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Full-time and part-time GCSE programmes available for all ages. Achieve your GCSEs at no cost at an Activate Learning college.

We offer GCSE programmes on a full-time and part-time basis for learners of all ages who are yet to achieve the grades needed to progress or return to education, further training or employment.

GCSEs are usually taken at age 16, at the end of school year 11. They are also suitable for adults who are returning to study, employment or training. The new GCSEs are graded from 1 to 9, with 9 being the top grade (A*). Grade 4 is equivalent to the old Grade C, which is the minimum qualification students need to achieve in English and maths.

Full-time GCSE programmes (16-19 year olds)

If you are 16-19 years old and are keen to improve your GCSE grades so you can move into further education, this programme is for you. It’s a one-year programme aimed at those who have achieved below the required number of GCSE grades at 4 (C) or above and therefore have not been able to progress to Level 3 study.

Full-time GCSE programmes are available at our college campuses in Bracknell, Oxford and Reading. You will be studying an intensive one year programme within one of the following pathways and at the end of the course will achieve 5 GCSEs.

  • Science Pathway: double science, maths, English and sociology GCSEs
  • Humanities Pathway: maths, English, history, geography and sociology GCSEs
  • Business Pathway: includes English and maths GCSEs

Part-time GCSE programmes (adults over 19 years old)

English and maths skills are essential for life and work. If you are aged over 19 and don't already hold an English or maths GCSE grade 4 (C), you can study for your GCSE or Functional Skills qualification completely free of charge at an Activate Learning college. 

Part-time GCSE programmes are available at our college campuses in BanburyBracknell, Oxford and Reading. Courses are run on a part-time basis, to fit around your life and work, with classes offered on weekday daytimes and evenings. Typically, lessons are around 3 hours a week, plus blended learning through our virtual learning environment and online resources. 

Applying for a course is easy!

  1. Click the 'Search GCSE courses' button below
  2. Click 'View Course' on the GCSE course you want to enrol on
  3. On the course page, click 'Apply Now'
  4. You will be invited to the college to talk with a tutor about which course is right for you

How you will learn

On our full-time programmes, you will study using a range of techniques including groupwork, independent study, research, practical activities and homework. Classes will take place over four days a week between 9am and 5pm. We expect our students to be fully committed to their studies and attend all timetabled lessons, talks, tutorials and workshops.

On our part-time programmes, you will typically come to college for one 3 hour lesson per week for one academic year. You will also have further blended learning opportunities through our Virtual Learning Environment and other online resources - allowing you to study on a flexible basis that fits around your lifestyle and commitments. 


What you will gain

You will develop the skills necessary for further academic study, training, or employment, such as strong report writing, essay writing, study skills, and presentation skills. You will improve the wider skills vital for success in further study or employment, including self-confidence, speaking in front of others, working with others, taking responsibility and managing your time. By the end of the course, you will have gained the GCSE qualifications needed for your next step, and also benefited from a valuable insight into future career and training opportunities open to you.

Industry partnerships

We work in close partnership with a number of organisations to provide excellent teaching and learning for our students, including: Optalis choices for living, Project Search, Westgate Oxford, Oxfordshire Employment Service (part of Oxfordshire County Council), Big Lottery Fund and OxLEP.