Close search

One or two year programmes that offer progression to A level, University Foundation or International Baccalaureate. GCSE/Pre programmes provide you with a high quality secondary education foundation ready for you to decide on the right study pathway to a UK university.


GCSE

The GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) is a flexible two year programme which provides a broad and solid secondary education. The qualification is internationally recognised and is normally obtained after two years study. The programme prepares you perfectly to go on to study A level, International Baccalaureate or University Foundation Programme before you go to university.

Quick facts:

  • Age:14+
  • Hours per week: 30+ hours
  • Start dates: September, January or April

Pre-programme

Pre-programme is a course following a GCSE approach, but for one year or less. Students can take GCSE exams in some subjects depending on the progress they make. The focus of the programme is preparation for A level or IB.

Quick facts:

  • Age:15+
  • Hours per week: 30+ hours
  • Start dates: September, January or April

Available at:

Find out more about
GCSE & Pre-programme at

Cambridge

Find out more about
GCSE & Pre-programme at

Canterbury

Find out more about
GCSE & Pre-programme at

London

A*ABBB

“The teachers are amazing, they’re always happy, positive and helpful. They have played a huge role in helping me to become independent in all ways: educational, and also as a person.”
Ivan Kovalenko - Russia

Meet more students

Frequently asked questions:

Why you should study GCSE/ Pre-programme

These programmes let you study a range of subjects that give you a good base knowledge before you go on to study in more detail. GCSEs are the standard route to further study, and ultimately to university, in the UK. All the top universities recognise the programme, and they are even widely recognised internationally by some of the best institutions across the world.

Who GCSE/Pre-programme is for

GCSEs are ideal for all students aged 14+. The programme allows you to study a range of subjects, and gives you the right preparation for your further study. Preprogramme is for students aged 15+.

Where GCSE/Pre-programme fits into the overall UK education system

The GCSE programme is one of the ways that you can further your study in the UK and eventually enter university and study for an undergraduate degree. After you have finished GCSE/Pre-programme you will normally have two years of high school left.

Subjects available

C = compulsory subjects
✔ = optional subjects

Cambridge Canterbury London
GCSE Pre-programme GCSE Pre-programme Pre-programme
Art and design - C C
Art / Photography - - - - -
Biology C C C C C
Business C C C
Chemistry C C C C C
Drama - - - C -
English Language C C C C C
English First Language/Literature - - -
Geography C C† -
History C C† -
Law - - - C† -
Mathematics C C C C C
Media Studies - - -
Modern Foreign Languages - C - French or Spanish
Photography - - -
Physical Education C C - - C
Physics C C C C C
Psychology - - - C†† -
Sociology - - - C†† -

In Canterbury, students follow the UK government English Baccalaureate curriculum. This includes all the compulsory subjects students need for future study, listed above, as well as Music and Creativity, Activity and Service.

Subjects may change, and are not guaranteed.

† These subjects are delivered as part of the Humanities lessons.

†† These subjects are delivered as part of the Social Sciences lessons.

*All compulsory subjects listed are for 3 term students and are also available as options for 2 term students.

How GCSE/Pre-programme helps you to be successful

GCSEs are widely recognised by employers across the world. High grades are a great way for you to show that you can perform consistently and meet high academic standards. You’ll also learn how to study, ready to go on to A level/IB..

How you are assessed

You will take a mixture of internal and external examinations. The main external exams take place in the summer term at the end of your GCSE/Pre-Programme course. To ensure that you are well prepared you will also take CATS mock exams so that you can practise and your teachers can help with anything you are finding difficult. English is also examined and awarded through IGCSE First Language English with an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination. Some subjects (such as the sciences) have an element of coursework which is written or practical work completed throughout the year and counts towards your overall grade.

When the results will be published

GCSE/Pre-programme results are published in June and August. Grades range from 9 (the highest possible grade, equivalent to A*) down to grade 1 and then finally to U (the lowest grade), although a ‘good pass’ is considered anything from 9 to 4.

CATS Cambridge GCSE Pre-programme
Course length 6 terms (Sep start)
5 terms (Jan start)
4 terms (April start)
3 terms (Sep start)
2 terms (Jan start)
1 term (Apr start)
Age 14+ 15+
English level Equivalent IELTS 4.0+ (Sep and Jan start)
4.5+ (Apr start), or intermediate
Equivalent IELTS 4.0+ (3 term) or intermediate
Entry requirements Normally 8 or 9 years of schooling completed with a good school report
Hours of study per week 30+ hours – all students follow a full weekly timetable including supervised study and sports
CATS Canterbury GCSE Pre-programme
Course length 6 terms (Sep start)
5 terms (Jan start)
4 terms (April start)
3 terms (Sep start)
2 terms (Jan start)
1 term (Apr or Jul start)
Age 14+ 15+
English level Equivalent IELTS 4.0 + (Sep and Jan start)
4.5+ (Apr start), or intermediate
Equivalent IELTS 4.0+ (3 term) or intermediate
Entry requirements Normally 8 or 9 years of schooling completed with a good school report
Hours of study per week 30+ hours – all students follow a full weekly timetable including supervised study and sports
CATS London Pre-programme
Course length 3 terms (Sep start)
2 terms (Jan start)
Age 15+
English level Equivalent IELTS 4.0+ (3 term) or intermediate
Entry requirements Normally 8 or 9 years of schooling completed with a good school report
Hours of study per week 30+ hours – all students follow a full weekly timetable including supervised study and sports