Course Levels Explained

Curriculum Overview

At CLF Post 16, we offer a wide range of course options to suit your own individual needs. These include the established A levels courses, and BTEC and Cambridge Technical options, as well as Specialised Vocational Pathways. We believe that this approach allows you to make the decision which is right for you, allowing you to build the foundations for your own future.    

A Level Study – Level 3

A Levels are a traditional form of study to acquire level 3 qualifications. The entry requirements for the A Level route is a minimum of 5 Grade 4-9 GCSE (level 5 for Maths and English).  For most subjects, you will need to get a minimum of a Grade 6 at GCSE to study that subject at A Level. The A level suite is usually delivered over 2 years, with examinations at the end, with A level students usually choose 3 separate course subjects.  In some cases, more academic and higher attaining pupils who could cope with the additional workload may choose to add on a 4th A level subject. In addition, students with the ability to speak another language may also choose Community Languages as a 4th A level in their native tongue, which recognises this experience. 

Decisions about the number of courses are made during our Guidance Meetings held with each individual student that applies to study with us.   

On occasion, there may be a situation when a pupil doing 4 A Levels decides they only want to study a subject for 1 year. In this situation, there may be the opportunity to sit the AS Level exam after one year, and then continue with the remaining 3 A Level subjects in the second year, having secured an AS grade in year 1.   

Vocational Courses – Level 3

A full range of Vocational Courses – BTEC and Cambridge Technical awards – are also offered within the Post 16 curriculum. Some students favour this style of learning as, whilst it is also a 2-year linear course, a large proportion of the end grade is based on modular assessments and only a small proportion based on a written examination at the end of course. 

Vocational courses can also be combined with A Level courses, where you study a combination of 3 subjects, such as Applied Science BTEC, alongside Geography and Business Studies A Levels. 

Specialised Vocational Pathway – Level 3 and Level 2

When you reach Post 16 education, you may decide you want to specialise is one particular subject area, rather than study a range of subjects. At CLF Post 16, we offer a suite of specialised options both at Level 3 – which is the equivalent of 2 or 3 A Levels, and Level 2 – which is the equivalent of 4 GCSEs. 

As part of the programme, both of these course routes require you to spend one day per week completing work experience in a chosen industry. 

Specialised routes include Health and Social Care, Business, and Creative Media. 

Level 2 Awards

At CLF Post 16, we recognise that some students do not meet the required GCSE grade 4 in Maths and English Language, and need additional time and support to achieve this. All students who do not meet this grade will automatically be enrolled onto the resit class in these subjects, as this is a requirement of study