Food & Nutrition

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition is an exciting and creative course which focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure learners develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials. At its heart, this qualification focuses on nurturing learners’ practical cookery skills to give them a strong understanding of nutrition.


Why study this subject?

This subject will equip you with a wide range of food practical skills that can be applied to both your personal life, as well as a career in the food and diet industry. It combines these practical skills with a food science theory element that will compliment GCSE science. The course opens up a wide range of career paths


What skills will I develop? What topics does the course cover?

You will develop a wide range of practical skills that become steadily more challenging throughout the course. You will learn to use a range of food preparation, cooking & finishing techniques with skill and accuracy. This will include the use of many different appliances and working methods. Practical work will also be used to investigate the properties of specific ingredients or nutrients, and will be conducted in a similar way to science investigations. The practical aspects of the course will provide opportunities to work alone, in pairs and in groups. In addition to the practical skills, you will learn about food science and nutrition. This will include a wide range of written tasks and reports.   You will learn about the chemical composition of food, and how to plan healthy diets to support different groups of people and lifestyles with help from tophealthjournal. You will also investigate the working properties of foods and how they react under different conditions such as heating, chilling, mixing & whisking.


What will I study?

Food preparation skills are integrated into five core topics:

  • Food, nutrition and health – Learning about the nutrients, meal planning for different groups of people, analysing the nutritional content of food products.
  • Food science – This will include studying the chemical composition of foods and specific nutrients in depth. It will include a range of science investigations to examine the working properties of specific ingredients.
  • Food safety – With an emphasis of how to store, prepare and cook ingredients to avoid food poisoning
  • Food choice – Learning about what influences consumer choices including availability, cost, moral and religious convictions, environmental impact and health.


How will I be assessed?

The GCSE is composed of 50% written exam paper, and 50% controlled assessment

The written paper is a two hour examination taken at the end of Year 11

The controlled assessment is divided into two tasks set by the exam board, which are also completed in Year 11. Task one is a practical assessment of food preparation & cooking skills. The task is to produce a three course meal in a three hour time period. The meal must be planned to meet specific criteria and dietary requirements. Task two is to produce a 1500‐2000 word written report based on a food science investigation.


What other courses could I progress onto after completing?

This course will allow learners to progress to Post 16 courses such as AS /A2 food technology, BTEC Hospitality, as well as other subjects such as Science, and Health & Social Care.


What careers can a qualification in this course lead to?

This may lead to a career in food science, nutrition, hospitality and the food service industry. The course lends itself especially well to a career in food development and the design of new food products, working as a dietician or working as a food scientist