How many A Levels will I be expected to take in the first year?

Your course will depend on your GCSE results. Most students on AS/A2 programmes take 4 AS courses in their first year, whilst the most able students may study five. In the second year most students will go on to take three A levels with a one year programme in General Studies or Citizenship. At your enrolment interview you will discuss the course you can take depending on your qualifications and career aim. We think it is important that you enrol on a programme which you will suceed on, but which will challenge you to do well.

How many GCSEs are required to do an Advanced level course?

To start an advanced level course you will normally be expected to have at least five A* – C grades at GCSE. For some subjects an average grade of C is required and some courses will expect particular subjects at grade C or above.

Will my BTEC Level 2 count towards my GCSE score?

If you have passed a level 2 vocational programme at school you will also need to have at least 3 GCSE grades at C or above to start an advanced level programme. Vocational GCSE qualifications count as any other GCSE.

I have five GCSEs at C+ but did not achieve a C in Mathematics and/or English. Can I still take an A Level course?

You can still take an Advanced Level course but you will need to think carefully about your course. This reduces the number of options you can take.

If you obtain 5 GCSEs at C or above but not including GCSE English or Maths, you will be required to work to improve your English or Maths, and your Level 3 programme will be limited to 3 ASs or an Extended Diploma or a Diploma and one AS in your first year at Priestley.

If you do not achieve GCSE English and GCSE Maths at C or above, you will be required to work to improve both your English and Maths whilst taking a reduced Level 3 programme. This will normally result in a three year study programme.

Working to improve English and or Maths does not mean you will automatically follow a GCSE programme. Other more suitable programmes may be available. The right programme for you will be determined at Registration, where once you have received your GCSE results tutors at the College will help you to pick an appropriate course for your qualifications.

Can I do an AS course alongside an advanced vocational course?

We strongly encourage students taking advanced vocational courses to take an AS alongside their course (this will not be possible with some Health and Education courses).

What does the General Studies programme mean?

We offer a range of courses which are designed to broaden your overall programme. You can choose to take an additional AS in General Studies, Citizenship, Critical Thinking, World Development or Science in Society. Or you might choose to take part in one of our Ambitions Programmes such as the pre-teaching or pre-medical course.

I didn’t do very well at GCSEs, can I still come to college?

Some students do not achieve what they expect at GCSE and so cannot progress to an Advanced level course. However, the College offers one-year level two and level one courses to meet the needs of those students. In most cases the programme involves a mix of Vocational and GCSE courses. Staff will help you choose the programme that best meet your needs. Remember many students complete an Intermediate-level course and then successfully progress to Advanced level the following year.

I would like to do some part-time work alongside my study at college. Is that acceptable?

Within reason you should be able to cope with a limited amount of part-time work whilst at college. However, you will be a full-time student, so your priority must be your college work. You must expect to be in college between 8.45am – 4.00pm every day. Part-time work commitments cannot intrude into the college day, since apart from anything else, timetables may change throughout the year. We recommend that you do no more than 15 hours per week during term time. Your personal tutor will provide guidance on this issue and you should consult them if you have any major financial concerns as there may be some help available through the Access Fund.

Will my course cost anything?

Generally courses are free for students aged between 16-19. However, certain conditions may apply, for example if you are a student from overseas. Text books will be provided by your course departments on a loan basis, however you are responsible for the purchase of your own consumables such as pens and paper etc.

Are bursaries available?

In 2012 the College was able to offer the following Bursaries to support many students. For more information take a look at our leaflet on bursaries to see what you could be entitled to.

Can I change my mind if I start a course, but I find that I don’t like it?

Yes, but your aim should be to make the best choice at enrolment. During the induction period, and up until the end of September, you can change a course after discussion with your Personal Tutor. It is not advisable to change courses after the induction period since you are likely to be too far behind to join a new course.

Is there any help for students who are young parents?

Priestley College is committed to giving young parents support during their continued education. The head of student services is able to help you complete the Care to Learn form, and to advise on other financial matters. We can also advise and guide a young person about the most appropriate childcare facilities in their local community. Just give college a ring and you will be put through to Head of Student Services who will be happy to help you.


Please find a link below explaining how to register for the new online payment system.  (Requires PDF reader)

Online payment scheme