Leaving School?

We offer a wide range of high-quality academic and vocational study programmes in a caring and supportive environment.

Whether you’re aiming for university, want to train while working or are looking to turn a passion into a career, we’re sure to have the right course for you.

At Petroc, we’re all about giving you the time, space and resources to achieve. We’re here to help you be the best you can be, at whatever you choose to do.

Whatever you’re looking for after school, the adventure starts here!

Click on the A-level or Vocational buttons below to find out more.


If you are on track to achieve at least five GCSEs at grade 4 or above including English and Maths, you can consider studying an A-level programme at Petroc. We can offer you a choice of nearly 40 different A-levels and Vocational A-levels (BTEC certificates), so there is bound to be a combination of subjects which suits you. Our pass rate is currently above 99% and puts us well above the national average. Over half of our A-levels are achieved at grade A*, A or B.

Most of our students study four subjects in their first year and then choose three to carry on to the second year. Some students do more, particularly students who join our Academic Academy. When you plan your programme think carefully about the subjects you enjoy most, your academic strengths and the subjects which will be most help to you when you are applying for university courses or jobs. You will be interviewed by an A-level expert who will be able to guide you in your subject choices and combinations

Assessment varies from subject to subject. Some are exam only; some are a combination of exam and coursework.

Our courses are taught by specialist A-level staff who will help you to gain the best results you possibly can. Your personal tutor is a really important part of your life at Petroc. They will have regular meetings with you to ensure that you have settled in well and are making good progress in all your subjects. You will also have group tutorials where you study topics such as study skills, time management and planning your future.

Yes, they have! From 2015 A-levels moved to a linear structure which means that only the exams taken at the end of the second year will count towards the full A-level. You will continue to choose four subjects in your first year and will decide at the end of year 1 which subjects you want to study in year 2. For a more detailed explanation of A-level changes click here.

You will be taught a minimum of four-and-a-half hours a week for each of your subjects. You will also have tutorial time and some time when you can get involved in Sport and enrichment activities. Most students will also have about six hours a week of study periods – good preparation for studying at university!

Most of our students progress to university after A-levels. Your tutor will be expert in the UCAS process and will help you with planning your university choices, completing your application and writing your personal statement. Our students have gone on to study everything for Anthropology to Zoology all over the UK and we have a great track record in helping our students get into top universities and competitive courses. Make sure you ask about our Medics academy and Vetmed academy if you are hoping to become a doctor or a vet.

Begin your course search...

You can search for your course online or find it in our interactive prospectus

Applying for a course is just like shopping online. Search for the A-level you are looking for, hit the green 'Apply Now' button and the course will be added to your basket. Don't be worried about using the back button or leaving the site. Once you've added a course to your basket it will stay there until you decide to complete your application. When you're basket is full you will be asked to proceed to the course checkout where you will fill out our online application form.


Diplomas, BTECs and National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are designed to help you learn in a practical way about a specific job area.

They can help you get the skills you need to start a job, progress in a career or go on to higher levels of education. Teaching is through project work and taught by tutors with industry experience.

Vocational courses are work-related qualifications and are the equivalent to GSCE (Levels 1-2), A-levels (Level 3) and university degrees (Level 4-7).

Unlike traditional modes of study, Vocational courses provide a fine-tuned mix of theoretical and practical work to serve as a suitable choice for a wide range of students. They serve a practical and real-world approach to learning, ensuring students have the experience of the working world without having sacrificing any of the essential theory.

The skills developed give learners a wide variety of options available upon completion of their course, ranging from the working world, university-level courses or even an advanced vocational course.

Vocational course is a fantastic choice for a number of reasons. Not only are they held in high regard by schools, colleges, universities and employers the world over, they've also been developed collaboratively by key industry representatives and the sector skills council; this means that the content is up-to-date alongside key developments in the industry.

Finally, the structure means it's fantastic for those who feel pressurised by exams through the traditional mode of study. A number of units are based on real-life work experiences, providing an alternative opportunity to show your skills and knowledge.

Vocational qualifications are available in seven levels ranging from Introductory Diplomas and Certificates to Advanced Diplomas, Certificates and Awards.

Within each level, the qualifications are available in a range of sizes, taking different amounts of time to complete.

Level 1 - Introductory Diplomas and Certificates.

The Level 1 courses help to provide the basic knowledge and skills needed to do a certain job.

Level 2 - First Diplomas and Certificates

Slightly more advanced, the Level 2 offers a higher level of knowledge and understanding of a subject, as well as the ability to perform a variety of tasks with guidance or supervision. This experience can be vital when applying for jobs.

