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Moving On To College


College websites can give you a valuable insight into what subjects and grades you need to be achieving. The prospectuses from colleges should be used as the definitive guide to their requirements.  However, as a rough guide:
  • to study 3 A levels, you will need to have 6 GCSEs at grade 4 including English and Maths. Some colleges require more.
  • whilst most students study 3 A levels, it is possible to study 4 A levels. Check the college websites for requirements especially if choosing double Maths.
  • to study the International Baccalaureate you will need at least 7 GCSEs at Grade 6 or above including English, Maths and Science.
  • to study a vocational level 3 course, you will need 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or equivalent including English or Maths depending on the college.
  • to study a vocational level 2 course, you will need 5 GCSEs at grade 3 or equivalent including English depending on the college.

Some courses will require specific grades at GCSE. You need to check this information yourself. The following is just a guide based on requirements that colleges have given in the past for A levels.

Any Art A Level

Minimum requirement of a 5 or 4 at GCSE Art

(Dependent on college).


Any Science A Level

Two Grade 6 GCSEs in Science, including the

Science selected (e.g. Physics for Physics A

level) or Combined Science plus Grade 5 in

Maths and English.


Any Language A Level

At least a 6 achieved at GCSE in the chosen language and 4 in English Language.



Grade 6 GCSE in Maths (and 4 in English for



Double Maths (Maths and Further Maths)

Grade 7 GCSE in Maths (and 4 in English for



Computer ScienceGrade 6 in Maths GCSE.

Grade 6 or above in Music GCSE or Grade 5 instrumental exam.



For many other A Level courses, a GCSE in the same subject is NOT a requirement. e.g. Business, Drama, Psychology, Sociology. However, if you have taken the GCSE, a specific grade may be required.

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