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A Levels

A Levels are a two year programme of academic study. The Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level lasts one year and is a single award. The standard is between GCSE and A Level, is worth 50% of the Advance Level and is a qualification in its own right. On successful completion you can take the A2 the following year to achieve the full A Level Award. You normally study four AS subjects in the first year and three or four full A2 Levels in the second year. To get onto an A Level course you usually need five GCSEs at grade C or above sometimes including English or Maths. If you’re planning on going to university you’ll probably need three or four A Levels, sometimes in specific subjects.


Apprenticeships are designed so that you can earn and learn at the same time. Taking two or three years to complete, you usually attend College one day a week and spend the rest of your time in the workplace. To find out more, call the Work-Based Learning Department Tel: 01483 44 85 30.

City and Guilds

City and Guilds assess skills that are of practical value in the work place. The emphasis is on developing practical skills and knowledge.


Degrees are made up of different modules that combine to make the overall qualification, awarded as an ordinary Degree or Honours Degree following the completion of a dissertation or research project. At Guildford College we offer a number of progression or 'top up' degrees, so that with one more year full-time or two more years part-time after completing a Foundation Degree or HND, you can achieve a full Honours Degree.

Foundation Degrees

Foundation Degrees integrate academic and work-based learning through close collaboration between employers and educational institutions. They are designed to meet the needs of industry and are supported by employers who want employees who can make an immediate contribution to their business and impact on their bottom line. A valid qualification in their own right, you can also use them as entry to degree programmes.


You can take or retake GCSEs alongside other qualifications. Most professions and universities ask for Maths and English at grade C, so it‘s a good idea to retake these subjects if you attained grade D or below.

Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) and Higher National Certificates (HNCs)

HNDs and HNCs are vocational qualifications designed to develop practical and theoretical skills and knowledge in your chosen subject. They are highly valued by employers and can lead directly to employment in a specific area. Some HNCs can be used as entrance to the second year of a degree course and some HNDs allow direct entry to the third year.

Level 2 BTEC Diplomas (formerly First Diplomas)

Level 2 Diplomas are designed to provide specialist work-related knowledge in a range of subjects.

Level 3 BTEC Extended Diplomas (formerly National Diplomas)

Level 3 Diplomas are two year programmes that combine practical and academic aspects and are designed to cover specific areas of employment. Courses typically feature visits from guest speakers, live projects and field trips, which may be overseas. You can use these qualifications to get to university.

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)

NVQs relate to particular jobs and show the skills you’ve gained. They are usually taken while you are working or training, with most of your time spent in the working environment.

Skills-Based Qualifications

Skills for Life qualifications show you’ve got the skills to get on in work and life in general, such as reading, writing, working with numbers or using a computer.

Tsitsi Mary Mushonga  Rowland Cornell  Adult Student  Adult student


01483 44 85 00

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