Student Zone

What are the entry requirement for an A Level programme?

For a standard 3 A level programme, the entry requirements are:

  • At least two grade 6s at GCSE
  • At least a further three grade 4s at GCSE
  • You should have at least grade 4 in BOTH GCSE English Language AND Mathematics.

Very able students may choose to study 4 A level subjects. These students must commit to these 4 subjects for the full 2 years. This will include most students who choose to study A level Further Mathematics, who will pick Mathematics, Further Mathematics and two other subjects. Entry requirements for this programme are:

  • At least five grade 7s at GCSE
  • You should have at least grade 6 in GCSE English Language AND 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.

Are the entry requirements different for applied courses?

Yes. Those studying a BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2 A level equivalent) plus 1 A level/A level equivalent have similar entry requirements to a 3 A level programme. The only difference is that other courses equivalent to GCSE (e.g. BTEC First Awards and OCR Nationals) count towards the entry requirements. To support your future aspirations, you must choose one from the wide selection of A level/A level equivalent courses we have on offer to complement your BTEC level 3 National Diploma. You will need:

  • At least two grade 6s at GCSE
  • At least a further three grade 4s at GCSE
  • You should have at least grade 4 in BOTH GCSE English Language AND Mathematics.

Some BTEC Level 3 National Diplomas have specific entry requirements: e.g. Science requires a minimum of two grade 4s in GCSE Science. It is important students check the individual course pages to ensure they know of any other subject-specific requirements.

Those students who choose to study a BTEC Extended Diploma or CACHE Diploma (equivalent to studying 3 A levels) will also be able to count other courses equivalent to GCSE (e.g. BTEC First Awards and OCR Nationals) towards entry requirements for BTEC/CACHE and on some courses students are accepted with either English Language OR Maths at grade 4 (see below). You will need:

  • At least two grade 6s at GCSE or merits on an equivalent course
  • At least a further three grade 4s at GCSE or equivalent, including at least grade 4 in GCSE English Language OR Mathematics, with at least grade 3 in the other one. Students who have a grade 3 in one of these two key subjects will be required to retake this GCSE in addition to the BTEC Extended Diploma.
  • Some BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma courses have specific entry requirements: Science requires a minimum grade 4 in Maths and two grade 4s in GCSE Science; IT requires a minimum grade 4 in Maths and IT/Computer Science; Art & Design requires a minimum grade 4 in an Arts-based GCSE.

The CACHE Level 3 Childcare Diploma requires BOTH English Language AND Maths at grade 4 or above. CACHE students wishing to move into Primary teaching in the future also require at least a grade 4 in Science.

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 two-year linear courses. Our most able and ambitious of students (who will have 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 (BTECs and CACHE Diplomas), have a much higher coursework element (varies by course but approx. 50- 60%) , although these too include some formal external assessment.

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. Most students on Applied courses are required to complete work experience in both years.