Guidance

Timings for the withdrawal of legacy GCSEs, AS and A levels

Dates for last teaching, last exams and resits in legacy GCSEs, AS and A levels.

Introduction

As reformed qualifications are introduced in England, legacy GCSEs, AS and A levels are being withdrawn.

We have now taken decisions on the re-sit arrangements for legacy GCSEs, AS and A levels.

This document explains - for legacy GCSE, AS and A level subjects:

  • when the last courses begin (assuming a two-year course of study for GCSEs, and a coupled two-year course of study for AS and A level, with AS exams taken at the end of year 12 or 13, and A level exams taken at the end of year 13)
  • when the last exams will take place, and the arrangements for students to re-sit their exams
  • which (if any) reformed qualification will replace it
  • if a subject is not being replaced, the reason why

Legacy GCSEs

Subject Last GCSE courses begin Last exam (1st sitting) Re-sits available1 Replaced by Reason for withdrawal
Applications of mathematics September 2014 Summer 2016 November 2016
Summer 2017
Mathematics  
Digital communication2 September 2014 Summer 2016 n/a3 English language  
English September 2014 Summer 2016 November 2016
Summer 2017
English language  
English language September 2014 Summer 2016 November 2016
Summer 2017
English language  
English literature September 2014 Summer 2016 n/a 3 English literature  
Mathematics September 2014 Summer 2016 November 2016
Summer 2017
Mathematics  
Methods in mathematics September 2014 Summer 2016 November 2016
Summer 2017
Mathematics  
Additional applied science September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a 3 n/a Subject or content too similar
Additional science September 2015 Summer 2017 No later than Summer 2018 Combined science (double award)  
Art and design September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Art and design  
Biology September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Biology  
Catering September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Food preparation and nutrition  
Chemistry September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Chemistry  
Citizenship studies September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Citizenship studies  
Classical Greek September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a2 Classical Greek  
Computer science September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Computer science  
Computing September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Computer science  
Dance September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Dance  
Design and technology (food technology) September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Food preparation and nutrition  
Drama September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Drama  
Expressive arts September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 n/a Subject or content too similar
French September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 French  
Further additional science September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 n/a Subject or content too similar
Geography September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Geography  
German September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 German  
History September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 History  
Home economics: Food and nutrition September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Food preparation and nutrition  
Hospitality and catering September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Human health and physiology September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 n/a Subject or content too similar
Humanities September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 n/a Subject or content too similar
Latin September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Latin  
Music September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Music  
Performing arts September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 n/a Subject or content too similar
Physical education September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Physical education  
Physics September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Physics  
Religious studies September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Religious studies  
Science September 2015 Summer 2017 No later than Summer 2018 Combined science (double award)  
Spanish September 2015 Summer 2017 n/a3 Spanish  
Ancient history September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Ancient history  
Applied business September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 n/a Subject or content too similar
Applied information and communication technology September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 n/a Subject or content too similar
Arabic September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Arabic  
Astronomy September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Astronomy  
Bengali September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Bengali  
Business and communication systems September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Business communications September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Business studies September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Business  
Business studies and economics September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Chinese September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Chinese  
Classical civilisation September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Classical civilisation  
Design and technology (all other routes) September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Design and technology  
Dutch September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 n/a No specifications have been or are currently being developed in this subject
Economics September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Economics  
Electronics September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Electronics  
Engineering September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Engineering  
Environmental and land-based science September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 n/a Exam board proposal rejected by Ofqual: lack of confidence that content could be developed
Environmental science September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Film studies September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a2 Film studies  
General studies September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a2 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Geology September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Geology  
Health and social care September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 n/a Exam board proposal rejected by Ofqual: lack of confidence that content could be developed
Home economics: Child development September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a2 n/a Exam board proposal rejected by Ofqual: lack of confidence that content could be developed
Home economics: Textiles September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Hospitality September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Information and communication technology September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 n/a Department for Education announced content development has ceased
Italian September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Italian  
Japanese September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Japanese  
Law September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a33 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Leisure and tourism September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Manufacturing September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Media studies September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Media studies  
Modern Greek September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Modern Greek  
Modern Hebrew September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Modern Hebrew  
Panjabi September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Panjabi  
Polish September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Polish  
Psychology September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Psychology  
Russian September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Russian  
Sociology September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Sociology  
Statistics September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Statistics  
Urdu September 2016 Summer 2018 n/a3 Urdu  
Biblical Hebrew September 2017 Summer 2019 n/a3 Biblical Hebrew  
Gujarati September 2017 Summer 2019 n/a3 Gujarati  
Persian September 2017 Summer 2019 n/a3 Persian  
Portuguese September 2017 Summer 2019 n/a3 Portuguese  
Turkish September 2017 Summer 2019 n/a3 Turkish  

1Students taking re-sits in November must have taken the qualification previously, have a good reason not to have taken it when planned (such as illness), or have been aged 16 or above on 31 August in the year of the last scheduled sitting.

Students taking re-sits in the summer must have been aged 16 or over on 31 August in the previous year.

2 Exam boards may continue to make this qualification available to schools and colleges that already offer it for an additional year. That is, to students that will start new two year courses in September 2015. Schools and colleges should contact their exam board to find out if they still plan to offer the specific qualification they want to teach.

