A Level Subjects

  • Arabic *

  • Biology

  • Chemistry

  • Chinese *

  • Classical Civilisation

  • Computer Science

  • Drama & Theatre Studies

  • Economics

  • English Literature

  • Film Studies

  • Fine Art

  • French

  • Further Mathematics

  • Graphic Communication

  • History

  • History of Art

  • Italian *

  • Japanese*

  • Mathematics

  • Music

  • Persian *

  • Philosophy

  • Physics

  • Politics

  • Portuguese*

  • Psychology

  • Russian *

  • Spanish

  • Textile Design

  • Turkish*

* Please consult with Admissions

University Entrance

Helping each student to make a confident application to university is one of the strengths of our UCAS Tutor system. Each student is designated a UCAS Tutor to oversee and provide feedback on all elements of the UCAS application process. This not only means completing the student reference and assisting with personal statements, but also giving suggestions on appropriate work experience, academic short courses and identifying the perfect destination and course for each student’s personal needs and ambitions.

With the number of applications to UK universities increasing each year, applicants to undergraduate study must be able to differentiate their applications from others.

More than 50% of our students go on to study at top UK universities, including Cambridge, Imperial College, LSE and UCL.

Other A level Options: 1 Year, Retakes and 18 Month Courses

Ashbourne’s intensive A level courses include one-year A level courses, retake courses, 18-month A level courses beginning in January each year, transfers from AS to A2 years from other schools and Easter Revision courses.

On these courses, our students consistently achieve excellent exam results on these courses with nearly 60% of the exams resulting in A and A*, rising to 80% on occasion. Students’ improvement in academic performance, or value added, has helped place Ashbourne in the top 5% of schools and colleges offering A levels in the UK. More than 50% of our graduates go on to Russell Group universities.

Ashbourne has specialised in these courses from its beginnings more than 40 years ago and has been successful for many reasons. Individual attention is an important motivator; at Ashbourne it begins with small class sizes of 10 or fewer. This makes it easier for students to engage effectively, and, importantly, for teachers to provide more feedback with assigned work. Students receive significantly more teaching hours than is typical so they can complete the syllabus in a relaxed and confident manner with plenty of time for revision at the end of the course. They also sit mock exams, based on previous exam papers, each half term followed by constructive feedback. Ashbourne places great emphasis on teaching exam technique which we consider critical to achieving the best A level results.

We believe that building students’ confidence is essential to their success and our Personal Tutors play an important role in mentoring, motivating and monitoring. This includes as much one to one time as necessary to produce the most compelling and effective application to university (UCAS).

Ashbourne embraces a friendly, informal and adult approach to education, much like a university, often presenting a refreshing change from more traditional schools. We believe this encourages independent thinking, learning and discipline. More than half of our students go on to Russell Group universities, which reflects the outstanding opportunities we offer to students who will benefit from the individual support, choice and flexibility we provide to help them reach the highest grades and achieve their personal and academic goals. All students benefit from being in the company of others with similar abilities and aspirations.

GCSE Courses

Ashbourne welcomes students from many diverse educational backgrounds and assesses each student’s needs and aspirations so we can offer them the best options for study at GCSE and then on to A level. The transition from GCSE to A level requires a step up in maturity and independence so we aim to establish the strongest possible foundations for future study. Students who successfully complete the Ashbourne GCSE programme are guaranteed a place to study A levels.

Supervision is much closer than at A level but students still enjoy the informal relationship between teachers and students which attracts many of our students to us. Study is structured with a strong exam focus so students are thoroughly prepared for the move to A level. Students are guided to develop life skills, sound career and A level choices and to become independent and self-reliant learners through our PSHEE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) course that runs alongside GCSEs.

GCSE at Year 11

Most students follow the one-year GCSE course (Year 11) that is part of a three- year programme leading to A level qualifications (Year 12 and 13). Students typically complete nine GCSEs, comprising all core subjects and their chosen optional subjects, in one year.

GCSE at Year 10

Students who are academically capable may follow the two-year course (Year 10), which allows them to complete all core GCSE subjects in the first year before taking up their optional GCSE subjects and one or two A level subjects in the second year; effectively beginning A level study one year early.

GCSE core (compulsory) subjects: Mathematics, Double Science, English Language, English Literature, PSHEE and Sports.

Optional subjects*: French, Spanish, Drama, Computing, History, Music, Economics, Art & Design.

* Please contact Admissions as subject availability may vary.

Admission Process

Ashbourne aims for all A level students to achieve the highest grades possible. To ensure that Ashbourne is the right choice, we interview and assess each student The best option is for students to come to the college in person for an interview and to take a tour of the premises.

To prepare for the interview we ask that students spend some time beforehand writing a personal statement of not more than 500 words. Much like UCAS, this should deal with subject choices, ambitions, achievements and interests. The interview will also provide an opportunity to discuss any special provisions or medical considerations that we should take into account. It will last for twenty to thirty minutes and will be followed by a tour of the college. We may ask for additional assessments depending on the subjects applied for. For example, art students will need to submit artwork, music students a theory test and an audition, science students a maths test. All students will be asked to sit a critical thinking essay-based examination.

Candidates need to submit a copy of the most recent school reports, their personal statement, their passport and a copy of any other relevant supporting documents.

Fees (2024/2025)

A Level / GCSE Courses

Home students per term £11,500
International students per term £12,500

Additional Fees

Registration fee £300
A level exams fees per subject £250
GCSE exams fees per subject £125
Refundable book deposit £250
Individual tuition per hour £100
Practical fees per subject, per term
(for A level students of Fine Art, Graphics, Music, Textiles, Drama and Sciences)


Ashbourne achieved an outstanding OFSTED report at its most recent inspection (December 2022). Outstanding in all categories: overall effectiveness, quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management and sixth-form provision.

Ashbourne was also one of the first private colleges to achieve Sponsor status from the government body UKVI (United Kingdom Visa Immigration).

Life at

Contact us

Get in Touch