Understanding your Options

The course that is right for you depends on what you plan to do afterwards; whether that's getting your ideal job or going to university (in this country or abroad). It's important to know about the different course levels, so here is a quick and easy explanation of what we offer.

Level 3 courses

AS and A levels

From September 2015 a number of A level subjects have changed to become Linear, in line with reforms required by the Department for Education.  This means that two different types of A level are available: the new Linear A levels, and the current modular A levels.

Listed below are the new Linear A level subjects. These are assessed by examinations (and coursework in some cases) at the end of the two year course:

Art and Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computing, Drama, Economics, English Language, English Language and Literature, English Literature, French, Geography, German, History, Music, PE, Photography, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish

All other subjects remain as Modular A levels, assessed by examination and/or coursework at AS level at the end of the first year of study and examination and/or coursework at A2 level at the end of the second year of study.

It is possible to combine ‘new style’ with ‘old style’ A levels in a programme of study. Students normally take three subjects in their first year but there may be an option to do 4, particularly if you are taking Maths and Further Maths. You will have the opportunity to discuss what’s best for you when we meet you before and after your exam results. See our AS and A levels

BTEC Extended Diplomas

The BTEC Extended Diploma is a full-time two year course of study which will develop specialist knowledge, practical skills and understanding within a vocational area and gives you a qualification which is the equivalent to three full A levels. In most subjects students will be awarded the BTEC Extended Diploma at the end of their two years of study. The Extended Diploma is fully recognised by universities and carries UCAS points, enabling you to progress to university or directly into employment. If you want to commit to vocational study in a particular area then this could be the route for you. See our BTEC Extended Diplomas

Cambridge Technical Extended Diplomas

The Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma is a full-time two year course of study which will develop specialist knowledge, practical skills and understanding within a vocational area and gives you a qualification which is the equivalent to three full A levels. In most subjects students will be awarded the Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma at the end of their two years of study. The Extended Diploma is fully recognised by universities and carries UCAS points, enabling you to progress to university or directly into employment. If you want to commit to vocational study in a particular area then this could be the route for you.See our Cambridge Technical Extended Diplomas

BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas

BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas are advanced level courses each equivalent to one full A level and taken over two years. They provide the opportunity for vocational related academic study in a range of subjects.  After successful completion of the first year you will be awarded a BTEC Certificate before going on to complete the full Subsidiary Diploma in your second year. Many students successfully combine BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas with AS and A levels. The number and type is dependent on your predicted grades, career direction and progression considerations. Subsidiary Diplomas are accepted by universities and carry UCAS points. See our BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas

Cambridge Technical Introductory Diplomas

Level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diplomas are advanced level courses each equivalent to one full A level and taken over two years. They provide the opportunity for vocational related academic study in a range of subjects. There are no external examinations; instead your progress is continually assessed through assignments and coursework. After successful completion of the first year you will be awarded a Cambridge Technical Certificate before going on to complete the full Introductory Diploma in your second year. Many students successfully combine Cambridge Technical Introductory Diplomas with AS and A levels. The number and type is dependent on your predicted grades, career direction and progression considerations. Introductory Diplomas are accepted by universities and carry UCAS points. See our Cambridge Technical Introductory Diplomas

Level 2 courses

BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate/Diplomas

BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate/Diplomas are equal to three/four GCSEs at grade C or better when completed successfully. This one year course is offered in a range of vocational areas and combines both practical and theoretical study. Students studying Extended Certificate/Diploma courses often combine them with Mathematics or English at an appropriate level. See our BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate/Diplomas

Level 2 Cambridge Technical Diploma/Extended Certificate

Level 2 Cambridge Technical Diploma/Extended Certificates are equal to three/two GCSEs at grade C or better when completed successfully. This one year course is offered in a range of vocational areas and combines both practical and theoretical study. Students studying Extended Certificate/Diploma courses often combine them with Mathematics or English at an appropriate level. See our Level 2 Cambridge Technical Diplomas and Level 2 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificates

Level 1 courses

Level 1, Entry, Pre-Entry (Towards Independence)

Level 1, Entry and Towards Independence courses offer full-time flexible routes of study with the purpose of improving your skills to help you progress to work or on to further education and training. You will have a programme appropriate to your needs which will allow you to learn and prepare for work, improve your Maths, English and ICT and develop your personal and study skills. You will be able to start on the level 1 course if you have achieved GCSEs at grades E-G. If you have few or no formal educational qualifications then the Entry Programme could be right for you. The Towards Independence programme offers opportunities for students to progress with their education at College. You will gain national qualifications at Award, Certificate or Diploma level. See our Level 1 courses.