Which Course Is Right For Me?

Our advice is to choose:

  • Subjects you enjoy
  • Subjects you are good at
  • Subjects which will support your career ambitions

Evidence shows that GCSE grades are a good guide when considering which subjects and what level of study is most suitable. Our Admissions team will explore this with you once you’ve made your application and again at enrolment to help build a programme that is right for you.

Our study programmes are flexible and you can mix and match, combining A Levels with BTEC courses to suit your interests and career aims.

Level 3 Courses

A Levels

A Levels are subject-based qualifications, studied across two years. Assessment is through exams and coursework. With A Levels, you can progress onto university, employment or a higher apprenticeship.

You can select three A Levels to form a full study programme. Alternatively, you can combine A Levels with a BTEC to create a full study programme.

In order to study an A Level programme, you need to have achieved:

  • At least 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 in one sitting
  • An average GCSE score of 5 is preferred but not essential
  • GCSE English and Maths at grade 5 is preferred
  • Meet any specific subject criteria

To follow a Science A Level programme, one that includes any two of these courses: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Further Maths, you will need at least an average GCSE grade 6 in the subject you have chosen to study.

Core Maths

Core Maths is an additional Level 3 qualification that can be taken alongside a full programme of study that includes other STEM subjects (Physics, Biology, Psychology, for example). The benefits of including Core Maths in your programme of study:

  • Enhances your University application (especially for Russell Group universities and Oxbridge)
  • UCAS points are awarded for Core Maths
  • Helps develop knowledge and skills transferable to other STEM subjects you are taking

T Levels

T Levels are two-year qualifications designed to give you a head start towards the career you want. They have been designed for 16 to 19-year-olds and offer a mixture of classroom learning and work placement. They follow GCSEs, gain you UCAS points and are equivalent to three A Levels.

Our T Levels have been developed with employers and businesses to prepare you to step straight into your chosen career, an apprenticeship or university. Each T Level includes an in-depth industry placement that lasts at least 315 hours, providing valuable experience in the workplace.

BTEC Extended Diploma

BTEC Nationals (BTEC) are Level 3 vocational qualifications that provide specialist, work-related learning in a range of sectors.

This is a full-time course of study over two years. This is a good option if you have done well at GCSE, but want something more vocational to suit your career choice. BTECs are specialist work-related qualifications. They combine practical learning with subject and theory content.

You will be assessed predominately through coursework, which will range from practical tasks, presentations, assignments as well as work experience. The Extended Diploma is the equivalent of three A Levels. With a BTEC Extended Diploma, you can progress onto university, employment or a higher apprenticeship.

BTEC Diploma and Extended Qualification

These are full-time courses of study over two years. Both are predominately coursework based qualifications.
The Diploma is the equivalent of two A Levels and the Extended Qualification is the equivalent of one A Level, so you will need to combine these courses with each other or with A Levels to make a full programme. With a BTEC Level 3 Diploma and A Levels/BTEC Extended Qualification, you can progress onto university, an apprenticeship or employment.

To study a BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma or Extended Qualification a you will need to have achieved:

  • Four GCSEs at grades 9 to 4, or a Merit in a full Level 2 BTEC Diploma
  • Grade 4 or above in GCSE English and Maths is preferred
  • If you want to add an A Level with your BTEC, you will need to meet the entry criteria for A Levels
  • All new specification BTEC Level 3s will have controlled assessments and/or an exam element.

Entry Requirements

Find out the entry requirements for your chosen course(s).

Level 2 Courses

Didn’t quite get the results you were hoping for? We offer Level 2 courses for students whose grades fall below the standard entry criteria for a Level 3 programme. If you are missing a grade in GCSE Maths or English, then you may be eligible for some Level 3 programmes. If you are missing both GCSE Maths and English then you are eligible for the Level 2 offer.

For example, if you just missed out on passing GCSE Maths, you could resit GCSE Maths alongside studying a Level 3 course. Our college team can help you with this.


Our Navigate to A Levels programme is aimed at students who want or need to study a Level 3 course, including A Levels, but may not have the entry requirements.

The course is designed with the goal to build confidence and skills to succeed at the next level.

How to work out your GCSE score

Write down the GCSE subjects you have taken and the results that you have achieved or hope to get.

Then add the points together and divide by the number of subjects you have taken.

For instance:

  • English: 6
  • Maths: 5
  • History: 6
  • Art and Design: 7
  • Geography: 4
  • Drama: 3

Total equals 32 points.

Divided by the number of subjects which is 6.

Equals an average GCSE score of 5.3

Each GCSE result is given a number of points as outlined below:

  • 9 equals 9 points
  • 8 equals 8 points
  • 7 equals 7 points
  • 6 equals 6 points
  • 5 equals 5 points
  • 4 equals 5 points
  • 3 equals 3 points
  • 2 equals 2 points
  • 1 equals 1 point
  • U equals 0 points

Note: Grade 4 is valued at 5 points