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What are A Levels and what are the benefits of studying them?

July 25, 2023
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We know it’s tough deciding what you want to do when you leave school, so that’s why we are here to help. 

If you haven’t decided what you want to do now you have completed your GCSES, don’t worry! In this blog, we will explain the A Level pathway, which is a popular route that many students choose to take after finishing school. A Levels are a great choice if you aren’t sure what you want to do in the future, as they open doors to a wide range of careers.

What are A Levels?

A Levels are academic subject-based qualifications which are commonly studied across 2 years and Universities and employers love them!

Most students take 3 A Level subjects across their time in Sixth Form and progress to University or employment once completing them.

Very much like GCSE’s, A Levels are subjects that are taught in the classroom and are assessed through exams. So, if you are academic, have ambitions to progress to University and perform well in exams, this could be a perfect option for you.

Studying A Levels at Middlesbrough College Sixth Form (MC6)

Here at Middlesbrough College, we have our very own Sixth Form Centre (MC6) where students can study a diverse selection of A Levels. Students also have the option to study a ‘Mix it up’ programme which involves combining A levels with A Level equivalent courses, such as applied BTEC vocational qualifications. This combined programme will allow you to keep your options open by gaining additional qualifications and broadening your future career opportunities!  

MC6 is a modern, vibrant environment which promotes independent learning and study. Unlike school sixth forms, we offer an independent learning environment which prepares you for University life or employment.

For more information on the A levels and equivalents at MC6 and the Sixth Form experience we offer for students, follow this link: A Levels | School Leavers | Middlesbrough College (

What can I do next?The most common route after A levels is to attend University, and each University course has specific requirements to meet in order to get onto them. So, if you already have an idea 

of what you would like to do, then it’s worth researching what subject and grade requirements are needed for that course.

Don’t panic if you don’t know what you want to do after College! There will be plenty of support from the staff at MC6 and your tutors will support you to take the next step.

If University is not something you are interested in there are still other progression opportunities such as apprenticeships or employment. A Levels are highly regarded by employers and will broaden your future career prospects.

Popular University degree routes and graduate employment prospects include:

  • Science and Mathematics 
  • Business, Finance and Law 
  • Medicine and Health  
  • Social Sciences  
  • Arts, Media and Publishing
  • Animal Care
  • History, Philosophy and Theology
  • Languages, Literature and Culture
  • Education
  • Engineering

I don’t know what I want to do in the future so which subjects should I take?

If you don’t know what you want to do in the future, we would suggest taking subjects that you are interested in and have done well at GCSE level would be a good place to start.

Below is a list of popular A Level combinations, and combinations we would recommend:

Science combinations: Computer Science, Engineering, Maths, Further Maths, Physics

Earth Science combinations: Biology, Chemistry, Environmental science, Geography, Geology 

Humanities combinations: English Language, English Literature, Film Studies, History, Media Studies, Performing Arts, Philosophy & Ethics

Social Sciences / Business combinations: Business, Applied Business, Applied IT, Law, Applied Law, Politics, Sociology 

Subjects that mix well across the different combinations: Art & Design, Criminology, Applied Human Biology, Health & Social Care, Photography, Psychology, Applied Psychology, SportIt’s not too late to apply to study A Levels at MC6 for September 2023 but be quick as places are filling up fast! Apply online today: