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Course Level and Type

You can study at Level 1, 2 or 3 after school. The Level you study at depends on your school results. You can move your way up through the levels until you have completed level 3, then you can go on to higher education at college or university. The table below gives an idea of what level you may be looking at:

  • What level should you study at?

    You can study at Entry Level, 1, 2 or 3 after school. The level that you start at depends on your school results. You can move your way up through the levels until you have completed Level 3, then you can go on to higher education at college or university or find employment. The table below gives you an idea of what level you may be looking at:

    GCSE Grades Level Types of course What next?
    8 GCSEs with at least five at grade C or above (including English and maths). Many courses require a grade B or above in certain subjects 3 Academic Route
    A Levels, International Baccalaureate (IB)
    You can study a higher education course at college or university or find a job
    5 grade Cs at GCSE including English language at C or above or a good pass with a full Level 2 qualification 3 Vocational Route
    Vocational and BTEC Level 3 courses or an advanced apprenticeship, NVQ, VRQ
    You can study a higher education course at college or university or find a job
    4 grade Ds at GCSE, normally including English language and maths at D or above or a Level 1 qualification at merit grade 2 BTEC Level 2, apprenticeship, GCSE, NVQ, VRQ, Fast Track You can move on to a vocational or BTEC Level 3 course or an advanced apprenticeship
    4 Grade Es at GCSE, normally including English language and maths at E or above 1 BTEC Level 1 Diploma, Prince’s Trust, NVQ You can move on to a vocational or BTEC Level 2 course or an apprenticeship
    No formal qualifications E Skills for Living, Vocational Studies, Positive Pathways and Directions What next? You You can move on to a Level 1 course or NVQ

Specific entry requirements for each course can be found on the course factsheets, click here to use the course search.

Some students may be asked to continue with their studies in English and Maths to get them to the level that Employers, universities and the government require. For more information see below.

Courses

There are lots of different types of courses available. Click on the links below for more details of the most common course types. If you have questions about the types of courses, you can contact our College Advisers.

  • A Levels – Level 3

    A Levels are ideal if you enjoyed your GCSEs and are ready to move up to the next level. Students studying an academic pathway at Exeter College enrol on a 4 element programme. This consists of 3 core A Levels (or a combination of A Levels and BTEC Extended Certificates) and a 4th element, known as Extend, which is selected from a wide range of courses depending on your interests, prior achievement and potential progression plans beyond college.

    This model allows our students to spend their time at college gaining both the strong formal academic qualifications they need for the future, as well as helping them to stand out from the crowd and strengthening their profile by developing skills and experiences that universities and employers are looking for.

    Exeter College offers 37 A Level courses in traditional subjects like Maths, Biology, English and History as well as new subjects like Psychology, Law and Film Studies. In addition we run a wide range of BTEC Extended Certificates (equivalent to an A Level) in areas such as Sport and Exercise Science, Stage Management and IT, all of which can be part of an academic study programme. Any A Level subjects / BTEC Extended Certificates can be combined, though we will advise you if we think the combination you choose may make it difficult for you to succeed.

    The 4th element of an A Level programme of study, often referred to as Extend, can be selected from a wide range of exciting courses and opportunities ranging from the science based STEM Diploma, Creative and Professional Writing opportunities, an accredited language course or the Extended Project Qualification where students can chose to research an area of interest.

    The Extended Project

    The Extended Project (or EPQ) is a unique opportunity for you to pursue an area of study you are particularly interested in or passionate about. You will develop your independent study skills through a combination of workshops, one to one support and the eventual completion of a written dissertation or artifact (for example, a piece of art, performance or group project). Not only this, but the EPQ is equivalent to half an A level qualification and is awarded up to 28 UCAS points, which can provide additional support to personal statements and university applications. The course is aimed at first year A Level students and can be taken as an Extend choice (4th element).

    We were awarded Centre of Excellence status for the Extended Project after only one year! In 2016, 71% of students gained A*, A, or B in their Extended Project.

    "Deciding to do the Extended Project was a fantastic decision for me as it enabled me to research something which I had an interest in but was outside the material of my normal subjects. Also in choosing a topic relevant to my degree I was able to attain a lower grade offer from my first choice university. I greatly enjoyed the entire process and would recommend the Extended Project to anyone!."
    Hollie, Second year A Level Student

    Resource Fees

    For an idea of the materials and resource fees associated with A level study please click here to read more about our resource fees.

    Beyond A Levels

    We have just celebrated out best ever A Level results and 94% of our students were accepted to their ‘firm choice’ university. Thinking of progressing to one of the Russell Group Universities? Click here to visit the Russell Group website to view their 'Informed Choices' guide to help you choose the right A Levels.

    Flying Start

    Level 3 students will find out about our Flying Start assignments at enrolment. These are short pieces of introductory work to help students get a feel for their new subjects and the type of work expected in their first year.

    National A Level Reform

    A Levels are currently subject to a Government review – please keep checking the website for up to date information.

