Understanding A Levels

What can I choose to study?

Students will study three full A levels over two years (an option to study four is available; please see Entry Criteria for information). Our aim is to ensure that subjects offer depth, rigour and academic challenge from the outset. By studying three subjects that are examined after two years, students have real time to think, experiment, develop opinions and, occasionally, make mistakes without the immediate prospect of examination at the end of Year 12.

How do I choose?

There is a lot to consider in making your choice:

  • What topic areas will I cover? Do these interest me?
  • Is it one exam or three? Do I know what my exam(s) will involve? Will I have to learn quotes? Will I need to learn case studies?
  • Am I likely to achieve the grades that I need for the subject?
  • Do I want to go to university and do I have a specific university in mind? Is there a particular course I’m interested in? What A Levels might I need for my degree choice?

Can I change to a different subject once the course starts?

Once you know your results in August and sign up to your respective courses you are committed to these from the outset. If you feel that you have made a wrong choice you must let the Head of Post 16 know before the end of the second week. Changes beyond this point will not be possible.

What are Facilitating Subjects?

Many courses at university build on knowledge and skills that you gain at school and for this reason some university courses require you to have studied a particular subject or subjects. Facilitating subjects are those that are more frequently identified by universities as being required for entry than others. Facilitating subjects are:

  • Maths and Further Maths
  • English Literature
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Languages (Classical or Modern)

If you are considering a career in Medicine, Veterinary Science, Dentistry or are determined to attend a Russell Group university research your subject choices at A Level carefully and in advance.

This information is available in the 2018 Sixth Form Prospectus.