A-levels or diplomas?

Whether you choose A-levels or diplomas depends on a lot of factors, from the way you like to learn to the qualifications you hope to achieve and the career direction you want to take. Both options offer clear progression routes through to university courses and the world of work, but here’s some of the key features and differences that could help you make your decision.


Our A-levels focus on traditional study skills and students study three A-levels for around six hours per week; that’s more teaching hours than the majority of sixth forms and colleges. They are also supported to access compulsory enrichment with opportunities and clubs relating to their area of interest, ensuring they stand out from the crowd when they apply to university or move on to employment. Each subject is studied as a single two-year qualification with assessment at the end.

View all A-level courses


Our diplomas in our specialist subject areas have the same academic value as A-levels (a two-year Extended Diploma is equivalent to three A-levels) but are more practical and work-related, without missing out on any of the important subject theory. As well as exams and other methods of continuous assessment, practical skills assessment is based on performance in real life situations and work experience.

View all Diploma courses

Our college courses

You can find out more about the types of qualifications we offer and which one could be your perfect fit on our college course page. You can also search for qualifications based on your interests and find out where they could lead you on the individual course pages.