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This course is launching in October. To register your interest, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us free from any UK landline on 0800 389 2839.
Explore the Universe and our position in it with this fascinating course. Starting with our own planet Earth, you will learn about our solar system and beyond. You’ll investigate the movements of planets and stars, how stars and planetry systems are formed and how we observe and interact with Space. With your own practical observations you will develop valuable scientific and mathematical skills.
This course is one of our new Gold Star GCSEs. Find out more about them here.
Duration of study
- The Earth
- Latitude and longitude
- The Earth's atmosphere
- The night sky
Section 2 - Celestial observation
- Constellations and asterisms
- The celestial sphere
- Diurnal motion
- Circumpolar stars
- Practical observing
Section 3 - The Moon and the solar system
- The surface features of the Moon
- The Moon's orbit
- Exploration of the Moon
- The origin of the Moon
- Observing the planets
- The apparent motion of the Sun
Section 4 - Exploring the solar system
- Planets, dwarf planets and other solar system objects
- Meteoroids and meteorites
- The size of the solar system
- Optical telescopes, Part 1
- Optical telescopes, Part 2
- Space probes
Section 5 - Early models of the solar system, planetary motion and gravity
Section 6 - Solar astronomy and the Earth-Sun-Moon system
Section 7 - Time and cycles, the formation of the planets
Section 8 - Exploring starlight
Section 9 - Stellar evolution and our place in the galaxy
Section 10 - Classification of galaxies and cosmology
Exams and assessment
- 1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of marks
- 1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of marks
- In addition students must complete at least one unaided and one aided observation. You will find comprehensive guidance for carrying out observations in the course.
Non-exam assessment (NEA):
This course has:
- 1 introductory assignment
- 10 assignments
Set texts and resources
- Windows 7 or later
- Mac OSX 10.7 or later
- Google Chrome OS
- Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
- iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser
- Google Chrome (latest version)
- Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
- Safari 6 or later
- Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)
learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.
Paying in instalments
Amount of credit:
Duration of agreement:
Rate of interest:
0% APR representative.
The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.
Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd who act as a credit intermediary. They are registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please go to www.dekopay.com/faq or visit www.dekopay.com.