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Student Zone

What are the entry requirement for an A Level programme?

For a 3 A Level programme, entry criteria are:
• At least two grade 6s at GCSE
• At least a further three grade 4s at GCSE
• You should have at least a grade 4 in GCSE English Language and Mathematics. There are a limited number of BTEC courses which you may be able to take with a minimum of a grade 3 in either English Language or Mathematics, and in this case you will need to retake this subject as part of your programme.

For a 4 A Level programme, entry criteria are:
• At least 5 grade 7’s or above at GCSE
• You should have at least a grade 6 in GCSE English Language and Mathematics.
• Students picking Mathematics and Further Mathematics will need to get at least a grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics.

Please note that there may be additional entry requirements specific to particular courses – please check each course listing on our website carefully to ensure you understand these entry requirements.

Please note that GCSE courses are now graded 9-1 (grade 9 being the top grade). If you sat any of your GCSEs before this year, you will have been graded A*-G. Grade 4 is roughly equivalent to a C grade, grade 6 to a B grade and grade 7 to an A grade.

Are the entry requirements different for applied courses?

Yes. If you are interested in an applied programme of study (a BTEC Extended Diploma), entry criteria are:
• At least two grade 6s at GCSE or merit on an equivalent course
• At least a further three grade 4s at GCSE or equivalent
• You should have at least a grade 4 in GCSE English Language or Mathematics, with at least a grade 3 in the other one. If you do have a grade 3 in one of these two key subjects, you will be required to re-take this GCSE in addition to your BTEC.

What combinations of A Level subjects can I study?

Almost any combination is possible because our timetable is very flexible. In the rare case that some subjects cannot be studied together, these are indicated in the individual course details in the Courses section. This can be discussed at interview.

How many A levels can I take?

Most students taking A Levels choose 3 subjects and will commit to these courses for the full two years. This is because all A levels are now two-year linear courses (see A levels for more information). Our most able and ambitious of students (usually with at least five grade 7’s at GCSE) may wish to study four subjects at A Level. This will often include students who choose to study A Level Mathematics with Further Maths. Students must commit to four subjects for the full two years.

If I start an A Level and don’t like it can I drop it?

You are advised to think carefully about your choice because subject change is not usually advisable and may not be possible once lessons have started. In any event, you must continue to study a full A level programme.

How do I apply?

Students should apply online via Tyber. Check out our step-by-step guide to applying to see the process you will go through. The deadline for applications is 31 March. Priority is given to students from our partner schools (Cockshut Hill, Hall Green, Langley, Light Hall, Lyndon, Ninestiles and Yardleys Schools), then to applicants who live within the Borough of Solihull and then to students from our affiliate schools.

Where is the College located?

The College is located on Widney Manor Road, just to the south of Solihull town centre, approximately 15 minutes walk from the centre itself. It is easily accessed by car, bus and train.

What is the difference between A Level and applied courses?

A Level is mostly assessed by external exams, although a few have a small amount of coursework e.g. 20% in English Language and English Literature. Our Applied courses (BTEC Extended Diplomas and CACHE Diplomas), have a much higher coursework element.

Are applied courses easier than A levels?

No. They have different demands. For applied courses you need to be able to organise yourself to complete coursework assignments to deadlines. In many courses you also need to be able to work well with others. All students on Applied courses are required to complete work experience in both years.