Image: Our Learn@NEC online IGCSE Biology course
If you’re considering studying GCSEs but not sure how you can study without going to school, then you’ve come to the right place...
It’s that important time of year when you may be considering options for furthering your education or brushing up on other skills but need pointing in the right direction. At NEC, we are here to guide you through the benefits of studying outside of a school to help you make a decision that’s most suited to you.
What are GCSEs and IGCSEs?
GCSEs are the most widely taken qualification in the UK and considered the educational standard for school-leavers at 16. If you’re looking to get into college or university they’ll prove essential, and passes in English, Science and Maths are also required for an increasingly large number of jobs.
You might be thinking - I live in the USA so how do I study for a GCSE? Well, you can enrol onto IGCSEs - International GCSEs which are recognised all over the world. These are perfect for distance learning because they don’t involve controlled assessments and typically don’t feature coursework.
IGCSEs are also popular here in the UK and are widely recognised by employers and education providers in much the same way as a GCSE.
What are the benefits of studying GCSEs at a distance?
Fitting in study around other life commitments can be difficult if you need to attend a college. It’s time consuming and prevents you doing the things you want to do. That’s where distance learning comes into place - students are able to log into a Virtual Learning Environment to access course materials and receive tutor support. This type of learning caters for a wide variety of students who perhaps have disabilities and can’t go out of the house, or for students looking for that extra flexibility to work and study. The flexibility and tutor support are just two benefits of distance learning.
Another benefit is the range of partnership centres that the NEC offer which make it easier for students to take exams nearby. We handle all of the admin side, liaising with the exam centre to make sure you’re entered for the right exams making it stress free. Our partnership exam centres are spread across the UK, including:
- Ashton-under-Lyne (Greater Manchester)
- Fareham (limited places available)
- London (limited places available)
Our students’ reasons for studying GCSEs
There are two main reasons for our students studying for their GCSEs, with 27.3% preparing for a FE/HE course and 20.1% wanting to improve opportunities in their career advancement. GCSEs have also helped our students make decisions on going to university, with around 8% planning to to do a degree at the Open University. Statistics taken from the 2015 NEC student survey.
Here’s what our students have to say:
Catherine Speechley, IGCSE Biology and French
Catherine has what she describes as a haphazard routine, with her hours of work always changing. She enjoyed school, but was frustrated at having to drop some subjects because there was a limit to the number of GCSEs pupils could do. Now in her 40s, she's catching up with the subjects she left behind.
James Barker, IGCSE Combined Science
NEC's location in the UK means many of our students are British residents, but we also have a number of international students for whom our courses provide a means to access education that might otherwise be unavailable. James is one such student, enrolling all the way from Korea to study with us.
Isobel Hughes, GCSEs and IGCSEs
Home-educated Isobel found learning with NEC to be a fantastic way to study for her IGCSEs before moving on to study A levels in a college. Isobel’s father taught her maths himself, but she chose four more subjects from NEC to study as well: English language, geography, biology and child development.
In January 2016, our students achieved a 100% pass rate in their I/GCSE exams so you can be sure of a high standard if you choose to enrol on a course with NEC. To see our fantastic range of subjects, please visit this page.
There’s no need to wait for September to enrol, get a head start. If you enrol before 31st July, you will receive our special Early Bird Discount of 20%.