GCSE Electronics

What is it and how does it work?
Electronics GCSE meets the needs of students entering a progressively more technological society. A systems approach is adopted to complex problem solving. A task is broken down into manageable blocks, each of which performs its own unique function.
Tasks such as automatically dipping car headlights, electronic counters and timers, burglar alarms, fish bite detectors to name but a few.
Electronics GCSE has all the intellectual challenge of a Science subject with the added dimension of problem-solving. It involves a lot of practical work but also demands a good level of understanding and logical thinking.
Working by yourself, or in pairs you build and test circuits to solve problems. In doing so, you work through a series of assignments at a pace suited to your ability, looking at how your circuit works and what each component does.
Consideration of safety inevitably arises in Electronics so emphasis is placed on working practices that promote safety consciousness at all times.

Summary of Assessment

  • Component one: Discovering Electronics. Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes. 40% of qualification.
    A mix of short answer questions, structured questions, with some set in a practical context.
  • Component two: Application of Electronics. Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes. 40% of qualification.
    A mix of short answer questions, structured questions, with some set in a practical context.
  • Component three: Extended system design and realisation task. Non-exam assessment. 20% of qualification.
    An extended system design and realisation task to assess electronics skills.

The specification ensures that learners have the scientific and mathematical knowledge and understanding, and the engineering skills, to tackle problems in an electronics context.
GCSE Electronics is to be studied in such a way as to develop and maintain the learner’s interest in engineering subjects and the appreciation of their relevance to their everyday lives.
The practical work enables learners to see the theoretical knowledge contained in the specification in action and to gain greater understanding of the knowledge in a practical context.

Studying this GCSE in Electronics enables learners to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of the behaviour of analogue and digital electrical/electronic circuits including a wide range of electronic components
  • develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of electronics as an engineering discipline to help them answer questions about practical circuits.
  • be aware of new and emerging technologies
  • develop and learn how to apply observational, practical, problem solving and evaluative skills in the identification of needs in the world around them and to propose and test electronic solutions
  • progress to level 3 qualifications in electronics and engineering.

Prior learning and progression:
There are no previous learning requirements for this specification. Any requirements set for entry to a course based on this specification are at the school/college’s discretion. This specification builds on subject content which is typically taught at Key Stage 3 and provides a suitable foundation for the study of electronics and engineering at either AS or A-level. In addition, the specification provides a coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study for learners who do not progress to further study in this subject.

What other learning could you do?
You could take this course to prepare for advanced level courses such as an A Level in Electronics.
With further training, you could go into a job related to Electronics such as a Technician, Electrician or Design Engineer.
You could also go straight into employment and do further training or part time study with the support of your employer.

What career options do you have?
The subject can be taken at A-level and fits well with other A-levels in the Maths and Science area when you move into the Sixth Form at Caedmon College Whitby. It is especially valuable for students looking at careers in Engineering or in which Instrumentation, Computing or Communication Systems are used.

Where can I find more course information? 
Mr A Bentley, Head of Electronics.

A-level Electronics

A-level Electronics

What will I study?
Electronics is at the heart of the technological revolution that has transformed all our lives. It is a vital part of a huge variety of applications, from medicine through to the entertainment industry.
By becoming qualified in electronics, you can discover new opportunities in areas such as computing networks and the internet, mobile communications, aerospace and avionics, medical electronics, robotics and industrial control.
This course has a large practical element and you will have the opportunity to design and build your own electronic circuits, as well as to learn how to use test equipment.

What do students do afterwards?
Many students who successfully complete this course progress to university to study engineering, physics or computing courses.
Other students go on to take advanced apprenticeships with various companies, or gain employment directly in the technology and engineering sector.
Importantly, all those who pass this course will have a range of practical skills and knowledge to benefit them throughout their lives.

How will I be assessed?
80% exams at the end of the course; 20% coursework.

What can I do to prepare?
Talk to other students who are already doing electronics and ask them what they have done or wish they had done. Teachers in the science department are there to help you and give you information and advice.

“A-level Electronics is quite an interesting subject, as it allows you to get a greater understanding of how basic electronic systems work. The course itself allows for a lot of freedom when it comes to independent work and what you can produce in practical projects.” – Kory Boushall