All GCSE Subjects List for 2023

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Written By Dr Shane McKeown

The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academic qualification taken in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, with students able to pick subjects outside of the core requirements.

All GCSE subjects can be taken in any combination, but schools will usually set a soft limit for students.

It is an important qualification for students as it is often required for further education and employment opportunities.

The GCSEs are taken in a particular subject, and the subjects learned in Key Stage 3 include English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Art and Design, Music, Physical Education, Modern Foreign Languages, Design and Technology, and Computing.

The Department for Education has drawn up a list of preferred subjects known as the English Baccalaureate for England, which includes English, Mathematics, the Sciences, History, Geography, and an ancient or modern foreign language.

This article provides a comprehensive list of all the GCSE subjects.

Core Subjects

As students prepare for their GCSE exams, one of the most important aspects to consider is the breadth and scope of subjects that they will be tested in.

Core subject matter can form a strong foundation for any student who is looking to excel not just during their GCSEs, but beyond into higher education or professional life.

The core GCSE subjects include Maths, English Language, English Literature, and Sciences (either single, double, or triple science). Welsh is considered a core subject in Wales. These subjects are compulsory, and students are required to study them.

In addition to these core subjects, students can choose from a range of other subjects, including humanities, arts, technical subjects, and modern languages.

Schools generally offer around 20 GCSE subjects each, at the most, out of more than 60 possible subjects and vocational areas that students can decide to study at GCSE level.

A poll in early 2020 found that 39% of head teachers thought that GCSEs should be scrapped, and 86% felt the current examination should either be reformed or scrapped.

Science Subjects

Science is a vital part of any curriculum. It teaches us about our world and how to think critically, solve problems, and make informed decisions.

GCSE science covers a range of topics from biology to chemistry to physics. In addition, it encourages students to explore the ethical implications of their scientific knowledge and its applications in everyday life.

STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education gives students the opportunity to develop skills across these core fields while becoming aware of their potential impacts on society. Through hands-on activities that involve experimentation and real-world problem solving, STEM allows learners to gain an appreciation for the interconnectedness between all disciplines within science. Moreover, ‘learning by doing’ helps pupils understand complex concepts more quickly than through traditional instruction alone.

A well-rounded science syllabus enables students to appreciate the importance of ethics when developing new technologies as they learn how human ingenuity can be used responsibly and ethically in order to create positive change in the world around them.

With an emphasis on understanding current scientific trends and taking responsibility for one’s actions, GCSE Science subjects offer invaluable lessons that will serve young people throughout their lives – both inside and outside of the classroom.


GCSE subjects in the language category typically include German, French, and Spanish. Each of these languages offer a unique and rewarding learning experience, allowing students to develop their communication skills.

Learning German can open up a whole new world of opportunities, while French and Spanish can open up doors to new cultures. Students can benefit from the challenge of mastering a new language, and from the opportunity to explore its nuances.

All three languages offer levels of complexity that can be tailored to the student’s individual needs. With dedication and hard work, students of any language can find success.


Are you interested in learning a new language and exploring different cultures? If so, German is the perfect choice for you! With its rich history and diverse culture, German provides an amazing opportunity to gain valuable linguistic skills.

Not only will you be able to communicate with native speakers of the language, but also understand their customs and traditions better. Learning German can open up so many doors—from business opportunities to travel experiences. Plus, it’s a great way to expand your horizons and engage with people from all walks of life.

By studying German, you’ll get to explore how words are used in everyday conversation as well as learn about the intricate grammar rules that make this language unique. You’ll also gain insight into Germany’s vibrant culture by delving into literature, music, television shows, and films produced there.

So why wait? Start your journey today towards mastering the beautiful language of German! Go ahead and unlock endless possibilities through understanding its culture and gaining fluency in the language!


If you’re longing for a new way to express yourself and explore a culture different from your own, why not try learning French? It’s the language of love, after all!

Not only will you be able to communicate with native speakers in their language, but also gain insight into the rich history and culture of France. With its vibrant literature, music, television shows, and films produced there—learning French can open up so many doors.

Learning French will give you an opportunity to understand how words are used in everyday conversation as well as learn about the unique grammar rules that make this language such a beautiful one.

By immersing yourself in the culture, you’ll get to experience firsthand what it feels like to become fluent in another language while gaining valuable linguistic knowledge along the way.