Level 3 - Diplomas, Certificates and Awards, and Nationals

This level allows the learner to gain or apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding, at a detailed level. It could be appropriate if you plan to go to university, work independently, or (in some cases) supervise and train others in their field of work.

Level 4 - Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

Requiring specialist knowledge, Level 4 courses typically involve detailed analysis and expert knowledge in an area of work or study. This level of course is appropriate for those working in technical or professional jobs, management or even training others.

Level 5 - Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

Involving an even higher level of expertise and providing the learner with a competence in managing and training others, this level aims to further develop a knowledge and understanding in a particular field. It also gives appropriate experience so the learner can respond appropriately to complex problems and situations, making it a perfect level for those looking to become a higher grade technician, manager or other role in a professional capacity.

Level 6 - Advanced Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

Level 6 Vocational Courses ensure the learner can develop a high-level knowledge in an area of work or study, enabling them to use their own ideas and research in response to troublesome situations. We recommend this level for those in professional management positions or those working alongside knowledge-based professionals.

Level 7 - Advanced Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

Level 7 is currently the highest level of study in the Vocational programme, and upon completion learners are highly developed and hold a complex level of knowledge in their desired field. It’s an appropriate course for both managers and professionals at a senior level, particularly as the skills offered enables the learner to develop original responses to unpredictable situations.

GradeUCAS Points
DDD 360
DDM 320
DMM 280
MMM DD 240
MMP DM 200
MPP MM 160
PPP MP D 120
PP M 80
P 40

Below is a list of Level 3 Vocational courses. To search for Vocational courses at all levels click below.

Course Search
Vocational Subject
Advanced Technical Diploma for Professional Chefs City & Guilds - FTB084
Advanced Technical Diploma in Barbering - FTB329
Animal Management City & Guilds -  FTB044
Applied Science BTEC Diploma-Extended Diploma -  FTB100
Architecture, Surveying & The Built Environment BTEC Diploma-Extended Diploma -  FTB056
Architecture, Surveying & The Built Environment BTEC Diploma-Extended Diploma -  FTT157
Art & Design BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies -  FTB046
Art & Design BTEC Diploma-Extended Diploma -  FTB047
Art and Design BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies Level 3 -  FTT025
Beauty & Spa Therapy Advanced Technical Diploma -  FTB210
Beauty Therapy Techniques Diploma (17+ only) -  FTT028
Business BTEC Foundation Diploma-Extended Diploma -  FTB059
Childcare Level 3 -  FTT161
Children's Play, Learning & Development Subsidiary Certificate-National Diploma (EYE) -  FTB067
Creative Digital Media Production Level 3 -  FTB265
Diploma in Art & Design - Level 3 (90 Credit) -  FTT026
Engineering BTEC Diploma-Extended Diploma -  FTB071
Fitness Instructing Leading to Personal Training Certificate-Diploma (18+ only) -  FTB073
Hairdressing Advanced Technical Diploma -  FTB077
Health & Social Care BTEC Foundation-Extended Diploma -  FTB080
Health & Social Care OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma - Level 3 -  FTT049
Information Technology BTEC Foundation Diploma-Extended Diploma -  FTB062
Light Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Principles Diploma - Level 3 -  FTB328
Light Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Principles Diploma - Level 3 - FTT073
Nail Technology C&G Diploma - Level 3 (Adults) -  FTT029
Performing Arts (Dance) BTEC Diploma-Extended Diploma -  FTB095
Performing Arts BTEC Diploma-Extended Diploma -  FTB094
Personal Training Diploma & Sports Massage Diploma -  FTB074
Public Services (Uniformed) BTEC Foundation Diploma-Extended Diploma -  FTB099
RSL Music Practitioners Subsidiary-Extended Diploma in Music Performance -  FTB089
RSL Music Practitioners Subsidiary-Extended Diploma in Music Technology -  FTB090
Specialist Support for Teaching & Learning in Schools Cache Diploma (Teaching Assistant) (17+ only) - FTB110
Sport - Outdoor Adventure BTEC Extended Certificate-Diploma -  FTB092
Sport (Development, Coaching & Fitness) BTEC Foundation Diploma-Extended Diploma -  FTB102
Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools Diploma -  FTT160
Theatrical, Special Effects & Media Make-up Artistry Technical Diploma -  FTB139
Travel & Tourism BTEC Foundation Diploma-Extended Diploma -  FTB117

Interested in learning more about our full range of courses? Click here to view interactive versions of our guides.

Academies and Clubs

Academies and Clubs

With so many activities to get involved in alongside your studies, there really is something for everyone to enjoy.

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