Studying A Levels at Nelson and Colne College

Find out what A Levels are, and what support you will receive by studying at Nelson and Colne College. The majority of students studying an A Level programme will focus on three subjects over two years, which reflect the University, degree and career they want to progress on to.

Government data has placed NCC as the top College in Lancashire for A Levels, based on progress scores, and in our latest set of results we celebrated a 99% pass rate, with more than half of exam entries achieving coveted A* to B grades.

Why study A Levels?

Choosing the right type of qualification for your future career can be a difficult decision.

Here is some useful information about A Levels to help you make up your mind.

A Levels are the more traditional academic route for those wanting to progress to university.

You can explore three subjects that you enjoy over the course of two years. Some students may study four subjects where appropriate.

NCC has over 25 subjects to choose from, covering Business, Creative Arts and Media, Humanities, Sciences and Mathematics.

You will also do an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) to allow you to research a new topic of your choice and develop crucial independent study skills to help prepare you for university.

You will be in a tutor group relating to your subjects and future career aim.

A Levels are a great option if you have an inquisitive academic mind, enjoy studying and are good at exams.

Your Tailored Study Package.

As an A Level student at Nelson and Colne College, we offer personalised support to help you achieve your goals. As such, your study programme is tailored around your career aim and will consist of the following…

Core Subjects (3 A Levels)

Some students may study 4 subjects where appropriate.

A Level Entry Requirements

Minimum of two 5s and three 4s at GCSE including a grade 4 or above in Maths and English Language.

Students will also be required to have specific grades at GCSE for certain subjects, as specified on our subject pages.

Your Subject Choices

When choosing which subjects to study at A Level you should have in mind a career goal. Some universities require specific grades and A Level subjects for entry onto particular degree pathways, so it’s important to do your research.

Pick up a copy of our A Level Guide which has more information on which subjects work well together for specific career pathways. The majority of students studying an A Level programme will focus on three subjects over two years. We do, however, accept applications for students to study four subjects, but only where you can demonstrate a track record of academic high achievement or are considering Further Mathematics.

When you enrol, we will allocate you to a tutorial pathway best suited to your chosen career aim and the subjects you are taking, for example, Biochemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science, Social Science, Humanities, Business and Finance, or Arts and Media.

Your tutor will be a subject specialist in your chosen area. They will work alongside you on a one-to-one basis, as well as through group delivery, to ensure you have the personal, social and employability skills needed for your future career plans.

Developing Skills

Academic, Personal and Professional Skills (APPS)

In addition to your three A Level subjects, ‘APPS’ forms a vital part of the A Level study programme and is designed to provide and develop skills to support your career aim. You will develop teamwork and communication skills, problem solving, as well as debating and enterprise skills. All activities will be linked to your subject choices and the career-focused tutor group which you belong to.

Academic Skills

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) Alongside your academic studies, you will complete a research project called an EPQ. This will be an independently created essay on a subject of your choice. The EPQ can be a dissertation, a field study, a product, or planning of an activity. The project is designed to equip you with that ‘little bit more’ required by universities and allows you to explore new subjects and areas of interest outside of your main subject choices.

The EPQ also carries UCAS points, strengthens applications and is valued by universities and employers alike. Where appropriate for specific career choices and degree applications, some students may take on alternative projects to the EPQ, such as;

Creative and Digital:

An enterprise qualification to build business skills for self-employment and learn how to promote yourself as a practising artist or designer.


Students may participate in a Sport Academy.

Business, Science and Humanities:

Core Maths qualifications and more!

Personal Skills

To help you secure the best place at university and develop the skills that employers and universities are looking for, as well as support your own health and wellbeing, we encourage you to take part in a wide range of extracurricular activities. This skills development is designed to help you stand out from the crowd, build confidence and independence, as well as gain new hobbies and interests. Your skills development should be career-focused and linked to your future goals. For example, you may wish to improve your leadership skills, volunteer for a good cause, or develop skills for public speaking. Opportunities may include;

Becoming a Student Ambassador:
Supporting events, representing your college in local schools and talking to new students

Becoming a Reading Mentor: Supporting pupils in local primary schools to develop their reading  skills

Self-awareness Sessions: Including relaxation, building resilience, stress management and Money Matters

Career Skills: Including First Aid, A&E Cadets and employability skills

Life Skills: Including cookery and Modern Foreign Languages

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award: Team building, leadership and orienteering skills

Volunteering: Including charity fundraising, the Talk English teaching project and Pick Up For Pendle – a community support project

Creative Skills: Including the Choir, Gaming and Music lessons

The Student Hub: Representing your student community and campaigning on topics affecting students