GCSE and A-Levels

GCSE and A-Levels

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Ealing Independent College offers a wide range of GCSE and A-Level courses, designed to help student gain entry to leading universities. Students can join the College at any stage during their schooling, and tailor-made programmes can be setup to enable academic goals to be realised. In addition to our two year GCSE and A-Level progression routes, students can also benefit from joining the intensive one year and retake courses at A-level or GCSE. We also offer an 18 month A-Level programme specifically designed for international students who are unable to join us for a September start. 

Click on the links below to read more about each programme and the subjects we offer.

The GCSE programme provides excellent preparation for gaining an A Level qualification and is for students aged 13/14 to 15. Students start in Year 9/10 and complete their GCSE qualification in Year 11. They can choose from a wide range of GCSE subjects  at the College, which provides them with a good breadth of disciplines within their programme. At their interview, the programme is tailor made to suit each individual student’s strengths and interests, although certain subjects are compulsory. Each student’s programme will consist of at least eight GCSE subjects. 

GCSE Subjects

A wide range of courses are offered so that students can have a good breadth of disciplines within their programme. Please click on the subject listings  below to read more about each of the subjects available on GCSE level. Mathematics and English are compulsory. English Literature is offered from the start of Year 11.  It is desirable that each student studies Mathematics, English Language and Literature, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, a modern foreign language and either History or Geography as the ‘subject core’ to qualify for the EBacc as specified by the DfE.

Art & Design Biology Chemistry English Language and Literature French Geography German History Mathematics Physics Spanish

The A-Level programme is for students aged 16 to 18 and goes through Year 12 and 13. It provides students with the necessary qualification to gain access to top universities in the UK and worldwide.

A-Level Courses

Traditionally, students follow four AS subjects in the first year and continue three of these subjects on their A2 level the second year. 

Two year A-level programme

All A Levels have been revised following the Department of Education's A Level reform, and there is a phased introduction of the new specifications from 2015 to 2019.

A Levels Reformed in September 2015

A Levels Reformed in September 2016

A Levels Reformed from September 2017

There will be, and have been, some small but not insignificant changes to content but the major difference in the new specifications is that all A Levels will be ‘linear’. This means that all exams which count towards the final grade will need to be taken in the final year of study. This differs from the preceding system in that the AS exams at the end of the Lower Sixth counted towards the final A Level grade. This means that students can no longer retake individual units of their A Level to boost the overall grade, but it does allow students to appreciate their subject as a whole. Re-sitting will therefore involve redoing exams cover the entire programme curriculum, with previous scores eliminated. As a small College we have been able to fully adapt our teaching and approach to ensure that both our two year and Intensive Year A Level students develop a complete understanding for the subject in its entirety and walk into the examination room just as confident and prepared as ever.

The changes are currently being phased in, with first teaching having started in September 2015 for some subjects, some in September 2016 and the remaining in September 2017 for others (see above).

During the transition to a reformed syllabus, the College has used the opportunity to review the approach towards A Level study. The Director of Studies conducted a wide ranging investigation which evaluated a variety of approaches to A Level reform, including those being integrated by Independent, Grammar and Comprehensive schools. Ensuring that the core values of Ealing Independent College were adhered to was most important in the decision. For more information on these changes, and a personalised discussion concerning the best programme for each applying student, please call the College to arrange an interview with the Principal.

One-year A level programme

These courses cover the complete AS and A2 specification between September and June. Our one-year courses cater for students coming from a wider variety of prior educational backgrounds, achievements and even ages than any of the other courses that EIC runs.

The nature of the course takes three possible routes. The one year programme can be covered by a student following the AS and the A2 courses in parallel, by following a separate one year programme, (such as Mathematics) or by following one of the programmes mentioned with supplementary one-to-one tuition.  

Art & Design Biology Business Studies Chemistry Computer Science Economics English Literature French Further Mathematics Geography German Government and Politics History Philosophy Physics Psychology Sociology Spanish

One Year Intensive GCSE

The College offers a one year intensive GCSE programme, which is ideal for students who are 16 years old or over, who wish to retake GCSE or have an overseas education and want to start in the British education system. Most students will take five subjects on the Intensive Programme, but some students can take a sixth subject if their level of English is good enough.

One Year Intensive A-Level

Students who enrol on this programme should ideally have studied at least part of the A-level course or equivalent previously. It is a very demanding programme, where the entire AS and A2 syllabus will be covered in one year. This option is appropriate for students who want to retake subjects from AS or A2 to ensure they gain access to the university of their choice. Most subjects are available in line with the second year A Level course, and students must start in September.  

We encourage students who are interested in this option to contact us to discuss the programme further. 

This is an option for international students who are unable to commence the A-level programme in September. These courses run from January and conclude in June of the following year.

The AS level courses will be studied between January and June in the first year, whilst the A2 component will run from September to June. Additional lessons are arranged in the first six months to ensure that students ‘catch up’ so they can join the traditional A2 programme in the following September.

International students interested in this programme should contact us to discuss this option. 

GCSE Retake

This programme is largely geared to students who have already covered the GCSE programme before and want to improve their grades. They can follow any number of GCSE subjects, but the majority choose five or six. Students are admitted onto these courses who have not followed the syllabus previously, but at interview, the workload is carefully considered together with the coursework implications. 

A-Level Retake

It is possible to study the AS and A2 component of the A-level programme in one intensive year, and is ideal for students who wish to retake subjects to ensure they gain entry to the university of their choice. Please visit the One Year Intensive GCSE and A Level section to learn more about this option.  

Ealing Independent College accepts private candidates for GCSE, IGCSE and A-Level examination during the May-June exam period, from the following examination boards:

Please note we only accept external candidates for written papers - we cannot submit coursework or controlled assessment, even if marked at another centre. We have a limited number of places for studying the Practical Endorsements for science A-levels – please contact us for availability and fee information.


For students who wish to sit A-Level exams, we offer all written papers from Edexcel, AQA, OCR and WJEC, but we cannot accept coursework, even if it has been marked by another school.

Additionally, we are able to arrange Speaking exams for A-levels in French, German and Spanish. Candidates are free to prepare the topics of their choice for any speaking component, although guidance will be given by our tutor. 


We offer some GCSEs and most IGCSE exams for external candidates. Exams are offered in subjects where assessment is entirely through written exams - many GCSEs involve controlled assessment, which we cannot offer. If you have previously sat a GCSE you may be able to ‘carry forward’ the coursework mark (please check with the exam board to see if this is possible before applying). If you are sitting a GCSE for the first time please confirm it does not have any coursework before making an application. As many standard GCSEs do involve coursework many of our external candidates opt to take IGCSEs from Edexcel, which are an equivalent qualification but do not involve controlled assessment or coursework. Note: we do not currently offer IGCSEs from the Cambridge board.

For modern foreign languages we offer the Edexcel IGCSE in French, Spanish and German - there is an additional cost for these units as a speaking exam is involved. We do not offer GCSEs in modern languages from other exam boards, or in other languages.

How to apply Fees JCQ Information Dates


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