A-levels

Anonymous - Posted: 6th of August 2010

A-levels are often seen as a stepping stone to University although many employers look at A-levels as a stand-alone qualification and use it as an entry-level benchmark, choosing to offer A-Level trainee vacancies. We've teamed up with ICS Learn to bring you the ins and outs of the entire A-level system and give you the opportunity to study them through distance learning.

>> Have a look at out Traineeships page - UK programme to help young people get an apprenticeship or a job <<

The ICS offer distance learning on various A-level courses including English Literature, English Language, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Economics, History, Law, Accounting, Religious Studies, Sociology, Business Studies and Psychology.

A-Level qualifications
While A-levels are a qualification in their own right with many employers opting to offer A-Level trainee vacancies, they are often the prerequisite for university-level (undergraduate) study as well, though some universities also require applicants to take separate entrance examinations, and appear for interviews.

Structure of A-Levels
The most recent changes to A-levels began in 2000, when the government introduced Curriculum 2000 which split the A-level into two parts, the AS (Advanced Subsidiary) and A2 examinations.

Successful completion of AS modules exists as standalone qualifications, in which case only an AS-level qualification would be gained. This is given half the number of points of a full A-level on the UCAS tariff points system.

A2 examinations do not form a qualification in their own right. Therefore, satisfactory completion of the AS and A2 units in the same subject is required to constitute a complete A-level.


Grading of A-Levels
In the current system, A-levels are graded from A to E. Each grade requires a specific percentage of the points available in both the A- and AS-levels.

Examination boards
A-level examinations are administered through a series of examination boards. These were originally based on the major UK universities but have over the last 50 years merged large organisations. The A-Levels offered by ICS are examined by the AQA and Edexcel examination boards.

Case study
Mr Mat Dickie, ICS Graduate - 'A Level Religious Studies'
My current job meant that I couldn't commit myself to a specific place or time and the course with ICS overcame both these problems. The course with ICS has made me so comfortable with the subject that my next step is to teach it at secondary school level. It deepened my understanding of an important aspect of the human experience - changing both my life AND my career! I found the texts very well written and perfectly structured to help you progress smoothly.

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