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At FCHS we offer three types of Level 3 qualification: A Levels, BTEC Extended Certificates and CFS/DFS. Please see the document at the foot of the page for our recommended pathways.

Since September 2015, there have been significant changes to Level 3 qualifications, both in terms of the content of the courses and the way in which they are assessed. The changes are in the process of being phased in and impacted on some subjects in 2015, others in 2016 and the final subjects will change to the new specifications in 2017.

With respect to the new-style ‘A’ Level, the most important change is that it will become a linear qualification. The legacy structure, with AS and A2 results contributing to the overall grade, will no longer operate. Instead, assessment will take place at the end of the two year course. As a result, there will no opportunity to sit any part of the qualification prior to the end of the two year course. Moreover, coursework will be confined to a small number of subjects and its importance will decline in terms of overall assessment weighting.

As well as changes to assessment, there will also be changes to the content of A Levels. The total content and the degree of difficulty are both set to increase.

For the small number of subjects where the changes come into operation in September 2017, this year will operate much as before. The AS examinations sat at the end of Year 12 will account for 50% of the final mark with the A2 in Year 13 counting for the remainder of the marks available. The phased implementation of the new changes means that some students who commenced their Level 3 programmes in September 2016 will be studying a mix of ‘legacy’ (old) specification and ‘reformed’ (new) specification qualifications, depending on the subjects chosen. This means that only students will only sit public exams in summer 2017 in those subjects in which they are following legacy specifications; for their other subjects, they will be assessed through internal examinations and performance in these will determine suitability for further study in Year 13.

Level 3 BTEC qualifications and our CFS/DFS qualifications are not affected by these assessment changes.

Please see below for information on the dates of subject specification changes.