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General FAQs

We know you may have lots of questions about what it's like to study at York College, the course types on offer, and what you need to do and when.

Take a look at some of the frequently asked questions below. If you have any further questions please get in touch with us by emailing info4schools@yorkcollege.ac.uk

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.

What other activities can I do at College?

In addition to the trips and activities organised as part of your study programme, we have a wide range of clubs and groups you can take part in from our Xtra Curricular timetable. 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 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 45 minutes long. Sometimes lessons may be 90 minutes if you are doing a practical activity. 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.

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 many subjects will a student take?

Students studying A Levels usually choose 4 A Level options to study in their first year, and most will continue with 3 of these subjects into their second year to compete the full A Level programme. As students at York College still sit AS Level exams at the end of their first year, whichever subject they choose not to continue with will still equate to a qualification carrying UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) points.

Students studying a Vocational/Technical course or an Apprenticeship choose one course to study, and Level 3 Vocational courses such as Extended Diplomas are worth the same amount of UCAS points as 3 A Levels.

Are there additional activities available outside of the course?

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! Past options have included Photography Club, Choir, Fitness Suite sessions and many more. There are also a range of trips students can get involved in, which have included a Film Studies trip to Hollywood!

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.

T Levels are vocational qualifications, equivalent to A Levels, that combine academic classroom study with a significant work placement of around 3 months.

Vocational courses tend to be more practical and hands-on, and are assessed via practical observations/examinations, coursework, projects etc. Some courses include work experience.

Apprenticeships combine workplace learning in paid employment and learning in the College environment, and can be assessed in a variety of ways including practical observations, building a portfolio, online tests etc.

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.

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.

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 admissions@yorkcollege.ac.uk 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.

What different levels of study are available?

At York College we offer a range of courses including A Levels, Vocational/Technical courses and Apprenticeships, with a variety of different levels:

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 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 your son/daughter/ward with support, advice and guidance so they can successfully progress onto their next step.

We also have several other support teams in place including our Learning Support Team and Careers Team.

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 info@yorkcollege.ac.uk

When should students apply?

We recommend students apply by Easter time ideally, and the easiest way to do that is by visiting our Apply Now page.

Our Admissions Team and Curriculum Team will review the application and the decision to offer a place will be confirmed via email. Students are then invited to enrol in August.

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 take four subjects in the first year (AS year) and continue with three of those in the second year to complete three full A Levels. As students sit AS exams at the end of the first year, you will achieve an AS qualification (carrying UCAS points) for whichever subject you decide not to continue with.

Can I take A Levels 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 combine them with A Levels.

Vocational FAQs

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 or 4 GCSE subjects at grade 2
  • Level 2 requires 3 or 4 GCSE subjects at grade 3
  • Level 3 courses require 4 or 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above including English and/or Maths

You can see 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.

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

How many T Level courses can I take?

You can only study one T Level as these are full-time courses.

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.

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.

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.

Apprenticeship FAQs

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.

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 framework. 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.

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