The College currently offers over 50 AS courses - probably the largest range of options available in any college in the country. Options include familiar subjects but also many that are not usually available at GCSE. Also available is the well established and world class International Baccalaureate qualification. The College also offers a number of Additional Studies courses. Full course details can also be found in our Prospectus.


A-Level is a nationally recognised and well-respected qualification, providing students with a route through to university or employment. At the Sixth Form College, a wide range of more than 60 choices allows students to develop a programme and timetable which best suits their needs, interests and aspirations, without timetable or ‘blocking’ restrictions.

A-Levels consist of a first year of ‘AS-Level’ study, followed by a second year of ‘A2’ study. In many cases in each year, two modules are taken, the marks from the AS modules and the A2 modules combining to determine an overall A-Level grade (please see A Level Reform Leaflet in sidebar for further details). Year 1 AS Level students will normally be studying 4 academic courses plus one Additional Study and tutorial requirements.

For year 2 of AS/A2 study some adjustments to first year course choices is normal. This is first considered in January of the first year, again in June and then finalised in late August.

All students attend daily Registration each Thursday and on some other days undertake the Tutorial Programme. Please note that AS/A2 programmes will also have a broadly equivalent amount of ‘personal study’ time required outside of classes per week – an approximate average of 15-17 hours per week in total of personal study time is expected and will be required of AS/A2 students. The amount of personal study time for individual courses varies but in general 3 to 4 hours per week is the average.

The College also offers a range of vocational or course work based alternatives in a number of key subject areas such as Law and Business. Such courses would normally take the place of one AS Level as part of a broader package of study.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

The IB Diploma is a well-established 2 year course of study towards a qualification recognised internationally by universities and employers. Students study 6 subjects chosen from the following 6 areas:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Languages
  • Humanities
  • Science
  • Art, Music, Theatre

Three or four of these subjects are studied at Higher level, the remainder at Standard level. In addition, students have the opportunity to personalise their course of study - the Inner Core is student-driven and comprises:

The Extended Essay A 4,000 word in-depth study chosen by the student
CAS Creativity, Action, Service - a mini-Duke of Edinburgh designed to educate the person - students are encouraged to follow sporting and creative activities as well as an element of community service
Theory of Knowledge Critical thinking skills

All are intended to help develop GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP in the 21st Century. Please navigate to our IB Diploma Programme for further details.


The Advanced Foundation Programme offers the chance to complete a range of GCSE courses in one year. Some of these courses may be ‘retakes’ in familiar subject areas such as Maths, English or Science, whereas others may offer the opportunity to study new areas such as Media or Economics at GCSE Level. In some cases the programme of study may also involve the opportunity to study some carefully selected subjects at AS Level.

AFP core subject groups (e.g. English Language, English Literature, Maths, Core Science) are largely targeted at getting grade D’s to grade C’s, but we also see the AFP course as an opportunity and a chance to progress on a wider level in a new and more adult environment . For some students it’s a chance to rediscover their confidence and gives them the motivation to achieve their potential, leaving behind whatever happened first time around. For others it may offer the opportunity to repair their GCSE profile if factors such as illness or relocation have disrupted progress, before moving onto further study at AS Level and beyond. Students come to AFP along a variety of different routes – some are offered a place at interview, long before they enrol, whereas others will transfer from an A-Level or IB application if their GCSE results do not fulfil initial expectations.

All AFP students are taught by subject specialist drawn from the A-Level and IB Teaching teams, using the full range of college facilities. They are taught within a close, supportive community, with plenty of access to support for their learning. AFP students are also able to take advantage of other features of the college such as our extensive additional studies programme.

Additional Studies

As well as a very broad range of options from the Additional Studies programme, there are a wide range of clubs, activities and societies at College. The more you get involved, the more you will enjoy your time with us and the more skills and abilities you will develop.

There are excellent performing arts opportunities at the College. We have music ensembles, a band, an orchestra, a choir and a ‘rock workshop’. There are trips to concerts and recitals and you do not have to study a Music course to join in. Many students take part in productions either as members of the cast, in stage management, costume or set design. You do not have to be a Theatre Studies student to be involved. You will also be able to join dance and drama clubs and to take part in dance productions and other performance opportunities.

Over 70% of our students at College participate in some form of sport each year, many on a regular basis, and there are excellent opportunities in both high level competitive sport and recreation sport for fun and fitness.

Other clubs and societies include Amnesty International, Christian Union, Debating Society and Chess Club. Please see the Additional Studies Curriculum Handbook (see box on left for download link) or the Overview of the Additional Studies Programme for greater detail.