On this page you'll find answers to general frequently asked questions as well as specific ones for A Level, Vocational, T Level and Apprenticeship programmes at York College.
Take a look at these below and if you have any further questions please get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
What different levels of study are available?
At York College we offer a range of courses including A Levels, Vocational courses, T Levels and Apprenticeships, with a variety of different levels:
- A Levels are Level 3 qualifications
- T Levels are Level 3 qualifications
- Vocational courses range from Entry Level to Level 3 (depending on the course)
- Apprenticeship programmes come in a range of different levels, with some continuing up to Level 4
The level each student starts on depends on their GCSE grades, as different levels of courses have different entry requirements. Some courses may require students to start at a lower level, particularly if it’s a subject that hasn’t been studied before.
How many subjects will a student take?
Students studying A Levels usually choose 3 A Level options to study.
Students studying a Vocational course, T Level or an Apprenticeship choose one course to study.
What is the difference between the different qualifications?
A Levels are studied over two years and are mainly assessed via exams at the end of those two years. These can be studied in practically any combination.
Vocational courses tend to be more practical and hands-on, and are assessed via practical observations/examinations, coursework, projects etc. and may include work experience. Some Level 3 vocational courses, such as Extended Diplomas, are worth the same amount of UCAS points as 3 A Levels.
T Levels are vocational qualifications, equivalent to 3 A Levels, that combine academic classroom study with a significant work placement of around 45 days.
Apprenticeships combine workplace learning in paid employment and learning in the College environment, and will be assessed in a variety of ways including practical observations, building a portfolio, online tests etc.
How long is a normal College day and how many lessons will I have per day?
The College day starts at 9.00am and finishes at 4.30pm, with lessons being 90 minutes long. You may also find that you do not have a lesson at some points during the day and so this would provide time for private study in the learning areas around College. For subjects such as Hospitality or Hair & Beauty, you may find that you are required to be in College beyond the end of the normal College working day if you are involved with events or services in our facilities open to the general public.
For apprenticeships, start and finish times can vary depending on your course.
How big are the class sizes?
Class sizes vary between 17-25, depending on the subject you are taking and also the capacity in the work areas for some subjects due to health and safety requirements.
How are students supported in their studies?
Each student will be assigned a Progress Coach. Progress Coaches will undertake group/1:1 tutorials and will provide pastoral support; monitor student progress, attendance/retention, and support work placement and enrichment. Their role is to provide students with support, advice and guidance so they can successfully progress on to their next step.
Apprentice students will be allocated an assessor who will be the link between College, yourself and your employer.
Are there additional activities available outside of the course?
In addition to any trips and activities organised as part of your study programme, we offer a programme of activities called “Xtra Curricular” which aims to meet the needs of students outside the classroom. There are a range of different activities students can take part in which will enhance their learning and development, and are great fun. This is a great way to meet people, have fun and learn new skills! If there’s something you’d like to do that isn’t offered, let the Xtra Curricular team know and they’ll see if it’s possible to form a new group.
How do I apply?
To apply please visit our Apply Now page and complete the online application form. We will let you know once we have received your application.
Your application will be reviewed and you may be invited to attend a Guidance Discussion to speak to a member of the Curriculum Team to discuss the course. You will then receive the outcome of this via email. Students are then invited to enrol in August.
When should I apply?
You can apply in Year 11 as soon as you feel happy with your choice of course/s, and we would advise that you do this as soon as you can and no later than the Easter holidays to have the best chance of securing a place on the course/s you have chosen.
Please remember that the courses you put on your application are just a starting point, and we are aware that you may want to make some changes over the coming months, so don’t worry if you are a little unsure of your exact plans when you make an application. Please note that we will still accept applications that we receive after the Easter holidays.
Can I change my mind about the courses I have chosen, once I have applied?
It's not too late to change your mind about your course choice once you have applied. You can either email our Admissions Team at email@example.com or you can advise us when you enrol at the end of August.
Depending on the change, you may need to speak to a tutor from the new area to establish if the course is suitable and confirm a conditional offer.
Will it cost me anything to study at York College?
If you are under 19 on the 31st August before your course starts you will not have to pay tuition fees for most courses. However, if you are 19 or over, you may be responsible for paying tuition fees for courses unless you meet certain criteria. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For apprenticeships, regardless of your age, these will be funded through the government and your employer.
Some courses may have uniform or kit requirements. You can find out more about these on the course description pages or ask our tutors at Open Events. All students will be informed about any requirements at enrolment.
How do I get to College?
We have 15 College coaches that travel from outside of York and there are a number of bus routes that drop off directly outside College. You’ll find more information about these and other transport options on our Travel and Transport page.
A Level FAQs
What are the entry requirements for A Levels?
Our general entry requirements for A Levels are a minimum of four GCSE subjects at grade 5 or above, plus English Language at grade 4 or above. Individual A Level subjects will have specific requirements in addition to these, so check subject course descriptions for further information.
How many A Level subjects can I take?
Most students will be asked to select 3 A Level subjects.
How many hours study time per week is there for A Levels?
You'll have three 90 minute taught sessions per week over 4 days, with one day a week as a study day where you are not required to be in College.
Can I take A Levels alongside a Vocational or T Level course?
Our Vocational and T Level courses are full-time, equivalent in study hours to three A Levels, and so it is not possible to combine them with A Levels.
