How To Apply/Entry Criteria
Applications are now being taken for courses starting in September 2017.
Find the course you are interested in by browsing here. Each course has an “Apply now” button – just click it!
Grading for GCSE English language, English literature and maths is changing from 2017, with other subjects following suit from 2018. Click here for more information.
Are you 19 or over? Please make sure you apply and enrol early as places are limited on many government funded courses. Talk to us about financial support, including 24+ loans.
The entry criteria for our courses depend on your age, the subject and level you want to study at.
Sometimes the names and titles of qualifications change and can be confusing. We’ve set out in the table below the types of course we offer and the corresponding levels. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure which level is right for you – we’ll discuss that with you at interview.
We also know that when it comes to GCSE results sometimes you do better than expected and sometimes not as well. If you are sitting your GCSEs after you apply, we will check you are on the right level when you get your results. This might mean moving you up a level from the one where you have been given an offer or advising that you need to complete a lower level than you originally applied for first to make sure you have the right foundation for success.
|Course Level||Course/Qualification Type|
|Entry Level||Bridge To…
|Level 1||Foundation Diplomas
Foundation Awards and Certificates
Level 1 Introductory Diplomas
NVQ Level 1
|Level 2||Level 2 First Diplomas
Level 2 Intermediate Awards and Certificates
NVQ Level 2
|Level 3||Level 3 Advanced/Progression Diplomas
Level 3 National Diplomas
Level 3 National Awards
Level 3 National Certificates
NVQ Level 3
Access to Higher Education
|Level 4 & above||Advanced Apprenticeships
Higher National Diplomas (HNDs)
Higher National certificates (HNCs)
Study Programme Entry Criteria (primarily for young people aged 16-19)
What level is right for me?
You can study on any of 4 levels and this level will depend on your GCSE results. When you apply we will invite you in to talk to us in more detail about your options.
For all of our courses we ask that you have a good record of attendance, being on time and good behaviour. For those of you joining us from school we will ask that you bring your latest school report or provide us with a name of a teacher we can contact for a reference. Where you are already a college student and are progressing to the next level we will take your previous records of attendance and behaviour into account.
Entry Level Programmes
There are no set entry requirements to study at Entry Level 1. You will need to have an enthusiasm for learning and the subject you have chosen and a commitment to improving your English and maths. You may be asked to complete an assessment so we can make sure we get you on the right course and get the right support in place to help you succeed.
Level 1 Programmes
To study on any of our Level 1 courses we ask that you have gained between two and four GCSEs at Grade 2, (or E in the old structure) or above. Alternatively you may have completed an entry level qualification and gained functional skills qualifications in English and maths at Entry 3 level.
All students aged 16-19 studying a Level 1 programme will need to study English and maths as part of their programme.
Level 2 Programmes
To study on our Level 2 programmes we ask that you have 4 GCSEs at Grade 3, (or D in the old structure) or above including one in either English or maths. Alternatively you may have successfully completed a relevant Level 1 course combined with either GCSEs or Functional Skills Level 1 in English and maths.
Intermediate Apprentice – Level 2
You’ll need to have 4 GCSEs Grade 3, (or D in the old structure) or above including English and Maths, or have successfully completed a relevant Level 1 course combined with either GCSEs or Functional Skills Level 1 in English and Maths
Level 3 Programmes
To study on our Level 3 programmes we ask that you have a minimum of 4 GCSEs at Grade C or above including one in English or maths. Alternatively you may have successfully completed a relevant Level 2 course at Merit and Distinction Level combined with either GCSEs or Functional Skills Level 2 in English and maths. If you have achieved a Pass grade then you may be asked to complete an additional assessment to check this is the right course for you.
Some courses have different entry criteria and specify that you need a Grade 4, (or C in the old structure)or above in maths for example – these are clearly listed in the course information.
Some courses such as Art & Design, Media and Performing Arts have specialised entry criteria specific for that course eg portfolio of work, dance performance – these specialised criteria are listed in the course information.
Any student aged 16-19 studying a Level 3 course who has not yet achieved a grade 4 in GCSE English and or maths will be required to study this as part of their course.
Advanced Apprentice – Level 3
You’ll need to have 4 GCSEs Grade 4, (or C in the old structure) or above including English and maths, or have successfully completed a relevant Level 2 course at Merit and Distinction Level combined with either GCSEs or Functional Skills Level 2 in English and maths.
Access Courses (for those aged 19 and over and looking to go to higher education)
Our Access programmes are designed for mature students aged over 19 and are wanting to progress to higher education.
You will need to demonstrate that you have literacy and numeracy skills at Level 2 and we will require you to complete an assessment and a piece of free writing to further demonstrate your suitability for the programme. To gain a place on most higher education courses you will need to have achieved GCSE English and Maths at grade C, if not, you will need to study them alongside your Access course.
For those who need to gain their English and maths GCSEs first we run a 1 year Pre-Access course that you can complete before starting on an Access course.
For both Access and Pre-Access courses you’ll also need to attend an interview with a course tutor. We know this seems like a lot of things to do but preparing you for the rigour of higher education study is something we take seriously and we need to make sure you will be able to successfully complete the course.
On successful completion of your Access course you may want to study on one of our Higher Education or Degree courses, or you could apply to a different institution.
Higher Education & Professional Provision
We offer a range of full-time and part-time Degree, Higher National Diploma and Certificates programmes, which run alongside our professional and technical courses.
Our courses are designed in conjunction with employers, so you will leave with the necessary skills and knowledge to fulfil and develop your career aspirations.
The entry criteria for these courses is varied and is listed in the relevant course information.
Higher Apprentice – Level 4
You’ll need to have completed a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in a relevant area or an alternative vocational Level 3 qualification or A Levels.
We have a raft of full and part-time courses to suit you.
If you’re looking to get back into work, aiming for a promotion, or even thinking of a new hobby than we may offer the right course for you.
The entry criteria for these courses is varied and will depend on what you have done before both in terms of study or work.