We answer some of your most frequently asked questions below:
- My school's sixth form is smaller - does that mean it's better?
- How many subjects will I study?
- What if I don't get a grade C in Maths or English Language?
- What are my options if I study on a pre-advanced course?
- I have studied alternatives to GCSEs in some of my subjects at school - do these count?
- What is the College Timetable?
- What are the lunch facilities at the College?
- Is there any financial support available?
- Is it possible to visit the College before I start?
- How do I get to College?
- How do I find out more about the Heswall/Pensby/Irby or South Wirral College Bus?
- What is the dress code at the College?
- Are there any courses that don’t have exams?
- How many students go on to University?
- Is Wi-Fi available at the College?
- I was a prefect at school - do you offer any similar opportunities?
My school's sixth form is smaller - does that mean it's better?
Ofsted have criticised small school sixth forms in a recent report published in TES Magazine, for offering a narrow choice of subjects which often "guide young people on the wrong courses because of the limited range available" meaning that students attending smaller sixth forms are more likely to "achieve considerably poorer results than those in larger sixth forms." Read the full article here.
How many subjects will I study?
Level 3 Studies:
If you have achieved 5 GCSEs at A*-C (including Maths and/or English Language)* you will study 4 AS Levels (or equivalent) in your first year.*
In your second year you will study 3 subjects at A2 Level.
NB: we will consider students studying 5 AS Levels (or equivalent) for exceptional students.
*If you have been graded under the new numerical system at GCSE, please click here for further information.
Level 2 Studies:
If you achieve below 5 GCSEs at A*-C you will study towards a BTEC Level 2 Diploma and will be enrolled onto Level 2 programmes in Maths and/or English Language.
The minimum requirement to study an Advanced Level course includes a grade C at Maths or English Language. If you do not gain a grade C in either subject, you will study at Level 2 for one year, to increase your grade in these subjects.
If you gain a grade C in one of these subjects, along with 4 other grade Cs or above, you may study at Advanced Level, but will be expected to retake the other subject at GCSE for your first year of study, to increase your grade.
Please note that some Advanced Level courses require you to have a grade C at English GCSE.
Students who study on a pre-advanced course will complete one year of study. This can include taking or re-raking GCSE English and/or Maths. Students who gain a good grade in their Pre-Advanced course may progress to an Advanced Level course after their first year.
We will take into account all types of courses that you may have studied. You can discuss this with our staff at Open Evening or at your interview once you have applied.
What is the College Timetable?
What are the lunch facilities at the College?
Lunch lasts for 45 minutes. The student refectory, 8SQ provides hot and cold meal options as well as a wide range of snacks and drinks. It is open throughout the day from 8:30am-3pm.
Is there any financial support available?
We offer a financial bursary scheme which is a discretionary source of financial help. For further information please visit our Bursary Information page
Is it possible to visit the College before I start?
Of course! If you or your parents would like to visit the college please contact Hilary Mitchell, Admissions Officer, to organise a date and time and we would be happy to show you around or visit us at one of our Open Events. At our Open Events you can speak to our subject tutors and Admissions Team about potential Career Options and subject choices.
How do I get to College?
There are lots of different ways to get to the College and we are easily accessible from all areas of Wirral. For more information visit our Getting to College page.
How do I find out more about the Heswall/Pensby/Irby or South Wirral College Bus?
Visit our Getting to College page for all information on bus routes, timetables and ticket/pass price information
What is the dress code at the College?
At Birkenhead Sixth Form College, you don't need a uniform to succeed. You are able to wear your own clothing, but we ask that you dress appropriately for the college environment.
Are there any courses that don’t have exams?
BTECs are qualifications that are assessed through coursework. Information on our BTECs is available on our Courses page
How many students go on to University?
Over 400 students go onto University from the College each year- more than any other sixth form in Wirral!
Is Wi-Fi available at the College?
We provide FREE Wi-Fi throughout the college. This is just one of the excellent facilities and services our IT and Technical Services department provides!
I was a prefect at school- do you offer any similar opportunities?
There are opportunities to become a Student Ambassador or Head Boy or Head Girl. Student Ambassadors get involved in events and marketing activities at the College.