessment updates/information provided by the NEC team
- Dedicated Parent Portal Pages and targeted blogs with updates/information/help and advice on many aspects of home education.
- Access to the Kudos career platform for young learners to explore career choices.
Who is this course for?
Our Combined Science IGCSE course is ideal if you:
- Are keen to gain a broad foundation in the key ideas and applications of biology, chemistry and physics.
- Want to learn more about how science is studied and applied.
- Would like to discover how scientific research impacts everyday life.
- Are interested in building your observational, analytical and problem-solving skills, to improve your employability.
- No formal qualifications are required for this course
- An ability to read and write in English
- Basic mathematical skills
- Employers value candidates who can demonstrate science-based skills – such as enquiry, accuracy, initiative and inventiveness.
- Gaining a firm foundation in each subject will help you make an informed choice about pursuing science at A level.
Questions and answers
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