Pre-GCSE and 1 Year GCSE The GCSE programme for over 15s

Two GCSE students studying
“We have a team of dedicated teachers and people who have worked with students for many years, who are therefore alert to issues that can worry or affect students while studying away from home. Everyone has the students’ best interests at heart.”
Chris Arulraj
Child Protection & Welfare Officer
Bellerbys College

The GCSE, or General Certificate of Secondary Education, is an important first step qualification on your path to university in the UK. Providing a fundamental grounding in a number of core subjects, the Bellerbys 1 Year GCSE programme is both efficient and intensive.

For ambitious students aged 13 and 14 we offer a GCSE Pathway Programme at Bellerbys College Brighton. 

1 Year GCSE

After successful completion of the 1 year GCSE course, international students can move straight into studying for Bellerbys’ unique Foundation programme, or directly onto the A Level course.

At Bellerbys College, you will be equipped with the skills and expertise needed to compete in the global jobs market. The 1 Year GCSE course has been developed around the core subjects of English (studied for between 10-15 hours per week) and mathematics. In addition, each student will choose four elective subjects to study. The courses on offer depend on the campus you choose to study at, and more information can be found on the subject tabs.

Key facts…

  • Age: Students must be 15 or over
  • Course length: one year (3 or 4 terms)
  • Start dates: September to June (3 terms) or January to December (4 terms) * – see term dates
  • Entry requirements: A good academic reference from a former school and IELTS 5.0 or equivalent. If you do not meet these requirements you can first study our Pre-GCSE programme (available at Brighton only)
  • Fees: Please visit our Fees page to calculate your fees.

*January intake available at Brighton only

Daily homework and regular testing to keep you on track

The 1 year GCSE in the UK course is intensive; Bellerbys’ highly qualified tutors will set daily homework to ensure that your progress is as fast as possible. Regular testing and feedback sessions will ensure that you’re on track to achieve your very best.

English and Mathematics plus a choice of other subjects

The Bellerbys 1 year GCSE programme is based around the core subjects of Mathematics and English, which are studied together with a choice of up to four other subjects. Each of the college’s 4 campus locations offers a slightly different selection of courses, so to find out more, click on the subject tab above.

Personalised teaching and monitoring - study GCSE in the UK

Our students are unique and will learn in different ways and within different timeframes. At Bellerbys, we recognise the value of individual learning and our skilled tutors deliver a curriculum which is tailored around each pupil.

All GCSE students study the core subjects, English and Mathematics. In addition you will select up to four subject options. See the table below for subject availability at each of our centres.

Brighton Cambridge London Oxford


Business Studies







Modern Languages



For international students who want to study the GCSE course but don’t meet the required IELTS standard of 4.5, Bellerbys offer a pre-GCSE course, suitable for students under 16 years of age. Available in Brighton only, this unique course has been specifically designed to help students rapidly increase their English language proficiency.

Flexible course length

Bellerbys’ pre-GCSE course has been specifically designed to work around your needs and can last anywhere between one and three terms. The course is designed to segue directly into our September or January start GCSE programme.  

30 hours study each week

We help our students make great strides of progress in a short space of time. The pre-GCSE course for international students is intensive and tailored around each student to ensure that they reach their full potential rapidly. Students will receive 15 hours of English studies and a further 15 hours split between mathematics, ICT, art, science, business studies, PHSE and PE, in varying combinations.

Extra care for younger students

The welfare of our students is our highest concern, and at Bellerbys we recognise that younger students might be away from home for the first time. For pre-GCSE students, we pay great care to their support and supervision. Each day begins with formal registration, where each student’s assigned Personal Tutor will monitor their social and academic progress.

Pre-GCSE key facts

  • Age: Students are normally 14.5 or over
  • Course length: Either 1 or 2 terms, depending on your English language level. Followed by the 3 or 4 term GCSE programme.
  • Start dates: January, April, July, September

Academic entry requirements: A good academic reference from a former school

English language requirements:

  • One term: IELTS 3.5 or equivalent ,
  • Two terms: IELTS 3.0 or equivalent. If you do not meet this requirement you can study our English Language Preparation Programme (ELPP). See Entry tab for more information.
  • Fees: Please visit our Fees page to calculate your fees.

Academic entry requirements

To study the GCSE or Pre-GCSE programme you need a good academic reference from a former school.

Contact our team of expert Student Enrolment Advisers to find out more about this requirement.

GCSE English language requirements

To study the GCSE programme you will need to demonstrate an English language level equivalent to the following:

  • IELTS 5.0
  • TOEFL 477 (computer test equivalent 153)
  • Pearson Test of English Academic 40-43

One term Pre-GCSE English language requirements

You will need to study one term of Pre-GCSE if your English language level is equivalent to the following:

  • IELTS 3.5
  • TOEFL 417 (computer test equivalent 108)
  • Pearson Test of English Academic 30-34

Two term Pre-GCSE English language requirements

You will need to study two terms of Pre-GCSE if your English language level is equivalent to the following:

  • IELTS 3.0
  • TOEFL 393 (computer test equivalent 90)
  • Pearson Test of English Academic 25

Depending on the type of visa you are entering the UK on you may take the Study Group English Test to determine your English language level.

English Language Preparation Programme (ELPP)

Contact a Student Enrolment Adviser to take our English Assessment Test and find out how much preparation you require.

The English Language Preparation Programme at Bellerbys is a fast, efficient way to guarantee success in your future academic career. The programme is based around 25 hours a week of general English language instruction, examination preparation and skills classes. Please note that the English Language Preparation Programme (ELPP) is a separate programme which requires additional fees on top of your academic tuition costs. For further details and to calculate your costs, visit our fees page.