Principal Dr Matt Lamb speaks to students

Here at Central Saint Michael’s Sixth Form we offer a wide range of Level 3 programmes combining A Levels and BTECs, as well as several Level 2 courses if you need to improve on your GCSE grades. Picking the right route for you post-GCSEs is important, so it’s good for you to understand the different types of qualification on offer to work out which route works best for you.

If you’re unclear about which route to opt for, here are some things to consider when choosing your options after school:

– What do your current studies at school tell you? Do you love Maths and working with numbers and theories, or are you creative? Do you enjoy more hands-on learning? Thinking about what you are good at can help you choose the best route.

– Select subjects you enjoy – studying a subject you are genuinely interested in will greatly improve your chances of succeeding at college.

– What are your plans for the future? Whether you intend to go to university, on to an apprenticeship or straight into employment, different routes may require you to study specific courses at college – so make sure you do your research.

– Seek advice – ask our Careers Team questions weekly via our web chat facility or discuss your choices with a member of staff at interview.

– Visit the Sixth Form – attend Open Days, Taster Sessions and Intro Days to meet your subject teachers and current students.

What’s the difference?

All of our Level 3 programmes are equal to A Levels and are accepted by universities if that’s your goal. What’s important is matching your ambitions and strengths to the options available to ensure you get the best results for you.

A Levels

A Level courses are predominantly assessed by examinations, although some subjects may have a coursework component as well. All A Level courses are linear, meaning examinations are taken at the end of two years. These are Level 3 courses, ideally suited for progression into University or Higher Level Apprenticeships.

To study an A Level course you will need a minimum of five GCSEs (with two at grade 6, and three at grade 4). Due to the advanced level most subjects will have additional individual entry requirements.


Because BTEC courses are vocational in nature they are more practical routes of academic study. Each course will have a larger coursework element to the assessment method. All our BTEC courses are studied at Level 3, meaning they are ideally suited to progression to University or Higher Level Apprenticeships. BTEC courses come in different sizes and are the equivalent to either one, two or three A Levels.

To study a BTEC Level 3 course you will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4. BTECs can also be studied alongside A Level courses if you meet the entry requirements, making them an extremely flexible option that can be tailored to your demands.

Check out our full subject list here