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Level: 2

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 1

Interview: Y

Course Summary

The GCSE Plus programme is a stepping stone programme that will enable you to make a successful transition to Level Three study.  It will help you realise your full potential by giving you the skills, confidence and grades necessary to make a successful next step. 

English Language and Mathematics are mandatory elements of the programme if you have not already gained those all important grades of a 4.  Alongside these subjects, students can pick from a range of other GCSE subjects.  Bespoke study programmes will range from 3 to 5 GCSEs, along with a tutorial programme.  The core programme is taught as face-to-face provision.

In 2021-22 we will also offer a unique programme that will be delivered remotely via Microsoft Teams. This package will include English Language, Mathematics and English Literature along with a tutorial programme.  Students interested in this programme will need to express their interest during interview.  This programme is intended for students where this provision would better suit their needs.  Students wishing to progress via this programme to A-levels are invited to discuss this aspiration with the team.


Entry requirements

The GCSE Plus programme attracts students from a diverse range of backgrounds.  The typical grade profile for a student taking this route is predominantly 3s and 4s. 

The programme is invaluable for students looking to improve their grade profile for progression to Level Three courses, including A-levels. The programme is equally relevant to students with few or no qualifications who may have been home-schooled, who may have studied overseas or who may have missed school or exams for valid reasons. 

Students who join us without prior qualifications will need to complete a screening test in English Language and Mathematics prior to an interview.

Course Content

Subject choices are tailored to you.

The Pick and Mix GCSE Package includes:

  • English Language (mandatory unless you have a prior grade of 4 or above)
  • Mathematics (mandatory unless you have a prior grade of 4 or above)
  • Combined Science (Trilogy)
  • English Literature
  • Business Studies
  • History
  • Media (coursework element)

How will I be assessed?

Throughout both courses, you will be assessed on a regular basis within class and through set homework. You will have formal assessments throughout the year and your final grades will be assessed through a final examination.  Media also has a coursework element which will form part of your overall grade, along with your examination.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

There may be some additional costs in some courses such as English Literature where you will be required to have your own copies of the texts.

Other opportunities for enrichment or trips during the year may incur a cost.

If you are studying remotely you will need access to your digital devices.

What can I do after this course?

The GCSE Plus programme can allow you to progress to a number of Level Three courses at the College.

In order to progress to A-levels, you will need to achieve at least a grade 5 in English Language, 4 in Maths and 4 in three other subjects.

For Level Three vocational courses, you will need to refer to the specific entry requirements for each area.

Did you find the course information on this page useful?


This course is run at the Joseph Wright Centre

About Joseph Wright Centre »

Pavla Kesslerova

Pavla Kesslerova

Derby College helps mature postgraduate student progress on learning journey

Former Derby College GCSE student Pavla Kesslerova is travelling to Zimbabwe next month to undertake further research for her MSc Health Psychology course.  
Pavla, who is originally from the Czech Republic, graduated from Sheffield Hallam University last year with a first class honour’s degree in psychology.  
But the former adult GCSE maths and English student, who studied at the Ilkeston site, believes she would not have “progressed on her learning journey” without Derby College.  
Before having her two children, Pavla worked for 10 years supporting young adults with autism, starting as support worker then becoming team  leader, deputy manager and ultimately domiciliary care manager.  
She said: “After my maternity leave, I felt I needed to expand my academic knowledge and  “activate” my brain again. I wasn’t sure how to approach this, though, as I’d become a mother later in life and felt a bit anxious about going “back to school” in my 40s.
But, as soon as I stepped into Derby College in Ilkeston for the initial knowledge test, I felt at ease. I was welcomed and reassured that people in my age group regularly took evening classes with Derby College.”  
Pavla needed maths and English GCSEs to study for a psychology degree, plus she wanted to boost her “Maturita”, the Czech equivalent of A levels. The year she spent at Derby College helped prepare her well for university.  
She said: “Psychology research is all about statistics, and one needs to be confident in maths before engaging with complicated quantitative research methods. Academic writing is a massive part of the Psychology course; the GSCE in English gave me a great foundation.”  
While in Africa, Pavla will be gathering further data for her research project, which centres on gaining a better understanding of vaccine hesitancy.  
She added: “I still feel grateful to Derby College and would definitely recommend it. Without it I would not have been able to progress on my learning journey.”

I still feel grateful to Derby College and would definitely recommend it. Without it I would not have been able to progress on my learning journey.


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