CCEA Regulation accredits GCSEs offered by CCEA Awarding Organisation. GCSEs accredited by the Regulator in England (Ofqual) are available in Northern Ireland as long as they are in line with educational policy set by DE.

As there is an open qualifications markets for GCSEs in Northern Ireland, students may take GCSEs offered by AQA, OCR, Pearson and WJEC (Eduqas); and GCSEs offered by CCEA.

There are common features to all the GCSEs offered in the 3 countries which are:

  • GCSEs will be of approximately the same size and accessible to the same range of students as the qualifications they replace.

The GCSEs offered by CCEA have the following features:

  • Some GCSEs are linear and some are unitised;
  • Some units will be available in the January series; and
  • GCSEs will be graded A*-G and this grading will from summer 2019 include a new C* graded and a realigned A* grade.

The GCSEs offered by AQA, OCR, Pearson and WJEC (Eduqas), have the following features:

  • All qualifications will be linear, meaning all exams are taken at the end of the course; and
  • GCSEs will be graded 9-1.

GCSE English Language

It is DE policy in Northern Ireland that schools must offer English Language GCSEs to their students where marks for the assessment of speaking and listening contribute to the overall grade. For schools in NI this means they may only offer CCEA GCSE English Language.

For more information on the qualifications available in Northern Ireland, please see:


For more information on the new GCSE grading, please see:

GCSE Grading


Northern Ireland GCSE Design Principles
109.96 KB - uploaded 30-08-2016
Gaeilge Subject Criteria and Requirements
85.14 KB - uploaded 25-02-2016
Mathematics Subject Criteria and Requirements
100.56 KB - uploaded 26-05-2016