A-levels Explained

  • Academic – theory based, abstract and critical thought
  • Learning about a subject through lessons, reading and research
  • Essays, exams and coursework
  • For you if you’ve enjoyed learning and studying at school
  • Gateway to higher academic education

If you pass 5 or more GCSE at grade 4 or above usually including Maths and English, you can go on to study A levels at a school sixth form or college.

Some subjects at A-level will require at least a grade 6 in that subject or a related subject (check the entry requirements of the subjects you are interested in).

Where you can study A-Levels

Sixth form colleges predominantly offer A-levels with the opportunity to do BTEC study as a combined programme if desired or just BTEC subjects. Read more about BTECs…

Further Education Colleges offer a wider variety of vocational BTEC subjects. Rarely do Further Education Colleges offer A level programmes nowadays. However, some now offer T Levels. Read more about T-Levels…


  • You can apply for as many sixth forms, colleges and apprenticeships as you wish
  • Applying does not commit you to taking up a place and it is always good to keep your options open
  • It is not too late to apply: If the closing date for a college or sixth form has passed, you can usually go on the waiting list