Study A-levels in the UK

Study A-levels in the UK

a level courses

A-levels courses in the UK alongside GCSEs are the standard pathway qualifications required for admission to most top-tier UK universities. Students who wish to continue their studies in the fields of medicine or dentistry must successfully acquire an A-level degree with high grades in order to be able to apply for higher education courses in UK universities. You can study one-year, 18 months or two-year A-level programs depending on the your prior knowledge and qualifications. Generally, A-levels are studied over two years and students proceed to select three main subjects throughout the course.

A-level Subjects

A-level courses are mainly offered in the following subjects but other subjects are also available: •Art •Biology •Business •Chemistry •Computer Science •Economics •English Language & Literature •French •Geography •German •History •Latin •Spanish •Mathematics •Further Mathematics •Physics •Politics •Psychology •Sociology

What are A-levels?

A-level courses are split into two sections, with one section studied in each year.  The first section is known as the Advanced Subsidiary level (AS level); while the second part is known as the A2 level.

The AS Level is a qualification in its own right, and the AS Level together with the A2 Level forms the complete A Level qualification.

AS and A levels

AS (Advanced Subsidiary) and A (Advanced) level qualifications focus on traditional study skills such as listening, reading and writing  They normally take two years to complete full-time in a school or an FE College, although they’re also available to study part-time for an extended duration.

A-level Entry requirements

In most cases, you need at least five GCSEs at grades A+– C. Sometimes, you need a grade B or above at GCSE in a particular subject to take it at AS or A level.

Some schools and FE colleges also ask that you have GCSE grade C or above in English and Math.

There are about 80 A level subjects available for you to choose from. You can continue with the subjects you have taken in Years 11 and 12 and/or take new ones if you wish.

Most students studying for A-levels take three or four AS levels in their first year. Doing this means you can keep your options open about which subjects you wish to study as a full A level.

A-level Course Assessment

The majority of A-level courses are now each made up of two units – although some subjects still have three.

You are normally assessed on a combination of about 70 per cent written exams and about 30 per cent internal assessment. This will vary from subject to subject with some being entirely assessed through written exams only.

There is assessment of practical skills in some subjects like science or art. All A levels must also include some ‘synoptic assessment’ as part of the A2. This means testing your understanding of the whole subject, and will normally contribute 20 per cent towards the full A-level grade.

A-level Grades

If you suspect that something may have gone wrong with you’re a-level Grades, your school or FE College can ask for a re-mark or recount. If you are still unhappy, your school or college can appeal to the awarding body, and then finally, if necessary, to the independent Examinations Appeals Board.

You can also choose to attend individual units a second time (although there are time limits). The awarding body will count the higher mark from your two attempts.

A-Level programs in the UK

A large number of students also study A-Levels at a dedicated further education (FE) college, who also offer a wider array of vocational courses. The qualification is the most common method used by UK universities to determine an applicant’s suitability for academic subjects.

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Where can international students study A-Levels?

If you are looking for A-level courses for international students, UKStudy recommends the following schools and colleges with A-level courses to study in the UK:

  • Bellerbys College
  • Cambridge Tutors College
  • CATS College
  • Kings Education
  • David Game College

Subsequently, to find out the cost of doing A-levels in the UK, you can contact our consultation team and inquire about A-level fees for international students.

How to find A-Level Courses in the UK

If you wish to apply for A-level courses in the UK or even more specifically A-level courses in London, feel free to contact our Expert educational advisers via this link.

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Study in the UK without A-levels

GCE Advanced level (A-level) course is just one of the pathway courses you can take to reach undergraduate courses in the UK. As such, if you wish to go to university without A-levels, you can opt to enroll in other A-level equivalent pathway courses available in the UK.

Alternative equivalent paths include the Foundation course and the Higher National Certificate (HNC) course

Foundation courses are basically compressed A-level courses designed for international students who do not possess the standard qualifications required for direct entry to bachelor degree programs in UK universities. The foundation courses last 1 year only and ready the students for academic life in the UK by teaching them the required study skills and English proficiency in order to have an acceptable performance in their undergraduate degree course.

HNC is a work-based based higher education qualification that allows for a more hands-on experience before entering University undergraduate courses. Students can advance to the first year of a bachelor degree course after studying their HNC for a year. Additionally, you can also continue towards a Higher National Diploma (HND) by studying one additional year to advance to the second year of your bachelor degree instead.


Frequently Asked Questions about Studying A-Levels in the UK

What is the average cost of studying A-Levels in the UK?

Typically, it costs around 16,000 – 26,000 GBP per year to study A Levels in the UK.

What are the entry requirements of A Level in the UK?

In most cases, you need at least five GCSEs at grades A+– C.

How are A Level exams assessed?

You are normally assessed on a combination of about 70 per cent written exams and about 30 per cent internal assessment.

What age is the best to attend A-Levels?

16 and above.

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