So don’t wait any longer—start on your journey towards mastering the amazing language of French today!


If French isn’t your cup of tea, why not try learning Spanish? It’s a language that is spoken in many different countries around the world.

With its vibrant culture and unique way of expressing ideas, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience to master this language. Plus, studying Spanish will give you more opportunities for travel and open up new career possibilities as well.

Not to mention, if you’re planning on taking exams such as TOEFL or IELTS down the line, having a strong grasp of Spanish could definitely come in handy!

Not only will you get to observe cultural differences between Spain and other Latin American countries where it is spoken, but also practice conversing with native speakers who use the language daily.

You’ll start to appreciate how words are structured differently from English—which can help improve your overall understanding of grammar rules across all languages.

So don’t wait any longer—dive into the wonderful world of Spanish today!

Creative And Expressive Arts

The Creative and Expressive Arts offer students a world of possibilities, where their imaginations can run wild!

From music to art and drama, there are plenty of creative outlets available for young people who want to express themselves in unique ways.

Music allows pupils to create beautiful melodies while honing their musical skills through instruments such as the piano or guitar.

Art encourages them to explore different mediums like painting, sculpture, and photography – with each offering its own distinct form of self-expression.

Drama also offers an exciting platform for children to develop their theatrical abilities; learning how to use body language as well as voice projection when performing on stage.

In addition, GCSE subjects within this field provide invaluable opportunities for personal growth and development.

Students will have the chance to cultivate critical thinking and problem solving skills that they can apply throughout their lives.

Moreover, these subjects allow learners to become more confident in expressing themselves whilst becoming adept at working both independently and collaboratively – attributes which will serve them well beyond school life.

All in all, exploring these areas gives students the opportunity to discover hidden talents and passions that could be carried forward into future pursuits and endeavours.

Humanities And Social Sciences

As we move away from Creative and Expressive Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences provide an opportunity to explore the social world around us. From sociology to economics, students are exposed to a range of educational topics which can help them understand education inequalities in society.

GCSE subjects such as History, Geography and Religious Education all contribute to this cause while teaching students about different cultures, beliefs and events throughout history.

At GCSE level, humanities also offer students understanding into important concepts such as globalisation, democracy and gender equality; providing knowledge on how these issues affect social mobility.

Through studying English Literature or Psychology – both popular GCSE subject choices – learners gain insight into the human experience and learn how certain societal elements may limit opportunities for some individuals more than others.

By delving deeper into key themes within Humanities and Social Sciences at GCSE-level, young people become equipped with critical skills that enable them to think more critically about their place in society.

An appreciation of these academic topics provides learners with invaluable insights on how inequality is perpetuated through institutions, thus giving them confidence to challenge existing systems whenever necessary.

Technical And Vocational Subjects

Ah, GCSEs! The elusive gateway to a world of career pathways and work based learning. Who wouldn’t be excited at the prospect of an exciting 2 year educational journey? Well, okay: probably most teenagers…

But in all seriousness, there is a wide range of subjects offered on the National Curriculum that are available as part of GCSEs. They can generally be classified into three categories – Core Subjects, Technical and Vocational Subjects, and Other Options. Here’s a quick overview with some examples for each category:

Core SubjectsTechnical & Vocational SubjectsOther Options
MathematicsEngineeringCritical Thinking
EnglishHealth & Social CareReligious Studies
ScienceConstructionCreative Writing
Modern Foreign LanguageMusic

As you can see from the table above, core subjects such as Mathematics, English and Science have been mandatory since 1889 when they were first introduced by the Board Of Education Act. As well as these traditional core subjects though, students now have access to a variety of technical and vocational courses which focus more on developing practical skills desired by employers rather than theoretical knowledge. Examples include Health & Social Care, Engineering and Construction – all popular choices amongst many school leavers today who are looking to get ahead in their chosen careers. Finally we come to other optional studies such as Critical Thinking or Music which may also provide valuable insights into different aspects life. All this goes towards providing young people with greater choice in how they want to shape their future goals and aspirations.


In conclusion, GCSEs are a great way to explore the broad range of academic and vocational subjects available.

From core sciences to creative arts, there’s something for everyone.

With so many choices out there, it’s important to take your time in deciding which subjects will be most beneficial for you and your future goals.

You can rest assured that whatever direction you choose to pursue, there’ll be an array of GCSE options with which to get started!

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