We have made a table below to give you an idea of what is possible. It is quite complicated so the best idea to find out more is to come and talk to one of our experienced counsellors. Also there are other courses available at other college – come and ask.
The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is the name of a set of English qualifications, whose exams are taken by students at the age of 16 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Virtually all candidates take GCSEs in English, Mathematics and Science. Students can then fill the remainder of their timetable (normally totalling nine different subjects) with their own choice of subjects. There is the choice of over 40 academic and eight 'applied' subjects. The applied subjects are related to a broad area of work, such as engineering or tourism. Schools usually offer about twenty subjects.
GCSEs are usually assessed by exams at the end of the course while the students complete coursework during the course. Some modular GCSEs are assessed by regular end-of-module tests.
At the end of the two-year GCSE course, each student receives a grade for each subject. The pass grades, from best to worst, are:
Those who fail a course are given a U (unclassified) and the subject is not included on their certificates.
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A levels matter and are regarded as the 'gold standard' of secondary education, a passport to top universities. Three A-levels, with good grades (in addition to at least one AS- level), are now needed to get into most top university courses. A levels consist of AS (advanced subsidiary) and A2 units.
On both AS and A-level courses, students receive classroom and laboratory tuition, and are also encouraged to work independently and undertake research for topical projects, frequently outside school hours. Educational visits may be part of the timetable.
In the first year (usually year 12), students choose to study up to five subjects and sit AS level exams. In the second year students usually study three A levels.
There are some 40 A-level subjects, both academic and vocational; most sixth forms in the book offer 20-25. There are A-levels in all the traditional school subjects (English, history, chemistry etc) as well as many others such as business studies, classical studies, media studies and psychology.
Assessment is based on a mixture of 70 per cent written exams and 30 per cent coursework. For subjects such as Science and Art practical skills are also evaluated. Examinations are independently marked and graded.
AS and A levels are graded A-E. Most results are announced in August with a minority of results coming out in March of each year.
Most schools help match A-level choices with what the student wants to do after school, as well as their aptitudes. It is worth finding out which subjects and - most important - which combinations of subjects are available; some schools have an arts or science bias.
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International Foundation Programmes
Do you want to combine an academic course with learning English? Do you want to be at university from the start? Then an International Foundation Programme is the answer for you.
They provide a route to undergraduate degree programmes in Humanities, Law, Management, Sciences and Social Sciences.
What makes these courses attractive?
· From the outset you will be a registered student at a University of your choice
· Instead of taking 2 years to study A levels in the UK, you can prepare to enter University in 9 to 15 months.
· The English syllabus is especially developed for students. You will be taught on high quality and flexible programmes for admission to degree courses.
· Small classes and extensive student support ensure you get the most out of your time on the course.
· On successful completion of your programme you can choose from a range of degrees at the university - from Accounting and Finance to Civil Engineering.
Prospective students must make available relevant appropriate senior school reports. A recent IELTS, TOEFL or other recognised test showing they have reached the required standard for entry must also be provided.
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English Language courses
English is the mother tongue of some 400 million people, and the second language of an equally large number of speakers. There are also an estimated 750 million people who learn English as a foreign language.
Learning English is about more than studying words and phrases — we see it as a chance to explore new ideas and cultures and develop communication skills that will take you around the world
There are three groups of people who choose to do English Language Courses in Great Britain:
1, Young people who decide to go to the UK not only to develop their English but also to learn about a different culture. Often is their first visit to the UK
2, Students who need to improve their English so that they pass exams such as IELTS for either undergraduate or postgraduate courses
3, Professionals or managers want to improve English which is specifically related to their work. E.g. English for Law or English for Business
All classes are relatively small under fifteen and teachers are trained in English Language Teaching. Courses can last from two weeks to one year.
English language courses will arrange accommodation for students, such as:
With a family, either in your own room or sharing with another student, usually with the choice of breakfast and dinner to be provided. The average cost of family accommodation is about £100 a week - usually more in London and less in the other regions.
In college halls of residence or student houses or flats, usually in your own room but often with shared kitchen and bathroom.
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Vocational courses are career-specific, this means that the course relates to a specific area of employment or industry sector. Vocational courses tend to be practical and skills-focused, and many include work-related projects or work experience. Assessment of vocational courses is on a continuous basis and students are required to complete practical tasks and assignments rather than examinations.
Many have been designed in collaboration with industry, so they can equip students with the skills and knowledge that employers are looking for. They often give students the opportunity to learn how to work as a member of a team. Employers, colleges and universities recognise vocational courses to be equivalent to academic courses.
BTEC qualifications and OCR Nationals are particular types of work-related qualifications, available in a wide range of subjects.
What type of student will benefit from these courses?
- Those who are reasonably certain of the career area that they wish to enter
- Those who enjoy applying their knowledge and solving problems
- Those who prefer coursework to examinations
- Those who want to concentrate on their favourite subject area
- Those who want some work experience while studying
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