Joining at 16

Our Key Stage 5 curriculum provides pathways at Level 2 and Level 3. These pathways are designed to enable our students to progress to university, Higher National Apprenticeships or employment.

If you achieve 5+ A* to C grades at GCSE, including English and maths, we offer a flexible range of pathways at Level 3.

These pathways enable you to build a curriculum that best fits your future needs. These are based on a combination of scientific A levels and technical awards in engineering, together with a strong emphasis on employability skills. Some students commit to a full-time engineering course, whilst others, including some of those who plan to take engineering at university, follow a more traditional A level route with mathematics and physics being two of their core A levels.

The study options available are:

3+ A levels
2 A levels + BTEC Engineering (subsidiary diploma)
1 A level + BTEC Engineering (diploma)
BTEC Engineering (extended diploma)

Students following Pathways 1 and 2 can choose from A levels in mathematics, further mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, geography, computing, electronics or design technology. To study a subject at A level you are expected to have achieved at least a B grade at GCSE.

A levels are taught as discrete subjects and students receive five hours teaching every week for each A level subject. Technical qualifications benefit from similar levels of teaching time and are assessed as part of the application of theory and skills in projects set by our industry-leading employer partners.


Year 12 students have the option of a free 12-week RYA* sailing course via Plumpton College or a six-week PADI* open water diving course with Newhaven Scuba Diving Centre. Plus, they can enjoy free membership of Wave Leisure gym facilities.

Level 2 Pathway

For students who haven’t achieved 5+ A* to C grades at GCSE including English and maths at age 16, we can offer a one year Level 2 pathway as a way of gaining the skills needed to progress onto a Level 3 programme. This will consist of:

  • GCSE English and/or maths grade ‘booster’ programme.
  • Level 2 Engineering (equivalent teaching time to 4 GCSEs).

Additional information

Click the links below to view and download more information:

Key Stage 5 summary
A Level Electronics
A Level Computer Science
A Level Product Design

A Level Mathematics coming soon

The importance of mathematics:

Regardless of the pathway taken, most students continue to study some maths at an appropriate level in Key Stage 5, alongside other qualifications. This reflects the fundamental importance that employers and universities place on this subject.

  • If students achieved a grade B or above at GCSE then they can take A level maths.
  • If students achieved a grade B at GCSE or better, but don’t feel that a full A level in maths is right for them then they will have the opportunity to take a new Core Maths qualification. This is recognised as a Level 3 qualification and is equivalent to an AS level taken over two years.
  • If students have achieved a grade C at GCSE then they will have the opportunity to take the Higher GCSE in order to achieve a grade B, or better.
  • If students did not achieve at least a grade C at GCSE then they will have the opportunity to re-sit Foundation GCSE Maths in order to gain a grade C.

A guide to UCAS points (2014)*

University entrance requirements are expressed as points based on the type and grade of the qualification achieved, as indicated in the table below:

A LevelBTEC (Subsidiary) DiplomaUCAS Points

  • The UCAS points for AS level, Core Maths and the Extended Project qualifications are half those of an A level.
  • The UCAS points for a BTEC Diploma are twice the points of a BTEC (Subsidiary) Diploma.
  • The UCAS points for a BTEC Extended Diploma are three times the points of a BTEC (Subsidiary) Diploma.

* Tariff points for 2015 are under review at the time of publishing.
Please check for the latest information.