6th Form - Curriculum

The Ilfracombe Academy offers students a broad and balanced curriculum to support their wide variety of interests and career aspirations. Our range of courses cater for all students, ensuring their time in Sixth Form is both academically challenging and enjoyable. We strive to provide all our students with ample opportunities to celebrate creativity, diversity and independence. 


We offer highly successful courses in a wide range of A Level subjects, which support progression to university and have a proud track record of delivering positive outcomes in even the most academic subjects. We also offer an increasing range of more vocational and practical BTEC subjects. These courses are mainly assessed through ongoing coursework and practical assignments rather than just exams.


Both qualification types (A level and BTECs) are stepping stones to higher education, apprenticeships and the world of work. 

Study Programmes


Deputy Head Girl

As we are a specialist arts academy it has enabled me to be creative and follow my chosen career path

The collection of different courses a student takes in the Sixth Form is called a ‘Study Programme’. Within a study programme, students are expected to study three subjects though certain students may wish to consider studying a fourth subject. Students can choose a study programme of A Levels only, vocational courses only or a combination of the two. Each subject has four timetabled teaching hours a week as well as two timetabled ‘Independent Study’ periods.

Level 3 Courses


Nearly all the courses offered in the Sixth Form are level 3 qualifications. These are a step up from GCSEs and a stepping-stone to higher education and university. Level 3 courses include both traditional A levels and more vocational BTEC qualifications. For September 2019, there are 22 Level 3 courses on offer. These can be seen in the two tables below:


Entry Requirements

To study Level 3 courses you need to have gained a grade 4 (or higher) in at least four subjects at GCSE. You must also obtain a grade 4 (or higher) in either English or Maths. Certain subjects also require additional entry requirements, for example to study a Science subject requires you obtaining a grade 6 or higher at GCSE. For full information about entry requirements please see the prospectus supplement.

English and Maths Resits

Students who have not successfully gained a grade 4 or higher in GCSE English and Maths at the end of Year 11 are required to re-sit the exams in either November 2019 or summer 2020. Retake lessons are timetabled and students are expected to attend all of these lessons as it is a legal requirement. Students will be well supported in their retakes.


Ideally however all students wishing to progress into the Sixth Form will have gained at least a grade 4 so that they can focus on their chosen courses.


UCAS Points