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Study programmes

All students at Blackpool Sixth are following full-time study programmes which lead to highly valued qualifications which will set you on course for future success. Apart from your main subject learning, your study programme will also include pastoral mentor support sessions and personal development through the 6Xtra programme, 6Advance and work experience.


16 to 19 study programmes

At Blackpool Sixth, our curriculum follows the principles of the 16 to 19 study programmes as provided here. This means that students at Blackpool Sixth are enrolled onto study programmes that provide​s​ them with a structured and challenging learning programme ​to support their development and progression in line with their career plans. Our study programmes are individually tailored but all combine the elements below.

i) All courses at Blackpool Sixth are substantial academic, applied or vocational qualifications that stretch students and prepare them for education at the next level or employment. You can view all our courses here.

ii) ​O​ur study programmes include ​GCSE English and maths qualification resits where students have not yet achieved a GCSE grade 4 (reformed grading) or grade C (legacy grading).

iii) All study programmes include an element of work experience, in its widest sense, to give young people the opportunity to develop their career choices and to apply their skills in real working conditions. 

iv) Our study programmes include pastoral and enrichment act​i​vit​ies to develop students’ character, skills, attitudes and confidence, and to support their progression.

The different kinds of study programme are listed below.

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. 

For more information about BTECs see here.

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 admissions 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. 

For specific A Level and BTEC course requirements please click here