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Entry Requirements


The A level Programme

The A level programme provides an excellent preparation for university entry as well as higher apprenticeship programmes. In year one (Lower Sixth) you can choose three A level courses, in some cases, four choices may be possible. In year two (Upper Sixth), you will concentrate on completing three A levels.

What kind of GCSE grades will I need?
For our A Level programme, we require at least two GCSEs at 5 (B) grade and three GCSEs at grade C (4) or above, including English language and maths. The pass grades need to be in academic GCSEs and relate to your chosen A level courses.

The BTEC Programme

The BTEC programme will appeal to you if you want a more work-related focus to your studies than A level courses offer. These courses develop industry-relevant skills as well as having an academic focus and are also much more coursework-based than A levels. The core of the programme is a BTEC level 3 qualification in one of a range of occupational areas. This qualification will count the same as two or three A levels and is studied over two years.  If you study a double BTEC, you will also need another single course (BTEC or A level) to give you a full programme of study. BTEC level 3 qualifications provide an excellent preparation for university, employment or higher level apprenticeships.

What kind of GCSE grades will I need?
As BTEC level 3 courses are advanced courses, we require five A*- C passes of 4 (C) grade or above (or equivalent) including English language or maths.

The Combined Programme

Our Combined Programme provides an opportunity to create a package of study that includes elements of both BTEC and A level to suit an individual’s career aspirations; this works particularly well when grouping together related courses. The Sixth team are happy to discuss options and provide advice about what combines well to support your progression. For the Combined Programme you will need the same minimum grades as for the BTEC Programme and also meet the specific requirements for the individual courses you want to take. Your programme needs to be the equivalent of three A levels.

Want to study at Blackpool Sixth but not sure you’ll get the grades you need? Talk to us! We have the ideal option for you. Our ‘Route3’ programme gives you an opportunity to gain your level 3 qualifications over three years instead of two. We’ll look at your career and study goals and help you build a package that will get you there, including supporting you to achieve your all-important GCSE English and maths. To join this programme, ideally you’ll need 4 GCSE grades at grade 3 (D) (or equivalent) and your English and maths need to be no less than grade 2.

Please note: It is a national requirement that any students doing level 3 courses (A levels and BTEC level 3s) who do not have passes at a 4 or above in English and maths, re-take these courses as part of their study programme. We can fit in only one re-sit alongside level 3 study, so students who do not have a 4 in either subject will need to consider the Route3 Programme.