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Study A-Levels in the UK

What are A-Levels?

The Advanced Level, universally referred to as an A-Level, is a qualification offered by education institutions in the UK. In Scotland, students take the Higher and Advanced Higher of the Scottish Qualifications Certificate. A-Levels are usually studied over two years and are the qualifications UK universities use to assess a student’s eligibility for an undergraduate degree.

Many domestic and international students also study A-Levels at a dedicated further education college, providing various vocational courses. The qualification is the most common method UK universities use to determine applicants' suitability for academic subjects.

A-level Entry Requirements

To pursue A-Levels, you are generally expected to achieve a minimum of five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4/A* to C; you should aim for at least a grade 6 in the subjects you intend to study at the A level. However, it's important to note that the entry requirements can vary between different schools and colleges, and some institutions may have stricter criteria, requiring higher grades or specific subjects.

Cost of Studying A-Levels

In the UK, students aged 16 to 18 can study A-Level courses for free, except for a small fee for their final exams. If you're older than 18, you'll have to pay fees to study A-Levels. The cost varies depending on the school, course, and how long you study.

What Can You Do After A-Levels?

After completing A-Levels, individuals have various options to consider. Pursuing higher education at a university is a popular path, as A-Levels are commonly required for admission. A-Levels also provide flexibility, meaning students can keep their options open and explore different avenues before making a definitive choice.

Employers value A-levels as they demonstrate a solid educational foundation, so seeking employment directly after A-Levels is also an option.

Why study A-Levels for UK university entry?

Regarding university entrance, international students often wonder about the benefits of studying A-Levels. Whether you're pondering this decision or seeking persuasive points to convince your parents, here are some compelling reasons why studying A-Levels in the UK is a fantastic choice.

1. Academic quality

A-Level qualifications add weight to your university applications, regardless of whether you study in the UK or elsewhere.

2. Familiarity with the UK education system

Studying A-Levels in the UK allows you to acclimate to the country's education system. You'll gain firsthand experience of the teaching styles, learning methodologies, and academic culture prevalent in the UK, and this familiarity not only prepares you for higher education in the UK but provides you with a valuable foundation for adapting to different academic environments worldwide.

3. Improve English language proficiency

For international students whose native language isn't English, studying A-Levels in the UK offers an opportunity to enhance your English language skills. Surrounded by English daily in academic settings and social interactions, you'll swiftly grasp the nuances, idioms, and colloquialisms that textbooks alone can't teach you.

4. Preparation for the UK university experience

Studying A-Levels in the UK equips you with academic knowledge and helps you develop essential skills for university success. You'll learn effective study techniques, time management, critical thinking, and independent research skills, and by immersing yourself in the multicultural and vibrant environment of the UK, you'll gain invaluable cultural insights, expand your worldview, and build a network of friends and connections.

Where can international students study A-Levels?

If you are an international student, SI-UK recommends the following colleges to study A-Levels in the UK:

Study A-Levels in the UK

For more detailed information about studying A-Levels in the UK, please arrange your free consultation with SI-UK today.

A-Levels FAQ

A-Levels are subject-based qualifications. You can study three or more A-Levels over two years. A-Levels programmes are assessed by a series of examinations.

You can retake your A-Levels as often as you need to get the required grades, but universities will notice multiple resits.

Generally, you need to have completed your GCSE exams or an equivalent qualification to enrol in A-Level courses. The specific grades and subjects required may differ between schools or colleges, but students will generally be required to:

  • Five GCSEs at least at grades 9 to 4/A* to C
  • Grade 6, at least in the specific subject(s) you want to study in your A-Levels

No, but they are the most popular grading form for domestic students applying to UK universities.

Yes, the most common alternatives to A-Levels are Access to Higher Education Diplomas and foundation years.

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