Most people think of studying three subjects in the Sixth Form, but it’s a bit more complicated than that!

We use the word ‘outcome’ to describe what you will get at the end of the different courses on offer. These are the courses and outcomes we offer at South Craven School:

A Levels

A Levels are more academic qualifications and suited to people who want to study a range of subjects. They suit students who:

  • Work well under pressure
  • Can meet deadlines
  • Perform well in exams
  • Enjoy independent research

An A Level counts as one outcome. An AS Level counts as half an outcome. A Levels can lead to university or higher apprenticeships. Minimum entry requirements are illustrated further down this page.

BTEC Qualifications

BTECs are the other most widely recognised qualification that offer a practical, work-based approach to study. They are delivered in units which are individually graded and contribute to the final qualification grade. This means you can gain recognition in the areas where you excel. Provided that performance is strong enough across the qualification as a whole, one disappointing unit does not necessarily mean a disappointing qualification. You must, however, pass all units.

We offer three sizes of qualification which differ in the number of outcomes they count as:



BTEC Extended Certificate


BTEC Diploma


BTEC Extended Diploma


What outcomes are right for me?

Under our core curriculum you can choose A Levels, BTECs or a mixture of the two. You should think about where you are gaining success at the moment. If your BTEC grades are better than your GCSE grades this is a strong indication that you should choose a largely BTEC programme. This can be supplemented with an EPQ.

If you want an extra challenge, then you can opt for our curriculum plus. This would mean studying three outcomes plus either a fourth A Level or Core Maths (AS) or EPQ (Extended Project Qualification). Further Maths is also available for top mathematicians in the Upper Sixth. An Extended Project allows you to do a piece of research or performance on a subject of your choice. Many university courses accept the EPQ as equivalent to an AS, and those that do not, generally look favourably on students who have done research in the area that they have chosen to study.

How do I make my choice?

In deciding which subjects to choose, take into account the following:

  • Subjects you enjoy
  • How you learn
  • Which combinations will help you
  • If you meet entry requirements
  • Your next step after Sixth Form (research your next step by investigating universities and employers to see what they require)