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Nottingham Secondary Academy

Choosing the Right Course

At Nottingham Academy all post 16 provision is 'Level 3' this means qualifications at an advanced level; it is the step up after GCSE. There are different qualifications at this level, they include:

  • GCE A Level
  • BTEC National Extended Certificate
  • OCR Cambridge Diploma

You will need to meet the entry requirements for each course. This is because the courses are challenging and we must be sure that you have the ability and skills to be successful.

In order to study in the Sixth Form you must have at least 5 GCSEs at C or above (or level 4), including English, in addition, some subjects will have specific requirements- see the course guide. Any students starting these courses without a level 4 in mathematics will have to retake this in Year 1.

We expect you to take three subjects and each course takes two years to reach the full qualification.


These courses are traditional courses that deal with more theoretical ideas. You will need to process information and usually need to present ideas in written form, often as short or extended essays. These courses will be externally assessed in Year 2. If you want to go into a traditional career such as medicine or law, you will need academic subjects.


These courses are work-related qualifications. They are designed to allow you to learn in a way that suits you, and give you the skills that employers are looking for. There will be more practical activities and you will produce a portfolio of coursework. These courses will have a combination of both internally and externally assessed units. Vocational qualifications can lead on to training, employment as well as university.