Guide to choosing courses

Aquinas College offers around 50 A level/Level 3 courses so it is essential we provide students with a programme of study designed to enable you to achieve your full potential. Our students gain excellent results and the time we spend with individuals is a key part of ensuring that you are on appropriate courses to enable you to be highly successful.Once you have applied and been offered a place at Aquinas College, we have a series of opportunities to help you decide which courses are most appropriate for you to study.

General advice for choosing courses

Students generally take 3 Level 3 courses from the following 2 groups:

A Levels

All A levels are now 2 year courses with final examinations at the end of the 2 years. Some courses have a small coursework element, which is completed in the U6.

Vocational Courses

These courses are equivalent to A levels but are assessed mainly by the continuous assessment of coursework throughout the 2 years, with an element of external assessment. Many students realise they are much more suited to this method of assessment and also benefit from gaining a qualification in the L6 as well as in the U6.

 Level 2 provision

We also offer a small number of Level 2 courses, mainly for students who are yet to achieve GCSE grade 4 in Maths or English Language.

If you are offered a place at Aquinas then that place is not dependent on your GCSE performance. However depending on the grades you get at GCSE you may be limited in the kind of courses you can choose. Your place is dependent on finding an appropriate course of study.

The following is the advice and guidance we use at Enrolment to ensure students are both on the right courses and likely to be highly successful.

Recommended program of study based on GCSE grade profile

  • Majority A* and A
    • 3 A levels, and in addition we would recommend the Stretch and Challenge programme or Extended Project Qualification.

      Students with this grade profile may be able to opt for a 4th A-level subject where appropriate, e.g. Further Maths or a Modern Foreign Language.

  • Majority As with Bs
    • We recommend taking 3 A levels.

      If you choose 3 exam only A levels you will need to sit all your exams at the end of 2 years. You may want to consider a subject with a coursework element, if you don’t like exams.

  • Majority Bs
    • 3 A levels.

      If you choose 3 exam only A levels you will need to sit all your exams at the end of 2 years. You may want to consider a subject with a coursework element, if you don’t like exams.

  • Majority Bs but with a wider range of other grades
    • 2 A levels and 1 Vocational/BTEC course

      You may benefit from some continuous assessment so we would recommend you choose at least one BTEC/Vocational course. Also you may wish to investigate A levels that have some element of coursework.

  • Mainly Bs and Cs but with a wide range of other grades
    • 2 Vocational/BTEC courses and an A level

      We would recommend you only take on one A level along with 2 vocational courses, as we find students with this profile benefit more from continuous assessment.

  • Mainly Cs but with a range of other grades
    • 3 vocational/BTEC courses

      We would recommend that you look at our BTEC/Vocational courses. You may need to retake GCSE Maths or English if you haven’t got a grade 5.

Course Entry Requirements

At Aquinas we aim to  maximise your potential to progress onto higher education and/or skilled employment by giving you all the right skills and qualifications.

We have many programmes available that will compliment your studies and will help you achieve your goals.