3 For these subjects, we have chosen not to require exam boards to offer a re-sit opportunity. However, exam boards may choose to offer a single re-sit opportunity in the academic year following the last scheduled sitting. Schools and colleges should contact their exam board to find out if they plan to offer a re-sit opportunity in these subjects.

Legacy AS and A levels

Subject Last AS and A level courses begin Last exam (1st sitting) Re-sit opportunity4 Replaced by Reason for withdrawal
Applied art and design5 September 2014 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 Art and design  
Applied business5 September 2014 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 Business  
Art and design September 2014 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 Art and design  
Biology September 2014 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 Biology  
Business studies September 2014 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 Business  
Chemistry September 2014 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 Chemistry  
Computing September 2014 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 Computer science  
Economics September 2014 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 Economics  
Economics and business5 September 2014 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 Economics  
English language September 2014 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 English language  
English language and literature September 2014 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 English language and literature  
English literature September 2014 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 English literature  
History September 2014 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 History  
Human biology5 September 2014 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 Biology  
Physics September 2014 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 Physics  
Psychology September 2014 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 Psychology  
Sociology September 2014 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 Sociology  
Classics: Classical Greek September 2015 Summer 2017 Summer 2018 Classical Greek  
Classics: Latin September 2015 Summer 2017 Summer 2018 Latin  
Dance September 2015 Summer 2017 Summer 2018 Dance  
Drama and theatre studies September 2015 Summer 2017 Summer 2018 Drama and theatre  
French September 2015 Summer 2017 Summer 2018 French  
Geography September 2015 Summer 2017 Summer 2018 Geography  
German September 2015 Summer 2017 Summer 2018 German  
Music September 2015 Summer 2017 Summer 2018 Music  
Performance studies September 2015 Summer 2017 Summer 2018 n/a Subject or content too similar
Performing arts September 2015 Summer 2017 Summer 2018 n/a Subject or content too similar
Physical education September 2015 Summer 2017 Summer 2018 Physical education  
Religious studies September 2015 Summer 2017 Summer 2018 Religious studies  
Spanish September 2015 Summer 2017 Summer 2018 Spanish  
Accounting September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Accounting  
Anthropology September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Applied information and communication techology September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Subject or content too similar
Applied science September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Subject or content too similar
Archaeology September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a No specifications have been or are currently being developed in this subject
Chinese September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Chinese  
Citizenship studies September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Classical civilisation September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Classical civilisation  
Classics: Ancient history September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Ancient history  
Classics: Classical civilisation September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Classical civilisation  
Communication and culture September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Creative writing September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Department for Education announced content development has ceased
Critical thinking September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Design and technology September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Design and technology  
Dutch September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a No specifications have been or are currently being developed in this subject
Electronics September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Electronics  
Engineering September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Environmental studies September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Environmental science  
Film studies September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Film studies  
Further mathematics September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Further mathematics  
General studies September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Geology September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Geology  
Global development (AS only) September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam board proposal rejected by Ofqual: lack of confidence that content could be developed
Government and politics September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Politics  
Health and social care September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Department for Education announced content development has ceased
History of art September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 History of art (A level only) No specifications have been or are currently being developed at AS level in this subject
Home economics: Food, nutrition and health September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Humanities September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Information and communication technology September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Department for Education announced content development has ceased
Italian September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Italian  
Law September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Law  
Leisure studies September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Mathematics September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Mathematics  
Media studies September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Media studies  
Media: Communication and production September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Moving image arts September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Subject or content too similar
Music technology September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Music technology  
Philosophy September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Philosophy  
Pure mathematics September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Quantitative methods (AS only) September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Russian September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Russian  
Science (AS only) September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Science in society September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Statistics September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 Statistics  
Travel and tourism September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
Use of mathematics (AS only) September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam boards did not propose to develop reformed content
World development September 2016 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 n/a Exam board proposal rejected by Ofqual: lack of confidence that content could be developed
Arabic September 2017 Summer 2019 Summer 2020 Arabic  
Bengali September 2017 Summer 2019 Summer 2020 Bengali  
Biblical Hebrew September 2017 Summer 2019 Summer 2020 Biblical Hebrew  
Gujarati September 2017 Summer 2019 Summer 2020 Gujarati  
Greek September 2017 Summer 2019 Summer 2020 Greek  
Modern Hebrew September 2017 Summer 2019 Summer 2020 Modern Hebrew  
Japanese September 2017 Summer 2019 Summer 2020 Japanese  
Panjabi September 2017 Summer 2019 Summer 2020 Panjabi  
Persian September 2017 Summer 2019 Summer 2020 Persian  
Polish September 2017 Summer 2019 Summer 2020 Polish  
Portuguese September 2017 Summer 2019 Summer 2020 Portuguese  
Turkish September 2017 Summer 2019 Summer 2020 Turkish  
Urdu September 2017 Summer 2019 Summer 2020 Urdu  

4 Re-sits will only be available to students who have taken the qualification previously, or had a good reason not to have taken it when planned (such as illness).

5 Exam boards may continue to make this qualification available to schools and colleges that already offer it for an additional year. That is, to students that will start new two year courses in September 2015. Schools and colleges should contact their exam board to find out if they still plan to offer the specific qualification they want to teach.

Published 15 December 2015
Last updated 11 August 2017 + show all updates
  1. Removal of paragraph containing historical information.
  2. Updated to include qualifications being reformed for first teaching from September 2018
  3. Updated following our decisions on re-sits for legacy GCSEs, AS and A levels
  4. First published.