What are one-year A level courses?

One-year A level courses cover the entire A level syllabus in about 30 weeks of teaching, between September and June.

Expert teaching on one-year A level courses

Getting students successfully through one-year A-level courses demands expert teachers. To cover the necessary material and to develop examination skills in one year not only requires effective teaching, but must also provide help very rapidly if a student hits difficulties. CIFE colleges are experts in these specialised courses.

How do CIFE colleges get good results?

Through a combination of:

  • Small classes - where we can make sure no one gets left behind
  • Expertise - CIFE colleges have many years' experience in making one-year courses effective
  • Teaching time - most colleges provide more contact time per subject than schools do
  • Good relationships - CIFE college staff work well with individuals promoting an excellent working evironment.

How difficult are one-year A level courses?

There's no getting away from the fact that these courses are tough! They must move fast, right from the first day, and they require a lot of work. However, although it's true you need to study consistently hard, the key challenges actually lie in developing full skills and examination awareness in the limited time available. It's another reason to discuss your plans in detail with those who know you well and with CIFE staff, to check whether you have the skills and experience to cope. Our Guide to individual A level pages all contain information about taking the subject in one year.

Can I do a one-year course in a linear (new spec) A level?

The old modular A levels are being replaced by new 'linear' A levels - 2017 was the first year of new exams in key subjects. Our advice article on the new A level and GCSE exams describes the changes involved. Preparing students to take a linear A level is in some ways easier than the old modular exams, and covering all the necessary material and exam practice in three terms is no more difficult than it was with the old exams.

What background do I need?

Most students taking one-year A-level courses have already done at least a year of successful post-GCSE study, either in the UK or abroad. While some subjects (eg languages, Maths) do require a strong background, others don't and you can successfully take them without previous experience. For all one-year A level courses a sensible and consistent approach to study is as important as prior knowledge.

Who are one-year A level courses suitable for?

One-year A level courses are a good option for the student who needs a new subject or two for the second sixth-form year, or who faces a year doing A level resits. They are also very suitable for strong overseas students who have good English language skills.

What about one-year A level resit courses?

One-year resits fit very well into the programme described above. If you need to spend a year on resits (see our page on A-level retakes for more about resit time scales) you probably need to refresh first year material as well as learning the final-year topics. The possibility of a new subject also gives the option of dropping an A level which just didn't work out.

Do contact us for advice.

Links to course pages

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