A Levels and Pre-A Levels

Exciting new A Level pathway coming to Guildford!

 Our colleges provide an environment where everyone can reach their potential. A comprehensive and challenging curriculum fosters motivation and encourages success, with an interactive and creative approach to learning. 

We will be opening a new A Level Centre at Guildford College from September 2025. This will be alongside launching our exciting new 3-stage A Level pathway. Learners will be able to progress to A Levels straight from their GCSEs or boost their grades with our STEP, STRIVE, STRETCH Programme with the ultimate aim of achieving their goals. 

In preparation, from September 2024, the STEP and STRIVE offer will be available to enable progression to the A Level option, STRETCH, coming in September 2025. 


We understand that there are many reasons why some students don’t achieve the GCSE grades that they hoped for. Our mission is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to achieve the results that they are capable of and successfully progress to their chosen pathway. 

Students will be able to choose from a broad range of  A Level subjects, and GCSE programmes that  are designed to support the development of academic and personal skills to allow learners to step-up to the next level of study. 

All of our pathways are underpinned by regular and varied employer engagement opportunities and experiences, achieved through partnership arrangements with local universities and employers. 

STEP (GCSE)– especially for students wishing to retake GCSEs, with grades of mostly 3s. You can choose from two pathways to suit your interests and aspirations and progress to employment, an apprenticeship, or a range of courses, including A Levels.

  • Our STEM pathway consists of English, Maths, Combined Science, and Statistics.
  • Our Communications pathway consists of English, English Literature, Maths, Citizenship, and Business.

Full-time, one-year programme.  

STRIVE (GCSE Plus) –a new entry point for students with 5 GCSE grade 4s including English and maths. An opportunity to boost grades before A Levels or other level 3 courses.  It will comprise of mostly GCSEs at higher tier level, with the additional opportunity to experience Level 3 study with an AS Level. This course will equip learners with the academic skills and attributes required for success on a full A Level pathway, T Levels, or other higher-level study. 

  • Our STEM pathway consists of English, Maths, Combined Science, and Psychology.

Full-time, one-year programme 

STRETCH (A Level)– our A Level Programme for students with a minimum of 5 GCSE grade 5s, plus individual subject criteria. A broad range of options are available at our campuses. 

Full-time, two-year programme (coming September 2025). 

Learners will be able to select three subjects from the following: Biology, Business, Chemistry, English Language and Literature, Health and Social Care (L3 Cambridge Advanced National AAQ), History, Maths, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Sociology. We will also offer the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) as an additional option.

The subject list is provisional and subject to change. Some combinations may not be viable due to timetabling constraints. 

A Levels are versatile, internationally-recognised qualifications that are highly valued by employers and can help you gain entry to any university in the country. All A Levels, no matter the subject, will help you improve your communication skills and prove that you are capable of high-level academic work. So, if you haven’t decided yet on a career or further study, A Levels can help you keep your options open. During your time with us, we’ll also help you to pursue additional activities, both to broaden your skills and prepare yourself for life after college. Some students take up internships during the summer. 

Why Activate Learning?

  • Last year our students went on to study at 11 of the 24 Russell Group universities, including the University of Oxford and King's College London.
  • We have close links with leading universities, including Southampton Solent, Reading, Oxford Brookes, Warwick, Newcastle, and King’s College, London.
  • Activate Learning’s A Level programme is designed to maintain high academic standards while providing a purposeful learning environment, with an interactive and creative approach to learning.
  • We believe in developing the whole person. Students will be encouraged to expand their skills with additional activities, such as joining the Learner Voice network, taking on summer internships and participating in student trips. We will help with UCAS applications, ensuring they are as strong as possible, impressing university admissions teams with evidence of an academically-able, well-rounded, independent individual.
  • Our A Level Centres are inclusive communities which promote and celebrate diversity, where differences are respected and individuals valued. Students work collaboratively in state-of-the-art facilities and designated areas, allowing them to create positive and respectful relationships with each other that help them to thrive. The Student Leadership Team works with faculty teams to drive initiatives, provide student mentoring, and act as ambassadors.
  • Students enhance their analytical thinking skills by participating in seminar-style learning, similar to that of universities. Through small group discussions, students can solve questions and develop problem-solving abilities. This approach improves their study skills and provides a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Industry partnerships

A Level students at Activate Learning benefit from our links with leading universities, such as the University of Reading, Oxford Brookes University, the University of Winchester and Southampton Solent University

In autumn each year, second year A Level students take part in UCAS Takeover Week, attending workshops run by universities on subjects such as personal statements and student finance. Each college also has a higher education fair, with over 40 university exhibitors on campus.

In addition to university links, employers such as Penningtons Manches, a leading law firm, provide legal masterclasses for A Level students.

Key programme features

  • Valued by employers and universities
  • Studying A Levels can be a good way of keeping your options open
  • Study in a dedicated sixth form centre
  • Most courses include examinations and coursework
  • Supportive environment with close links to universities and employers
  • Study three A Levels over two years
Search our A Level programmes at Farnham College

Industry partnerships

Amina, A Levels College has taught me a lot, not just from the academic side, but a lot of personal growth as well. It’s taught me how to deal with different situations and how to be more aware of my surroundings.
Read my story