If you’re looking to go to university, or explore certain subject areas further after secondary education, A Levels are an excellent way to expand your knowledge.
They were traditionally studied by students aged 16-18 in secondary school, sixth forms or colleges as part of their further education. Now, though, it’s far more accessible for those looking to go back into education at a later age to gain these qualifications, and it doesn’t always require you to go back into a classroom.
However, if you aren’t familiar with the subjects offered at A Level, you might not be aware of the options that are available to you. That’s why it’s advisable to research your options ahead of enrolling, especially since certain A Levels help you access different careers, and because there are numerous ways they can be studied.
Find out more about A Levels and the ones that are right for you below.
A Levels are a standardised school-leaving qualifications that were introduced in the 1950s in place of the Higher School Certificate. The aim being to allow students to study a narrower range of subjects in more detail, which they could choose based on their strengths and interests.
In most cases, students will study two or three A Levels at the same time and complete terminal examinations at the end of each course.
A Levels are a Level 3 qualification, which acts as a perfect gateway to higher education in degree-level study. To meet university entry requirements, you typically have to study A Levels that equip you with the skills and knowledge required for the next stage of learning in a related subject. More recently, many universities accept Level 3 alternatives such as Access to Higher Education Diplomas in their place.
Traditionally, A Levels could only be sat within a classroom setting. This meant that the course had to be spread across a set number of classes which were delivered by teachers at predetermined times. In this instance, it would take two years to work through the syllabus and complete your A Levels.
If you’re wondering ‘when do A Level courses finish?’, when studying A Levels in the traditional way, this can depend on the subjects you’ve chosen to study. Alhough, the terminal examination period generally finishes at the end of June.
Many students considering A Levels as a route into a certain career or to study a degree cannot commit to two years of full-time classroom education. If you’re wondering are A Level college courses fulltime, luckily, modern versions of the courses don’t require as much contact time.
The inflexibility of in-class timetables saw the introduction of evening classes to help more students fit their studies around their other commitments. Though, this didn’t alleviate the restrictions on the pace you could progress through the materials.
Now, A Level courses are provided by distance learning providers, so you can obtain your A Levels in a way that suits you.
The emergence of distance learning providers, like Stonebridge Associated Colleges, has allowed so many more people to access education because they can learn on their terms.
Rather than going into a classroom, you can log into an online portal to access your A Level coursework. There are no teachers required to deliver lessons, so you can move through the course content at your pace. This makes it possible to complete your course much quicker since you’re not restricted to a two-year timeframe.
In fact, most Stonebridge students finish their online A Level course within 6-12 months. So, you can get the qualifications you need for your new career or degree faster than you would otherwise be able to.
If you’re wondering what the best online A Level courses are, or simply what the best A Level courses are, this depends on what you are looking to study at university or do in your career. However, like GCSEs, English, Maths and Science are highly desirable in most cases.
These core subjects can be studied in the below A Levels:
As such an expansive subject, science at A Level is broken down into three separate course options:
The study of life itself. This coupled with evolution gives us the context we need to examine ourselves and the larger environment we are part of. By exploring the existing theories and principles that make up these complex living systems, we gain a greater understanding of how they can be created, sustained and destroyed.
Physics uses theory and experiments to understand the makeup of ourselves, the world around us, and beyond. It defines the motion, forces and energy of everyday experiences, and is at play everywhere. Walking, driving your car or using GPS on your phone all incorporate the laws of physics. By studying Physics, you will better understand other disciplines like the earth, agricultural, chemical, biological, and environmental sciences, as well as astrophysics and cosmology.
Study the fundamentals of Physical, Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, to gain insight into the physical universe. Chemistry touches every aspect of our lives, from the bodily functions within us to the atmosphere around us. Through the work carried out by leading scientists in this field, we can make advances in many areas of life. Whether that’s finding a more sustainable way of harnessing energy or making medical advancements.
As another broad subject, English is also split into separate categories and, as such, you can study both English Language and Literature A Level courses.
By studying literary classics, poetry and modern works, you gain an understanding of the evolution of both language and society. You’ll appreciate what motivated some of the most influential writers in the English speaking world to write with such artistic merit. As well as gain insight into the challenges, fears and aspirations of the era, which helps us understand our modern-day society and how they inspire modern fiction. Through this, you will be able to analyse different types of writing, write clearly in a range of styles, expand your language skills and range of vocabulary.
Through studying A Level English Language, you will understand how people communicate and learn how to assign meaning to words. You will also come to realise the effect society has on language and the factors enabling humans to acquire, use and understand it. Plus, how it is used in real-life situations. By studying A Level English Language in-depth, you will understand how to communicate effectively, critically assess information and challenge assumptions.
While GCSE Maths equips you with foundation knowledge of the core theories and principles of mathematics, A Level Maths goes into much greater depth. Through this course, you will be challenged to gain a comprehensive understanding. This will allow you to solve complex problems and to independently develop and put forward your own mathematical arguments. As one of the biggest facilitating subjects, Maths is essential for numerous university courses and careers. By choosing to study an A Level Maths course, you will develop a mindset that will be a great asset to you in life.
Besides these core A Level subjects, you can study a whole host of A Levels that will allow you to explore fascinating topics in greater depth and access many interesting, otherwise gated careers.
If you’re looking into the cost of A Level courses, these will differ depending on where and how you choose to study them. A Levels taught in a classroom setting will likely cost more as they are delivered by a teacher over a longer duration.
Online A Levels, however, don’t have to factor in as many elements into the cost of their courses. So, as much as you won’t find any free A Level courses, you’ll often find cheaper A Level courses online.
Online A Levels studied with Stonebridge can be made even more affordable with our flexible payment methods. Find out more about the cost of our adult A Level courses and flexible payment methods on our website.
If you’re ready to start studying A Levels, Stonebridge Associated Colleges can help you get your qualifications in less time. Our online A Level courses can be completed quickly and around your current commitments. So, you can get on the fast track to university, or your new career.
Find out more by talking to our Course Executives today. They will help you find the A Level courses that are right for you and explain how to get started.