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Progression to A Level study is for many students the natural next step in their post-16 education following successful completion of GCSEs. BTC offers an exciting A Level programme involving a wide variety of subjects, including some you may not have had the chance to study before, such as economics, law, politics and psychology. Many of our A Levels subjects include a range of guest speakers, visits and residentials. In the last few years these trips included sociology students visiting HM Prison Bristol, law students going to Parliament, students studying French going to Paris, and trips to Prague, Italy and much more.
In your first year, all students receive six hours of tuition per week per subject, and five hours tuition per week in the second year. You are expected to complete a significant amount of study out of the classroom, which will be a combination of homework and self-directed study. In order to complete this independent study, you have access to a dedicated study room and floor in the LRC just for A Level students.
Alongside your A Levels you also have one hour per week with your personal tutor and tutor group. This time is set aside for you to complete group activities and have 1:1s with your personal tutor who sets and monitor your personal targets. The personal tutorial programme also includes guest speakers, progression events and the UCAS exhibition.
In addition to your A Level subjects and tutorials, enrichment forms the fourth part of your A Level programme. The A Level department offers a wide range of interesting and engaging enrichment activities to enhance and support your academic experience.
One enrichment option is to take an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), this is equivalent of half an A Level and is in addition to your three chosen A Level subjects. Students are required to choose a topic they find particularly interesting and conduct a research project culminating in an essay, piece of art, model or film installation. The project will enrich your academic portfolio and develop your initiative, as well as improving your research, organisation, reflection and evaluation skills. This enrichment is particularly recommended for those students intending to apply to university.
If you are an ambitious student who is aiming to apply to a leading institution for further study, the Honours Academy may be for you. The Academy will help stretch and challenge you to progress to leading universities and sought-after employment by offering additional tuition and skills development.
If you are ambitious and predicted to achieve highly in your GCSEs, then you can apply for the A Level Academic Scholarship. This offers specialist, additional teaching and support.
A Level Subjects
“The teachers here simply do not give up on you. There has not been a day I haven’t felt supported”
A Levels (Biology, English Literature & Psychology)
The final assessment method is different per subject, so it is important you check each subject individually. Most A Levels are assessed through formal examinations at the end of the two years, which may include two or three exams covering the entire programme of study. Some subjects have a coursework or practical element in addition to examinations. Throughout your time at BTC you will frequently undertake practice assessments to prepare you for your formal exams. You will be assessed through written examinations, with regular internal assessment taking place as the course unfolds.
A Level studies prepare you for a variety progression options. They serve as an ideal preparation for university, and typically over 75% of our A Level students progress directly to universities in the UK and overseas, or stay with us to study a degree at University Centre Somerset. Our tutors and subject lecturers will always support you through your UCAS application, however, university is not the only progression option for A Level students. Many also progress onto Higher Apprenticeships, work-based training or employment.
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I’ve found my passion and what I want to do in the future after enjoying a level chemistry, and also elements of maths and physics which overlap with chemistry. Also, knowledge which far exceeds anything I learnt at GCSE.
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