Required Subjects at Key Stage 4

Subject You learn about... You develop skills in... Career options

Study of non-fiction and prose; listening and speaking; reading and critical thinking; expressing your ideas in writing; accurate use of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

In English Literature you study different types of writing including modern texts, classic literature, poetry and drama, including Shakespeare.

Speaking; listening; reading; writing clearly and accurately; using information. English helps in any career but if you like English think about advertising, the media or management, being a solicitor, a TV researcher, a journalist, a librarian or receptionist.  Good English is important where you work with people - the police, social work, estate agency, beauty consultant or selling.  Take a look at icould for more ideas.
Maths Using numbers; solving problems (algebra); shapes and measurement (geometry); how to process and solve problems using numerical data (statistics). Using numbers; problem solving; thinking logically and working accurately. All scientists use maths as do engineers, electricians, motor mechanics, plumbers and builders. Maths is important in financial jobs like accounting, banking and insurance. You'll use maths in business, design, the Health Service and sales. Take a look at maths careers for ideas.

Develop your knowledge and skills in chemistry, biology and physics.  You can study science either as combined science or as single sciences - biology, chemistry and physics.


Planning; thinking logically; working systematically; testing out ideas; finding and presenting evidence; understanding and conducting experiments; using mathematical skills. Agricultural scientist, astronomer, environmental scientist, food scientist, forensic scientist, meteorologist, veterinary scientist, zoologist - all careers where you use science. But don't forget that engineering, building and nearly every job in the Health Service uses scientific knowledge.  And then there's beauty therapy, working with animals, electrical work and many more.  Take a look at future morph for ideas.

Your school may also require you to take other GCSE subjects such as a modern foreign language and a humanities subject.  There are also some other subjects that you will take courses in but may not have to take exams.  These include computing, physical education (PE), citizenship, sex and relationship education and religious education.