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A level is the classic route to university in the UK, and is highly regarded by the best universities around the world. It is designed for confident students who aspire to the most competitive degree courses at UK universities and beyond.


A level

A level (Advanced Level) qualifications are usually obtained after two years of studying. The first year used to be called AS level and the second year used to be called A2, so you might recognise those names. You will expect to study A levels in three different subjects, although occasionally we advise students to study four subjects for specialist courses.

A levels are ideal for focused and hardworking students in their last two years of high school. If you excel in a particular area you will like A levels as the courses allow you to explore a small number of subjects in a lot of depth, providing specialised preparation towards further study.

A levels are the most common route for entry to Higher Education in the UK, so you can be sure your hard work will be recognised by all the top universities in the UK and around the world.

Quick facts:

  • Age:15 1/2+*
  • Course length: 6 terms (Sep start), 5 terms (Jan start)
  • Hours per week: 31 hours

Fast-Track A level

At CATS we offer a special Fast-Track one-year A level option for some students. The Fast-Track programme is designed for students who can complete the normal two-year courses in less time, and is ideal if you are highly ambitious and in your last year of high school. The Fast-Track programme might also help you if you want to come to CATS for additional revision to retake examinations.

Quick facts:

  • Age:17+
  • Course length: 3 terms (Sep start)
  • Hours per week:
    6 term: 27 hours years 1 and 2
    5 term: 35 hours year 1, 27 hours year 2

Available at:

Find out more about
A level at

Cambridge

Find out more about
A level at

Canterbury

Find out more about
A level and Fast-Track A level at

London

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“I found it really helpful to talk to the university advisor here at CATS. She helped me decide which universities to apply to and explained the best things to put in my personal statement.”
Jo-Kuang Liao - Taiwan- Studying Physics at Imperial College London

Meet more students
CATS Cambridge A level key facts
Course length 6 terms (Sep start)
5 terms (Jan start)
Age 15+
English level Equivalent IELTS 5.0+, or intermediate
Entry requirements A secondary or high school level of education and a good school report
Subjects studied Year one: 3 subjects (sometimes 4)
Year two: 3 subjects
Hours of study per week 6 term: 27 hours years 1 and 2
5 term: 35 hours year 1, 27 hours year 2
CATS Canterbury A level key facts
Course length 6 terms (Sep start)
6 terms (Jan start)
5 terms (Apr start)
Age 15+
English level Equivalent IELTS 5.0+, or intermediate
Entry requirements A secondary or high school level of education and a good school report
Subjects studied Year one: 3 subjects (sometimes 4)
Year two: 3 subjects
Hours of study per week 6 term: 27 hours years 1 and 2
5 term: 35 hours year 1, 27 hours year 2
CATS London A level - key facts A level - Fast-Track key facts
Course length 6 terms (Sep start)
5 terms (Jan start)
3 terms (Sep start)
Age 15+ 17+
English level Equivalent IELTS 5.0+, or intermediate IELTS 5.5+, or upper intermediate
Entry requirements A secondary or high school level of education and a good school report A good secondary or high school level of education and good school report
(previous experience in the subject and level is preferable)
Subjects studied Year one: 3 subjects (sometimes 4)
Year two: 3 subjects
3 subjects
Hours of study per week 6 term: 27 hours years 1 and 2
5 term: 35 hours year 1, 27 hours year 2
31 hours

Frequently asked questions

Where GCSE/Pre-programme fits into the overall UK education system

Where GCSE/Pre-programme fits into the overall UK education system

Number of subjects

You will expect to study three different subjects for the two year course. For some specialist course combinations, such as Further Maths, you might study four subjects, and we will advise you on the best option for you. You will also study English alongside your A levels.

Subjects

You must choose subjects that are right for the degree you want to study for at university. As well as this, you need to enjoy studying the subjects you choose. You will only get high grades in your A levels if you are really interested in the work you are doing. We can advise you to make sure you are following the right courses at A level.

Cambridge Canterbury London
6 term
(Sep start)
5 Term
(Jan start)
6 term
(Sep start)
6 term
(Jan start)
5 term
(Apr start)
6 term
(Sep start)
5 term
(Jan start)
3 term
(Sep start)
Accounting - - - - - -
Biology
Business -
Chemistry
Computing - - - - - - -
Economics
English Literature - - - - - -
Fine Art - - - - - -
Further Mathematics - - - -
Geography - - - - -
History - - -
History of Art - - - - - - -
Law - - - - - - -
Mathematics
Modern Foreign Languages ✔ **
- - - -
Photography - - - -
Physics
Politics - - - -
Psycology
Sociology - - - - -

** Chinese, Russian, German, French, Spanish

Depending on university and career aspirations, we work with all of our students to help them choose the most suitable combination of subjects.

6 terms: students choose three or four subjects for the first year, and three will usually be continued in the second year. 5 and 3 terms: students choose three subjects to study for the full duration of their A level study.

English for Academic Purposes is compulsory on all pathways for non-native speakers. Subjects may change, and are not guaranteed.

Students are encouraged to study their native language at A level.
Other languages may be available on request.

Availability depends on demand.
CATS Canterbury also offer Art portfolio (non exam) for Jan and Sep start, and Elite Sports.

How A level prepares you for further study before university

The course will prepare you to be highly successful in a British university. You will learn how to analyse information, think creatively, solve problems and work with other people. You will be used to studying at a high academic level in English. Employers across the world like students with good A levels. High grades are a great way for you to stand out from the crowd, showing that you have performed consistently and set yourself high academic standards.

How you are assessed

In some subjects, there is a small amount of assessment during the course, but mainly you will take formal exams at the end of the course. These exams are set by government approved examination boards across the whole of the UK, so the grades you get are highly valuable formal external qualifications.

A level results are published nationally in August each year. Grades range from A* (pronounced A-star) down to E, although we expect most of our students to gain grades A* to B.