The River Thames outside DLD College London

The benefits for international students of studying A-Level Courses in London

20th July 20

The UK has a world renowned reputation for its quality of its education. The qualifications offered by British schools, colleges and universities are recognised as hallmarks of excellence and distinction. 

Here at DLD College London, we offer a range of courses for international students, these include GCSE, A-Level, BTEC and our International Foundation Programme. In this article we are going to look in more detail at the A-Level course and the benefits of studying it for international students.

What are A-Level Courses?

Advanced Level courses, known commonly as ‘A-Levels’ can be studied over two years or 18 months. Students are typically aged between 16 – 19 years on entry. They study 4 or 3 subjects. Grades are awarded from A* (Highest grade) down to E. A Level courses are the most commonly recognised qualifications for entry to UK universities.

Why study A-Levels in London?

One of the main benefits of studying A-Level Courses for international students is the freedom of choice that they offer. Most students study three or four A-Level subjects and there are no specific requirements on which subjects a pupil should study.  At DLD College London we offer more than 20 A-Level subject choices covering a wide range of academic disciplines, which students can choose to study in any combination they wish.

A-Levels also allow students to focus on the subjects that really interest them, which they are passionate about, and which are more closely related to the courses that they want to study at university. 

For Students who aren’t quite sure about their future plans, A-Level courses give them the option of maintaining a wide breadth of subject choices, such as studying a humanities subject, combined with maths, a business related or science subject, and a language.

Although A-Levels give students options to maintain breadth in their studies, the focus is narrower than other courses such as International Baccalaureate (IB). Focusing on three or four subjects at A-Level, as opposed to the six studied at IB, gives students and teachers considerably more time to explore a subject in real depth. So A-Levels are also a great choice for students who know which subjects they are passionate about, and who have a good idea of the types of undergraduate courses they might want to study at university.

A-Level students also benefit from several free periods each week, which are given over to self-directed study, where they can complete reading and research tasks set by teachers, formulate ideas and explore areas of personal academic interest within or related to the subjects that they study. This helps to prepare for future study at university, where learning itself is more self-directed.

As mentioned above, A-Level courses are also the most common route to entry to UK universities. So this means that university admissions officers thoroughly understand the A-Level subject syllabus, and it could be argued that studying A-Levels gives an advantage to international students looking to join a competitive course at a top ranked UK university.

Entry to UK universities is administered through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (known as UCAS). UCAS converts A-Level grades into points. The higher the grades, the greater the number of UCAS points a student will be awarded. Depending on the course, a university may also require a student to have studied a certain combination of A-Level subjects, and require students to achieve specific grades in certain subjects to be considered for entry

A typical university requirement to study a competitive subject, such as Medicine, might be A*, A, A, for a student studying A Level courses, or a combined total 40 points for an IB student. This would require the IB student to get at least a 6 in most of their subjects, so the student who is specialising in only three A-Level subjects, particularly ones that interest them, receiving dedicated and personal support from their subject tutors, will be at an advantage.

A-Levels are also recognised by universities all over the world, including those in America, Hong Kong, Australia, and Europe.  Every year, a number of DLD College London graduates choose to pursue their undergraduate studies outside of the UK, with universities in the United States of America being a particularly popular choice.

Why should I study A-Level courses in London?

London is the capital of England, with a population of over 9 million people, the city is the UK’s economic, political, and cultural heart. London is also one of the world’s great cities, with a diverse, multicultural, population.

DLD College is an international boarding school located in the heart of London, the college campus faces the River Thames and the Houses of Parliament. DLD students benefit from accessing the best of this global capital, whilst living in learning in a safe, supportive, and academically focused environment.

One of the main benefits for international students of studying at DLD College London is that our teachers are all experienced teachers, with many years of experience of teaching the A-Level syllabus to international students. Many of our teachers also have good links with the examining bodies, and in some cases are active or past examiners themselves. Having studied A-Levels and at universities themselves, our teachers also have strong links with admissions departments at top London and UK universities.

This means we are incredibly well placed to stay on top of the latest developments in the A-Level curriculum and the skills and knowledge required to achieve top grades and progress to top UK universities.

As an internationally focused college, we also understand the importance to international students of improving their English language alongside their academic studies. That is why at DLD we offer an Academic English programme for all A-Level students who do not speak English fluently, or who are not native English speakers.

These English classes are offered at no extra charge, and are vital in helping our international students to improve both their A-Level grades, and to achieve the qualifying English score for the most competitive university courses.

Studying and living in London also offers wide ranging academic and extra-curricular learning opportunities, our students have the resources of one of the world’s greatest cities on their doorstep, and our college organises regular trips and activities to take advantage of them. This means that English Literature students can visit Shakespeare’s Globe to watch one of the texts they study brought to life, Business students can gain practical experience of international financial markets at the London Stock Exchange, and Art & Design students can gain exposure to the latest design ideas at London Fashion week. These are just some of the opportunities available to students in London.

We also offer an extensive university preparation programme, which is tailored to fit the ambitions of each individual DLD College London student. This will include support and advice with university and course selection, and the preparation of student’s personal statement. Preparation for university entrance tests and mock interview practice, and assistance with sourcing work experience for students within the fields they wish to study.

London is also home to more world-class universities than any other city on earth. DLD College London has built relationships with top London universities and our graduates have progressed to universities such as the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Imperial College London, University College London, and the Cass Business School. So we are well placed to offer A-Level students access to these prestigious institutions, and we often receive visits from university professors to deliver lectures and advice to students who wish to study with them. 

As a global economic hub, London is also a great place to work and live. Many DLD students move on to study undergraduate and postgraduate courses at top London universities, after which they take up work with London based multinational companies. The city is also well connected with the rest of the UK, Europe, and the world, making a great hub for internationally focused businesspeople.

London also boasts one of the world’s best cultural and social scenes. The city is renowned for its museums, parks, galleries, and music venues, so there is always something to keep students entertained. 

London has also experienced a gastronomic revolution in the last 20 years. Other than Paris, there’s no European city with nearly as many Michelin starred restaurants, nor the diversity in cuisine. There’s sensational Indian food, elevated British gastro pubs, Italian food of the very highest Italian standards and everything in between.

Study A-Level courses at DLD college London and a whole cities worth of experiences await.