GCSE Astronomy

Examination Board: Pearson Edexcel              

Specification code: 1AS0

Why study GCSE Astronomy?

Candidates studying Astronomy will build on their own natural fascination with the night sky and the Universe. Astronomy is constantly in the media, in both fact and film, making this course all the more engaging and relevant to students.

Pupils will carry out practical observations of a variety of different objects ranging from planets to meteor showers, including the use of internet accessed robotic telescopes. They will also learn to navigate their way around the night sky and so be able to point out and describe the most interesting celestial objects visible to both the naked eye and telescopes.

Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences, yet astronomers are still today discovering new worlds, identifying new parts of our Solar System and exploring phenomena such as black holes, the Big Bang and life on Mars. Get involved!

Course Content and Assessment:(GCSE Astronomy will be graded on a 9–1 scale)

The assessment of this GCSE is 100% examination (x2 papers, sat at the end of Year 11).

The content of the specification has been split into the 16 topics listed below:

Topics 1 to 8 are assessed in Paper 1 Naked-eye Astronomy (1hr 45mins) 100 marks

Topic 1 – Planet Earth                                     Topic 2 – The lunar disc         

Topic 3 – Earth-Moon-Sun system                 Topic 4 – Time and the Earth-Moon-Sun cycles

Topic 5 – Solar System observation                Topic 6 – Celestial observation

Topic 7 – Models of the Solar System            Topic 8 – Planetary motion and gravity

Topics 9 to 16 are assessed in Paper 2 Telescopic Astronomy (1hr 45mins) 100 marks

Topic 9 – Exploring the Moon                         Topic 10 – Solar astronomy

Topic 11 – Exploring the Solar System            Topic 12 – Formation of planetary systems

Topic 13 – Exploring starlight                         Topic 14 – Stellar evolution

Topic 15 – Our place in the Galaxy                 Topic 16 – Cosmology 

If you would like to ask any further questions regarding these courses, then please contact:

Further information can be found in the following documents: