Our advice is to choose:
- Subjects you enjoy
- Subjects you are good at
- Subjects you need for a specific career aim
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 and GCSEs to suit your interests and career aims.
Making Your Post-16 Choices
Check out this useful guide by the RUSSELL GROUP on Informed Choices.
Level Three Courses
A Levels are subject-based qualifications. They are two-year courses similar to GCSEs but at a higher level in a varied range of subjects. You will need to select three A levels to form a full-time programme. You will be assessed through exams and for some subjects, coursework also.
With A Levels you can progress to university or into employment or a higher apprenticeship.
In order to study an A Level programme, students 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 (Language 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, you will need at least an average GCSE grade 6 in Maths and a 6 in Science (Core) and 6 in Additional Science (or 6 in GCSE Biology/ Chemistry/ Physics.)
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma
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 and you can take a GCSE alongside as well. With a BTEC Extended Diploma you can progress onto university, employment or a higher apprenticeship.
BTEC Level 3 Diploma and BTEC Extended Certificate
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 Certificate 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 Certificate, you can progress onto university, an apprenticeship or employment.
To study a BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma or Subsidiary Diploma you will need to have achieved:
- Four GCSEs at grades 9 to 4, or a Merit in a full Level 2 BTEC Diploma
- If you want to add an A Level with your BTEC, you will need to meet the entry criteria for A Levels
Find out the entry requirements for your chosen course(s).
Didn’t quite get the results you were hoping for? We offer the following GCSE courses for students who just missed out on gaining a grade 4:
Students studying these courses will be mainly on BTEC Level 2 courses.
On successful completion, you could progress to Level 3 courses or go on to employment or an apprenticeship.
BTEC Level 2 Foundation Pathway Courses
Our Foundation Pathway courses get you ready for our higher level courses or for the world of work. Classes are inclusive and supportive; you will improve your English, Maths and ICT skills. We also help you to become more confident and ready for new challenges.
The BTEC Level 2 courses we offer are:
- Business and IT
- Creative Digital Media Production
- Science and Health
To study a BTEC Level 2 Foundation Pathway course, you will need to have achieved:
- Four GCSEs at grade 3, or BTEC Merit equivalent including a grade 3 in GCSE English