  • International Baccalaureate – Level 3

    We provide the International Baccalaureate to South West England. The IB is an internationally recognised qualification made up of six subjects including English, Maths, Science, a modern foreign language and an Art and Humanities subject. You also get involved in community projects and write a research-based essay. The course is equivalent to studying a full A Level course and involves exams and coursework.

    Click here to visit our dedicated International Baccalaureate page

    Click here to view our IB video

    Course combinations

    This cannot be combined with any other courses. You can choose your combination of subjects within the IB.

    Flying Start

    Level 3 students will find out about our Flying Start assignments at enrolment. These are short pieces of introductory work to help students get a feel for their new subjects and the type of work expected in their first year.

  • BTECs and Vocational Courses – Levels 1-3

    BTECs are vocational courses that can be studied at Level 1, 2 or 3. They don’t generally involve exams, however there may be some element of external assessment. They focus on coursework, and give a balance of practical work and theory. Please note, BTEC qualifications are subject to change - please keep checking our website for up to date information.

    Level 1 and Level 2 courses take one year and you can usually progress from these on to the next level.

    BTEC Level 3 courses include Certificate, Extended Certificate, Foundation Diploma and Extended Diploma. They are equivalent to AS and A Levels and can prepare you for work or university. Other vocational courses may be called NVQ or VRQ and are practical courses preparing you for the workplace, you can progress from a Level 2 NVQ on to a Level 3 NVQ.

    Other vocational courses may be called NVQ or VRQ and are practical courses preparing you for the workplace, you can progress from a Level 2 NVQ on to a Level 3 NVQ.

    Course Combinations

    A BTEC Level 3 Certificate is equivalent to an AS Level (first year) and the Extended Certificate is equivalent to the second year of an A Level. These can be combined with A Levels and other certificates if appropriate, for example, three AS Level courses and one BTEC Level 3 Certificate. Exceptions apply - check the course entries in this guide and our website for information.

    There can be additional costs for materials and resources when studying for a BTEC Certificate at Level 3. Please click here to read more about our resource fees.

    A BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma is studied in the first year and is equivalent to one and a half A Levels. In the second year you progress on to the Extended Diploma. The full qualification (two years) is equivalent to three A Levels. We do not usually encourage students to take an AS Level course alongside a BTEC Diploma/Extended Diploma.

    Flying Start

    Level 3 students will find out about our Flying Start assignments at enrolment. These are short pieces of introductory work to help students get a feel for their new subjects and the type of work expected in their first year.

  • Apprenticeships

    Apprenticeships give you practical work experience alongside studying and can be studied up to age 24. You need to find a job with an employer who will offer you an apprenticeship, then you will be assessed at work and spend one day per week studying at college. Apprenticeships start at either Level 2 or 3, depending upon your qualifications, in subjects such as motor vehicle maintenance, hairdressing, catering, engineering or customer service. For more detailed information about Apprenticeships click here.

    To view all of our apprenticeships click here.

    Course combinations

    These are work based qualifications so cannot be combined with any other courses.

    Accountancy Apprenticeships

    Our accountancy courses are delivered by Aplus training, a specialist training provider which is a part of Exeter College. Visit their website for a full list of courses available: www.aplustraining.co.uk or contact Aplus training on 01752 256610 / email future@aplustraining.co.uk to explore your options.

  • Continuing with English and Maths

    English and Maths are an essential element of your programme of study.

    Employers, universities and the government require all young people to have a good command and understanding of English and maths. We are committed to supporting you to continually improve these skills, whatever level and course you are studying. We have lots of additional support on offer to help you to develop your literacy and numeracy skills during your time at Exeter College, both inside and outside the classroom.

    If you have not already achieved a C grade in GCSE English language and maths you must work towards achieving these compulsory qualifications alongside your other courses. During your first few weeks at college, we will assess your level of English and/or maths to decide how we can help you progress and succeed.

     We offer entry level, functional skills and GCSE qualifications in both English and maths and will work with you to find the best route to achieving these core qualifications whilst you are with us.

    English and maths are a core element of your study programme. To maintain your place at Exeter College good attendance and maximum effort are essential.

  • Entry Level courses

    For students with no formal qualifications, we offer entry-level qualifications to help you to progress on to a Level 1 course or develop your skills for independent living, supported employment, skilled work or an Apprenticeship.

    Course combinations

    Entry Level, Level 1 and Level 2 courses are full time one year courses and are not usually combined with any other courses.

  • Courses for those not in education, employment or training

    We work closely with local organisations such as Careers South West, to ensure that students who are no longer in education, employment or training, can pick up new skills to return to study or find a job. These courses are often short (8-12 weeks) and may include work experience, one-to-one support and confidence-building activities. Find out more about them below:

    Positive Pathways
    Prince's Trust
    Directions

  • plumbing student
  • cookery students
  • college students
  • student sat on a chair
  • lecturer talking to a student
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