What can I do after completing A Levels?
After completing A Levels you can progress on to higher education study, into employment or an apprenticeship.
What UCAS points do A Levels carry?
Below are the current tariffs per A Level. Not all courses will specify a UCAS points tariff as entry requirements and therefore you should check with individual institutions as to what they are requesting.
You can further advice on the UCAS website.
- A* = 56
- A = 48
- B = 40
- C = 32
- D = 24
- E = 16
How many Vocational courses can I take?
You can only study one Vocational course as they are full-time courses.
What are the entry requirements for Vocational courses?
The entry requirements are dependent upon the level of the Vocational course you wish to do. Our courses are set at Entry Level and Levels 1, 2 and 3. The below gives an overview of typical entry requirements for each level:
For some Entry Level courses there are no formal entry requirements.
- Level 1 requires 3 GCSE subjects at grade 2
- Level 2 requires 4 GCSE subjects at grade 3
- Level 3 courses require 5 GCSE subjects at grade 4 or above including English and/or Maths
The above is for guidance only and some courses differ to the above for their level. You should check specific entry requirements on each course description page, including any specific GCSE subjects that you would need to have.
What qualification do I get if I study a Vocational course?
The course title will include the name of the qualification you will achieve. This could be Certificate, Technical Certificate, Diploma, Extended Certificate, Foundation Diploma and Extended Diploma depending on the level of course.
Students can progress into employment, on to the next level of study, higher-level degree study from Level 3 courses (subject to course entry requirements), or on to apprenticeships.
Are Vocational courses full-time courses?
Yes they are full-time courses, although you may find your teaching time in College condensed to three or four days a week. For the remainder of the week, you will have assignments and home study or work placements.
Can I take an A Level subject alongside a Vocational course?
Our Vocational courses are full-time, equivalent in study hours to three A Levels, and so it is not possible to study an A Level alongside.
Can I go to university if I’ve studied a Vocational course?
If you complete a Level 3 Vocational course and achieve the grades necessary, you can progress to a degree or higher education course. Always check specific university entry requirements for the course you are interested in, as they may not be suitable or accepted qualifications for some degree courses. You can do this on the UCAS website.
T Level FAQs
What is a T Level?
T Levels are Level 3 qualifications that follow GCSEs and are equivalent to 3 A Levels. They are 2 year courses that offer a mixture of classroom learning and 'on-the-job' experience during an industry placement of 45 days.
Studying a T Level gives you the opportunity to experience an industry while you continue your studies, with the opportunity to specialise later.
T Levels have been designed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares you for work, further training or study.
What are the entry requirements for T Levels?
T Levels are Level 3 qualifications with exact entry requirements varying according to the course. Please refer to the individual curriculum T Level course pages for details.
Visit our T Level information page and type 'T Levels' into the search box to view all of our T Level offer.
How many T Level courses can I take?
You can only study one T Level as these are full-time courses.
Can I take an A Level alongside a T Level?
The T Level courses are full-time, equivalent in study hours to three A Levels, and so it is not possible to study an A Level alongside.
Do I have to find my own work placement?
We have a Work Placement team based at the College who will arrange this for you with participating employers, ensuring you can gain the knowledge you need.
The work placement is 45 days and is undertaken as a block or as individual days. When it will take place across the two years will differ depending on the T Level.
What can I do after I complete my T Level course?
These courses are designed to provide you with the skills needed to apply for employment in the relevant industry. Alternatively, you can progress to university to study further or you could apply to study an apprenticeship.
What UCAS points do T Levels carry?
UCAS tariff points were allocated to T Levels in 2019, with the top T Level grade equal to achieving 3 A* at A Level. Points have been allocated to the overall T Level grade, and students must achieve at least an overall pass grade to receive UCAS points.
How do I know what entry requirements I need for university?
We would encourage students to look at UCAS and at their preferred higher education provider’s website for more information on entry requirements. Admissions offices can be contacted directly should students require further information on entry requirements.
Is there a list available of higher education providers who have confirmed that T Levels will be considered for entry of at least one course at their institution?
There are likely to be differing entry requirements for different providers and courses. This list will be updated on a regular basis as more providers confirm that they will accept T Levels.
Can I take an A Level alongside my apprenticeship course?
It is not possible to study an A Level alongside an apprenticeship as your time in College is focussed on the Technical qualification of your programme and the remainder of the time is spent working for your employer.
Can I apply for an apprenticeship before I have found an employer to take me on?
Yes, you can, then as soon as you are able to find an employer you should notify the Admissions Team so that the procedures can be put in place for you to start your apprenticeship. Until you have found an employer, you will not be able to start your studies.
How can I find apprenticeship opportunities?
Apprenticeship vacancies are advertised on our website and you can also search for apprenticeship opportunities in your area on the Government Apprenticeships page. You can also contact companies working in the field you are interested in and enquire if they are taking on apprentices.
What if I can’t find an employer in order to study the apprenticeship course?
You can study a full-time qualification – often the full-time course in the same subject covers the technical elements included in the apprenticeship. You could then look to apply for an apprenticeship when one becomes available or you may decide to continue with the full-time route before entering employment.
How many days of the week will I be in College?
Your study at College may be organised for one day per week during the academic term, with you working for your employer the rest of the week. However, for some courses you may attend on block release, studying in College for one week every four or five weeks.