At Cardiff Sixth Form College, we aspire to foster a genuine passion for learning in our students. Our teaching aims to make students think for themselves. We believe this sets our students apart from the crowd, leading to excellent results year-on-year.
Below is a brief introduction to the UK A-Level system, our own A-Level programme and how best to choose your A-Level subjects. Information concerning the A-Level courses we offer at the College can be found on our Departments page.
For an in-depth look at all subject choices available to students please download a copy of our Academic Handbook.
UK A-LEVELS – AS AND A2
One of the great advantages of the British educational system are A-Levels (also known as GCE Advanced Levels). A-Levels provide students with the opportunity to specialize in the subjects of their choice before university.
British universities frequently prefer A-Level qualifications, as A-Level curriculums explore chosen subjects in great depth. This provides an ideal standard for beginning a UK degree course. Many equivalent qualifications do not provide comparable insight and are often valued as secondary.
In Wales, A-Level is separated into two sections – AS-Level and A2-Level. The AS-Level is a subsidiary qualification, aimed at offering a higher introduction to your chosen subject. A2-Level provides an in-depth study of the topics, building upon progress made at AS-Level. Both levels may act as stand-alone qualifications, but A2-Level may only be entered once an AS-Level qualification in the chosen subject has been achieved.
A-LEVELS AT CARDIFF SIXTH FORM COLLEGE
Students should be able to choose from a wide range of A-levels. Too frequently, schools and colleges require students to choose from a limited selection of subjects in order to meet timetabling requirements. We believe this is not in our students’ best interests. Cardiff Sixth Form College aims to give its students the freedom to choose any subject combination they wish and to construct a timetable around their individual needs. If you are uncertain as to which A-Levels would suit you best, Cardiff Sixth Form College offers expert advice from career specialists. For more details, please see the below section, 'Making The Right Decision'.
Cardiff Sixth Form College provides each student with as much time with teachers as possible. Students receive between 24 to 30 hours a week of scheduled class time. In addition, we arrange tutorials and study sessions to fit the needs of each individual learner. Our teacher-student ratio reaches 1:7 - far above the national average. Each student benefits from the individual attention and mentorship they receive.
Our A-Level programme is also supplemented by our detailed extra-curricular policy. For more details, please see our Enrichment page.
MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION
Choosing what to study at A-Level can be difficult. It takes time and thought, and you may have conflicting ideas. Like all decisions, you need to achieve a balance. It is important that you understand the full details of what subjects you are choosing and the implications for your future career choices. The following guidelines should help:
- First and foremost; consider which subjects interest you. A-Levels take time and dedication – and time and dedication take an interest. Even the hardest of problems can prove gratifying when you have a passion for what you are studying – so think about what you enjoy!
- Second, pick your strengths. Are you good at essay writing? Are you fond of problem-solving? Do you have an affinity with numbers? Trust in your ability and avoid those areas in which you struggle.
- Third, think about the future. Where do you want to be in 10 or 20 years' time? Some disciplines expect certain subjects. Medicine, for example, requires at least two science subjects, including Chemistry. If you wish to be a doctor, therefore, you should consider choosing sciences at A-Level. If you are uncertain which subjects are required for your career of choice, please feel free to request advice from our expert Careers Department or Admissions Team.