Students joining the Sixth Form are expected to study three A-levels for two years. Three full A-levels studied form the standard offer made to prospective undergraduates by most universities. However, some students may wish to study four A-levels, which is possible if your GCSE results are very high and we think that you can manage the extra workload. Currently, each A-level subject has nine hours of timetabled learning time per fortnight. For every hour of teaching time, students should be undertaking one hour of independent study.
Students not taking a fourth A-level will need to choose either The Extended Project Qualification or Core Maths as an additional course. The Extended Project Qualification is an excellent way of pursuing an interest and developing your independent study skills and is highly valued by universities. Core Maths is available to enable you to continue to develop your numeracy at an advanced level. If you need to retake your GCSEs in English Language or Mathematics then a programme of lessons will be on offer to support you (which will count as your additional course).
You should think about what interests you, what you are good at, what would make a good combination with other subjects you want to choose, and what fits in with any future career plans you have. You must talk to your subject teachers to find out if the course you wish to do will suit you and your abilities. Your teachers may be confident with your ability to succeed at A-level even if you find the subject difficult in places. Conversely, success at GCSE does not guarantee success at A-level. Try to make realistic and informed choices.
If you already have clear ideas about what you wish to study in Higher Education, check what universities require from you at both GCSE and A-level. Certain subjects – and universities– have extremely specific entry requirements, which can include GCSE grades obtained in particular subjects. You can find detailed information on the UCAS website and in the ‘Informed Choices’ booklet.