State High Schools

Choosing a Course

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Maybe you are more interested in choosing a course than deciding on which school. You can be sure all the schools we are offering are good, so what you actually study could well be more important. It is helpful to assume that choosing both school and course is not possible, so you might want to start by considering which is your priority.

If you are going to year 10 or 11, there is little choice. You will take approximately 10 subjects at GCSE and many of them will be similar to in your school at home. After arrival, you will usually have the opportunity to add 4 options such as Business, Drama or Photography to the compulsary subjects such as Maths and English.

If you are going to year 12, your first big choice is whether you would like A Levels or BTEC. This would definitely have an impact on which school we place you in. Both offer university acceptance. Both courses are usually for 2 years but exchange students may take just the first year. 3-4 A Levels or 1 BTEC involve a similar number of study hours. There almost certainly no comparison to BTEC in your country. It is partly because the UK has such a strong tradition in the creative industries.

A-Level

3 subjects*
No qualification after one year
Probably more like in your home country
More theory than practice
Results depend mainly on exams

BTEC

1 subject
Subsidiary Diploma after one year
Different to your home country
A lot of practical work
Results depend on course work

See advises you take BTEC if you would like to study one area in depth to prepare for a specialist high school path or university. We particularly recommend BTEC on Arts courses such as Design and Performing Arts or Sport as well as technical subjects such as Engineering You would also find some valuable BTEC Business, Media and IT courses.

If you would like to study traditional courses such as History, Foreign Languages, Maths or English Literature, A Levels are definitely for you. If you would like to take Sciences, Music o r Art, we need to consider whether you are interested in music theory or practice, classical or modern music, pure science or applied forms such as forensics, history of art or creating your own portfolio You can be sure that education experts will consider your application and give you advice.

Typical A Level subjects

Art
Biology
Business Studies
Chemistry
Critical Tlhinking
Drama and Theatre Studies
Economics
English Language
English Litarature
French*
Geography
German*
History
Law
Mathematics
Media Studies
Music
Photography
Physical Education
Physics
Politics
Psychology
Religious Studies
Spanish*

Typical BTEC subjects

Art and Design
Business
Engineering
Music Performance
Music Production
IT and Computing
Media Production
Performing Arts
Dance
Musical Theatre
Travel and Tourism
Sport Coaching
Sport Performance

Many BTEC courses offer a specialism such as fashion design or adventure sports. If you are choosing a BTEC course, we would choose the college according to your interests. We recommend you don’t try to choose both college and course. The course should be more important.

*Very few schools offer languages. Please check with us.

Other subjects may be available.

If you want to find out more, get in touch

We’d be happy to discuss any questions you may have or if you need any further information.