Maths Foundation International GCSE

Red calculator and yellow pencil against a white background

Having a pass at grade C or better in maths at IGCSE level is essential for anyone wishing to go on to further studies in any subject, not just those directly related to maths. Being considered one of the most important subjects, it’s often a requirement for various job roles. A basic level of numeracy also comes in useful in day-to-day life, and this distance learning IGCSE course covers all the bases necessary to give you a solid grasp of working with numbers. Covering areas such as fractions, percentages, probability and graphs, this home study maths course equips you with all the knowledge and skills you need to gain this qualification. If you’re not confident in your mathematical ability and are looking to achieve a grade C to enable you to move on to a new job or further study, we recommend studying the foundation course. The highest grade achievable on this course is C. Full details of the course can be found below.

Would you prefer to pay for your course by instalments? Please see the ‘How to enrol’ section below for details of our low cost, interest free finance available.

Are you intending to take your exams next summer? Please refer to our information on fast tracking and studying your course within one year.

At the time of writing, please note that due to upcoming changes the final opportunity to sit exams for this course is January 2018. If you would like to sit your exams after 2018 please see our GCSE Maths Foundation and Higher for the new specification instead.



Entry requirements

You will only need a basic level of numeracy for this course.


This course follows specification 4MA0 from the awarding organisation Edexcel. Full details of the specification can be obtained from Edexcel's website.

Hours of study

As a guideline, you should allow for between 120 and 150 hours' study time, plus additional time for completing assignments. You will have tutor support for a period up until the final exam opportunity in January 2018.

Exams and assessment

Two exams:

  • 2 hours, 50% of marks
  • 2 hours, 50% of marks

Non-exam assessment (NEA):

  • None

All exams must be taken in the same session.
At the time of writing, please note that due to upcoming changes the final opportunity to sit exams for this course is January 2018. If you would like to sit your exams after 2018 please see our GCSE Maths Foundation and Higher for the new specification instead.

NEC's tutor-marked assignments:

  • 1 introductory assignment
  • 15 assignments


Additional information

This course will help you achieve IGCSE marks up to grade C.

Download our Maths skills check to help you choose the correct level for you.

Your course is delivered online through learn@nec, so it’s important that you have access to a computer and the internet. We recommend that your computer is using one of the following operating systems and browsers to improve your experience of using learn@nec:

Operating systems:

  • 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.

How to enrol

How to enrol
There are several ways to enrol with NEC:

  • Click the ‘Enrol now’ button above
  • Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team
  • Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.

How can you pay?
It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or spread the cost with our finance offer. To pay in instalments, you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative example:

Course fee:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
Total repayable:  
Rate of interest:  
0% APR representative.  
  6 months

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 or visit

IGCSE Maths Foundation units

  • Whole numbers
  • Directed numbers
  • Angles and parallels
  • Fractions
  • Understanding decimals
  • Introduction to length, area and volume
  • Data and charts
  • Line symmetry
  • Number patterns
  • Polygons
  • Co-ordinates, graphs and functions
  • Moving shapes
  • Area and perimeter
  • Estimation and calculation
  • Ratio and further fractions
  • Percentages
  • Algebraic techniques
  • Enlargement and similar shapes
  • Pie charts and percentage charts
  • Introducing probability
  • Solid shapes and volume
  • Compound measures
  • Properties of circles
  • Measurement of circles and cylinders
  • Averages and spread
  • Powers and indices
  • Constructions and accurate drawing
  • Pythagoras' theorem
  • Conversion charts, graphs and tables
  • Everyday calculations
  • Introduction to trigonometry
  • Combined probabilities
  • Linear functions
  • Non-linear functions
  • Sets
Including area code and country code (if outside of UK)

IGCSE Maths Foundation Course Sample

Thank you for your interest in this course.

Please fill out your details below, and you will receive an email containing a link to download the course sample.

What our students say...

"We would like to say a big thank you to the National Extension College for an excellent course. Also, to our son Jamie’s tutor, Alan Stancombe, who was fantastic throughout with his explanations, patience and kind supportive approach which gave Jamie confidence."
— Julia Martin