Food Prep and Nutrition

Awarding Body


Course Level


Qualifications worth

Grades 1 - 9

What is the Course?

The GCSE in Food Preparation and Nutrition is a new exciting and creative course which focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials. The course will encourage 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 will allow the students to understand the huge challenges that we face globally to supply the world with nutritious and safe food.

What will I learn?

The main areas of study include:

  • 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
  • Principles of nutrition - the role of the main nutrients in the diet, their sources, function and deficiency diseases
  • Diet and good health - including current recommended guidelines for a healthy diet
  • The science of food - cooking of food, heat transfer and the functional and chemical properties of food
  • Food safety - safety principles when buying, storing, preparing, cooking and serving food
  • Food provenance - environmental impact and sustainability of food, food processing and production
  • Cooking and food preparation - dishes cooked will include a wide range of main meal dishes, vegetable dishes, pastries, cakes, sauces, dishes for special diets, starters, desserts etc.

Some of the skills you will develop will be:

  • Designing your own recipes
  • Carrying out practical experiments
  • Making informed choices about ingredients
  • Nutritional analysis
  • How to present a dish attractively
  • Understanding functional and chemical properties of food
  • Selecting appropriate cooking methods
  • Understanding food and the environment
  • Developing recipes and considering special diets/ nutritional needs / target markets

How will I be assessed?

There are two assessed elements of the course each accounting for 50% of the final GCSE grades

Component 1: Principles of Food Preparation and Nutrition

A written examination - externally set and marked. 1 hour 45 minutes
This component will consist of two sections both containing compulsory questions and will assess the six areas of content as listed in the specified GCSE content.
Section A: is multiple choice question
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. There are two tasks:

Assessment 1: Food Investigation Assessment

Students will investigate the working characteristics and the functional and chemical properties of a particular ingredient through practical investigation. They will produce a report when will include research into 'how ingredients work and why'. This report will be between 1500 and 2000 words (6-8 sides of A4 or A3 equivalent). Practical investigations are a compulsory element of this non-exam assessment. Students will complete this within 10 hours.


Assessment 2: Food Preparation Assessment

In this task students will prepare, cook and present a final menu of three dishes to meet the needs of a specific context. They must select appropriate technical skills and processes and create 3 - 4 dishes to showcase their skills. They will then produce their final menu within a single time frame of no more than 3 hours, planning in advance how this will be achieved. 

Students will produce a concise portfolio. The portfolio is not to exceed 20 sides of A4 or A3 equivalent. Students will complete this within 20 hours (including the 3-hour final assessment within a single block of time).

Both of the non-examined assessments will be based on a choice of tasks released by the exam board annually.

When will I be assessed?

The written exam will be during the official GCSE exam weeks (June of Year 11)
Task 1 will be assessed in the first part of the autumn term in Year 11 (September & October)
Task 2 will be assessed during the spring term of Year 11

Additional Information

Pupils opting for this course should expect to participate in regular practical activities (usually one per week) and will be required to provide the necessary ingredients for these practical sessions. They will also be required to provide necessary ingredients for the food preparation assessment task and this may also require the provision of peripheries (e.g. table decorations, appropriate serving dishes etc).

What will this qualification allow me to do?

The course is particularly suited to those students who enjoy cookery and working with food.
Studying Food Preparation and Nutrition can lead to exciting and well paid career options. Consumers are becoming increasingly reliant on the food industry to develop solutions for their nutritional needs. This course could lead you into roles such as a Chef, Food Product Developer, Buyer (who travels the world sourcing new food products for manufacturers), Food Safety Inspectors, Nutritionists, Dieticians, Quality Managers, Teacher, Food Engineer, Food Scientist, Food Technologist, Food Photographer, Food Stylist, Home Economist, Hotel and Restaurant Manager, Microbiologist, working in food magazines, radio and television.

Useful links & Publications

Food Careers