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GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

Why study GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition?

Students studying this course will be given an opportunity to develop and broaden their food preparation practical skills to produce high skilled products to suit a variety of needs.  Students will also develop skills in food science, experimenting with ingredients to identify what they are composed of and how these components react during cooking.

What is GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition all about?

Students will study a variety of factors which can influence food choice including: diet and health, food provenance (where food comes from), food science and food safety.  They will develop skills in researching, testing, practical skill, analysing and evaluating in order to produce suitable products for a specific need.  Students will also learn practical life skills they can use throughout their life in order to follow a balanced diet.  Students will start looking in depth at the chemical and functional properties of food and how these can affect what happens during cooking, an area they may not have come across during Key Stage 3 so a good knowledge in Science will benefit your son/daughter.

Exam Board 

AQA spec 8585 

The course is single tier which is broken down into 3 units: 

Paper 1 (Exam): 1 hour 45 minute exam paper 50% 

Task 1 (Non Exam Assessment): Food Investigation task – 15% 

Task 2 (Non Exam Assessment): Food Preparation task – 35% 


 Year 10 

 Year 11 

Food Exam Theory: 

Food Preparation and Nutrition theory taught through a range of practical sessions, theory lessons and practise food investigations. To fully prepare for assessments in Year 11. 

Progress monitored using a range of assessments, including: 

  • mini-tests 
  • practice exam questions 
  • extended written tasks 
  • 2 mock Non Exam Assessments (NEA):

NEA 2 (Food Preparation): September - December Development of complex pracitical skills and adapting dishes to a specific dietary need.

NEA1 (Food Science Investigation): May- July Development of food investigation skills identifying the functional and chemical properties of food.

Mock Exam March 1 hour 45 minutes 



September - November 10 hours (15% of final grade) 

Investigate the working characteristics, functional and chemical properties of ingredients through a practical investigation 

Section A: Research (6 marks) 

Section B: Investigation (15 marks) 

Section C: Analysis & Evaluation (9 marks) 



November - March
20 hours (35% of final grade) 

Plan, prepare and cook three dishes to meet the needs of a specific context. Nutritional knowledge will be a requirement for all tasks 


Section A:  Researching the task (6 marks) 

Section B: Demonstrating technical skills (18 marks) 

Section C: Planning the final menu (8 marks) 

Section D: Making the final dishes (30 marks) 

Section E: Analyse and evaluate

EXAM REVISION               (50% of final grade) 

Theoretical knowledge of the following modules: 

  • Food, nutrition and health       
  • Food science                   
  • Food safety                      
  • Food choice                      
  • Food provenance 


Multiple choice questions:   20 marks 

Five questions, with sub questions: 80 marks 

TOTAL= 100 marks