What is Access to A-levels (A2A)?

Access to A-levels is a unique study programme for those who want to study A-Levels but who haven’t quite got the grades to do so. Instead of a GCSE resit programme we offer you a new challenge with a small number of Applied General level 3 qualifications. These will probably be brand new subjects for you and you should find them much more interesting than resits. They will allow you to build your confidence and to demonstrate you are ready for the academic rigour needed to do A-levels.

Of course, everyone needs to have GCSE Maths and English at least grade 4 to do A-Levels so if you haven’t got these, you will do them as part of this programme.

Who is Access to A-levels for?

Access to A-levels is particularly useful if you need an A-level route to progress in your career aim. A2A is for students who have just missed the entry requirements for a full A-level programme and may need to improve their GCSE grades in English and Maths to progress to their chosen subject or career aim. You will probably have a spikey GCSE grade profile which shows you are strong in a couple of subjects but do not yet have 5 grade 4s to join a full level 3 A-level programme.

What GCSE grades do I need to do Access to A-levels?

To join the Access to A-levels course you will need at least 3 GCSEs at Grade 4 including English. A grade 4 is also required in Science if you wish to take the Applied Biology. Each student will be considered on a case by case basis.

What subject choices do I have on Access to A-levels?

You will be able to choose two from the following subjects or an equivalent:

  • Level 3 National Certificate in Applied Human Biology
    (Level 3 Extended Certificate in Applied Human Biology available in the 2nd year)
  • Level 3 Certificate in Outdoor, Adventurous and Physical Activities
  • Level 3 National Certificate in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
  • Level 3 National Certificate in Applied Psychology
    (Level 3 Extended Certificate in Applied Psychology available in the 2nd year)
View all A2A courses

Plus an Extended Project Qualification EPQ (Level 2) which allows each student to embark on a largely self-directed and self-motivated project. You will choose a topic, plan, research and develop your idea and decide on your finished product.

Also English and Maths will be included in your individual timetable and you will be allocated a personal tutor and take part in the tutorial and enrichment programme and events.

Am I guaranteed a place on an A-level programme after A2A?

You can progress from the Access to A-level directly onto a full level 3 A-level programme or a T-level or level 3 vocational programme or an apprenticeship, subject to satisfying the minimum entry requirements of your chosen programme.

Why should I do A2A?

A2A allows you to stay on the same career path when you have not yet achieved the entry requirements for your chosen programme. The programme means that you can focus on the humanities or science related subjects and make a start on level 3 learning setting yourself up to succeed in the near future.

Can I do an apprenticeship after A2A?


You can do an apprenticeship after A2A but we wouldn’t recommend this route. The A2A is designed to help you to an A-level study programme. If you would like to do an apprenticeship next, we would suggest that you look at a level 2 programme, go straight to an apprenticeship or perhaps look at the T-level transition year and then a T-level or apprenticeship.

– internal link to apprenticeship page, T-level page, Level 2/transition page