A Levels at Derby College

Choosing the right type of qualification for your future career can be a difficult decision, at Derby College we give you all the support and advice you need to choose the right study programme and turn your ambitions into reality.

Bridging work before you start

At Derby College we understand the disruption caused by Covid-19 and for many applicants it may be a long time between finishing classroom-based lessons at school and starting your courses at college in September. To support your transition our subject teams have prepared some directed independent learning tasks. These tasks will help to consolidate some of your learning from GCSE and will introduce topics you will study with us in September Prepare for your course with some tasks and activities set by our staff. Make sure you keep checking back as we add to the activities over time! The tasks are set on our Virtual Learning Environment below and you will need your InTouch details to access.


Are A-levels for you?

Here’s some useful information about A Levels to help you make up your mind:

  • A Levels are the more traditional route for those wanting to progress to university.
  • You can explore three subjects that you enjoy over two years.
  • Some students may study four subjects however many students find it more appropriate to add the Certificate in Mathematical Studies (Core Maths) or the Extended Project Qualification to their programme as these are both 1 year options.
  • A Levels are a great option if you can work on your own initiative, are well organised, enjoy classroom study and are good at exams.

a levels at derby college

When choosing your A-level subjects, you should think carefully about:

  • Subjects you have a genuine passion for: if you are interested in the subjects you choose then you are more likely to do well in them
  • Subjects you will need: for certain university degrees or careers you will be required to have one or more specific A-level subjects for entry.

A Levels your way…

We also offer a range of specialist certificates and diplomas for those students who might prefer a more vocational, work-related programme alongside some A-level choices. These A-Level equivalent qualifications enable you to take a practical approach to learning and give you the opportunity to focus on real-world scenarios. The way you are assessed will centre more on coursework and practical projects than on traditional exams.

Alongside your choices, you may also be able to study one of these additional subjects, worth extra UCAS points:

  • The Extended Project Qualification – is highly valued by universities and worth half the UCAS points of an A Level . This additional qualification enables you to plan, research and develop a project which is largely self-directed and self-motivated on a theme of your choice.
  • Certificate in Mathematical Studies (Core Maths) - an opportunity to develop your maths skills and it fits great alongside several A Levels including psychology, sociology, geography, economics, business and science’s etc.

Independent study

When you join Derby College, you will be on the pathway to becoming a more independent student. We fully expect you to complete at least five hours per week of independent learning outside of the classroom to help you attain your academic goals.

Independent learning will be directed by teachers on a weekly basis and students will receive coaching on how to effectively set themselves independent learning too. It may take many forms but could include reviewing class notes before and after lessons; engaging with e-learning resources; creating revision notes; completing additional exam-style questions; taking part in; and collaborating with a subject buddy to improve your understanding.

More than qualifications…

Our comprehensive enrichment opportunities will extend your education, employability skills and personal growth beyond your academic courses. Here are a few of the activities that will significantly increase your chances of standing out at a job or university interview.

  • Societies and clubs such as the student newspaper; debate club; environmental society run by Friend’s of the Earth; Oxbridge/aim high society, reading club, life drawing; film club.
  • Competitions such as science and maths Olympiads; Cambridge chemistry challenges; creative writing and poetry festivals; Young Enterprise; iDEA digital award; Student investor challenge and much more.
  • Guest speakers including local employers such as solicitors and a range of universities including Oxbridge.
  • Visits to places such as London, Paris, the Peak District and Tenerife; conferences in psychology, sociology and criminology; magistrate and crown courts; theatres, programming workshops, galleries; museums and much more.
  • A progression fayre held at the JWC; university visits including Oxbridge and individual support with UCAS, student finance and choosing the right university.
  • Additional responsibilities including student representatives, peer mentors and college ambassadors.


Derby College Course Listings - A Levels


FT Applied Law (Level 3 Extended Certificate): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Applied Psychology (Level 3 Extended Certificate) : Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Biology (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Business Studies (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Certificate in Mathematical Studies (Core Maths) - Level 3: Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Chemistry (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Computer Science (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Criminology (Level 3 Diploma): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Economics (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT English Language - A-level: Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT English Literature (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Film Studies (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Fine Art (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT French (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Geography (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Geology (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT History (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT IT – Application Developer (Level 3 Introductory Diploma): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Law (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Level 3 Certificate in Uniformed Protective Services: Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Mathematics (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Media Studies (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Music Performance - (Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma / A level Equivalent): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Philosophy (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Physics (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Politics (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Psychology (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Sociology (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Spanish (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Sport and Exercise Science (Level 3 Extended Certificate): Site Joseph Wright Centre

FT Textiles (A-level): Site Joseph Wright Centre

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Maths & English

Find out how Maths and English can benefit you.

Lauren Bamford

Rehmat Ramzan

Making the Grade

Lauren discovered a passion for Psychology when she studied it as an A level subject at Derby College. Now a Psychological Research Assistant for the Derbyshire NHS Foundation Trust at the Centre for Self-Harm and Suicide Prevention. Read about Lauren’s educational journey below.

“I chose Psychology as an A-Level at Derby College as I thought it would be a subject I would thoroughly enjoy and wanted to explore and analyse human behaviour,” said Lauren. “Prior to studying the subject at college, I had no background in Psychology apart from a personal interest in mental health.

“Throughout my time studying over two years, not only did I extremely enjoy the subject, it was an A Level I found I was able to excel in,” she said. “It also highlighted the areas of Psychology I was most interested in, which started to shape the career path I would follow.

“After college I studied BSc Psychology at university,” said Lauren. “Whilst I was studying I also volunteered in numerous roles in order to gain relevant experience in mental health and clinical settings, as I knew I would later like to become a Clinical Psychologist - a job role that is highly competitive.

“Following this, I went on to complete my Master’s in MSc Clinical Aspects of Psychology. At the same time I held two voluntary posts as an Assistant Psychologist for the NHS and as a Clinical Research Assistant for the university whilst also conducting a clinical study.

“I achieved a Distinction in my Master’s, something I am extremely proud of,” said Lauren. “My third year dissertation project was also published in a psychological journal. This is one of my greatest achievements to date as I always aspired one day to be able to publish a paper that can inform clinical practice and further research in psychology.

Derby College has provided me with the foundations I needed to succeed,” says Psychological Research Assistant for Centre for Self-Harm and Suicide Prevention

Learner Voice Survey

Here's what Derby College Learners have been saying in out latest surveys

  • Quality teaching 94% felt that teachers treated them with respect
  • Useful information 97% found all the information they needed in the prospectus
  • A smooth process 96% said they were given clear guidance at their interview about the courses on offer
  • On course to success 93% said they were being helped to make good progress
  • Valuable feedback 95% said they felt comfortable to ask questions in their tutorials
  • Prepared for the future 97% said the information, advice and guidance given at Derby College

Site Information

Joseph Wright City Centre Campus

Courses in this area are run at our Joseph Wright campus located in Derby City Centre.

About Joseph Wright Centre »

Useful Websites

The ‘job profile’ section contains information about hundreds of jobs and tells you which roles require specific A-level subjects and/or a degree for entry

Find out about a range of university courses and which subjects they require for entry

Discover what you could do after a degree and the kind of jobs your A-level choices would be suited to

Everything you need to know about becoming an apprentice – many higher level apprenticeships require A-levels for entry

Find information on courses, apprenticeships and other learning opportunities for 14-19 year olds in and around Derby and Derbyshire


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