Food Preparation and Nutrition

The GCSE in Food Preparation and Nutrition equips learners with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to cook and also applies the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating.
Following this qualification encourages learners to cook and enable them to make informed decisions about food and nutrition in order to be able to feed themselves and others affordably and nutritiously, now and later in life. It allows students to understand the huge challenges that we face globally to supply the world with nutritious and safe food.


Component 1: Principles of Food Preparation and Nutrition

Written examination: 1 hour 45 minutes

50% of qualification

This component consists of two sections both containing compulsory questions and assesses the six areas of content as listed in the specified GCSE content.

Section A: questions based on stimulus material. Multiple Choice.

Section B: Structured, short and extended response questions to assess content related to food preparation and nutrition.

Component 2: Food Preparation and Nutrition in Action Non-examination assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated

50% of qualification

Assessment 1: The Food Investigation Assessment

A scientific food investigation which assesses the learner’s knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the scientific principles underlying the preparation and cooking of food. A report of 1500 words will be produced.

Assessment 2: The Food Preparation Assessment

Prepare, cook and present a menu which assesses the learner’s knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the planning, preparation, cooking and presentation of food.

A report will be produced of 15 sides.

These assessments will be based on a choice of tasks released by the exam board annually.

Practical lessons:

Dishes cooked include a wide range of dishes: main meal dishes, vegetable dishes, pastries, cakes, sauces, dishes for special diets (allergies, vegetarian etc.) starters, desserts etc.

It is expected that students will cook every week in order to develop their practical skills and to produce a wide range of high quality dishes.

Students will study a range of topics during the course:

1. Food commodities e.g. cereals, fruit and vegetables, sugars, dairy, fats , meat/fish and vegetarian alternatives. The course will look at their value in the diet, their working characteristics, experiments to understand changes occurring during cooking and also current recommended guidelines for a healthy diet

2. Principles of nutrition – the role of the main nutrients in the diet, their sources, function and deficiency diseases

3. Diet and good health

4. The science of food

5. Where food comes from

6. Cooking and food preparation

Post 16 Pathways

When students have completed the course, there are numerous Post 16 pathways available in order for students to continue their learning in this area:

Further Education (College)

• Level 2 and 3 professional cookery diploma
• Level 3 hospitality national diploma
• Apprenticeship in hospitality and catering
• Level 2 craft bakery
• Level 2 food and beverage service professional diploma
• Bakery or food manufacture apprenticeship
HNC and HND hospitality management

Higher Education (University)

BSC (honours) food and nutrition
PGCE secondary design and technology (food technology)
• BSc (honours) hospitality business management with culinary arts