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School Leavers

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

    Academic and stretching A Level Study

    At Exeter College we have created an exciting and stretching academic study programme for our students which helps them to maximise their potential. We have worked closely with some of the most prestigious universities and employers to ensure our study programme gives young people the best possible chance of achieving entry to the most competitive courses or professions. The key entry criteria for all universities (if taking an A Level programme) are three excellent academic qualifications, alongside additional experiences or courses that crucially help enrich personal statements or CVs.

    There can be additional costs for materials and resources when studying A Levels. Please click here to read more about our resource fees.

    Stand out from the crowd – our ‘Extend’ offer

    Learners taking an academic pathway at Exeter College will enrol on a four element programme:

    A Level
     
    A Level or BTEC equivalent
    A Level or BTEC equivalent
    Extend
     

    Extend options can be chosen from a wide range of stretching courses which will help you gain the kind of skills and experiences that universities and top employers are looking for.

    You can personalise your Extend element to your individual interests or future plans. The options may range from those centred on areas such as creative and professional writing, sports therapy, arts awards, medical sciences, modern and ancient languages, events management or international relations to qualifications based courses like the Extended Project, Thinking Skills (OCR) or a 4th A level (subject to GCSE grades)*

    * Our full Extend offer will be available before your interview.

    Entry Requirements

    Our minimum entry requirement for an academic programme of study is 8 GCSEs including English Language and Maths at grade 4 or above, as well as 6 other GCSE subjects at grade 4(C) or above. However, in order to access our full range of A Level courses you will need to be aiming to achieve a 5 or 6 in English and Maths and similar grades in other subjects, as many individual courses have specific additional entry requirements.

    Moving on beyond Exeter College

    We are really proud of the breadth and calibre of university courses, apprenticeships and employment our students go onto after their A Level study at Exeter College. Our A Level study programmes ensure that students who want to go to university leave us with the three strong A Levels that universities demand, as well as additional skills and impressive experiences that make them shine more brightly than many of their contemporaries. With hundreds progressing to Russell Group and top national universities and higher level courses we are expert in supporting young people to move on beyond college. Over the last three years we have sent 33 students to Oxford and Cambridge as well as had students accepted to the London School of Fashion, Royal College of Music, a variety of medical schools and highly sought after positions at top companies like Ernst and Young.

  • 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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