Entry requirements

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Entry ​requirements

Hills Road Sixth Form College is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming community where all students are enabled to meet their full potential and are respected as individuals. Admission is open to all qualified applicants.

To qualify for entry, you need to fulfil the following criteria:
  • You must live with your parent(s) or guardian for the duration of your two-year course.
  • You live within a sustainable commuting distance from the College.
  • Your application is supported by your current school.
  • You are ​estimated to achieve a GCSE profile broadly equivalent to four subjects at grade 6 and four at grade 5, including English Language and Maths (specifically, a minimum admissions score of 56).
  • You are ​estimated to achieve the specific grade requirements for your chosen A level subjects. Please note: You will need to be qualified in at least two of your subjects in order to be eligible for a guidance meeting.
For full details of all of our entry requirements, please read our Admissions Policy.

Calculating your admissions score

In response to the Government’s introduction in schools of its ‘attainment 8 scoring system’ and numeric GCSE grades, the College has adjusted the way it measures ​​the overall academic strength of ​your application to determine whether you are qualified for your course.

We do this through our own admissions score, which closely resembles the Government’s Key Stage 4 ‘attainment 8 score’.

When you apply
Your admissions score will be based on the estimated grades provided by your school (and any actual grades, if applicable).

When you enrol
Your admissions score will be based on your actual grades.

In common with the ‘attainment 8 score’ our admissions score will be calculated by adding together ten numeric grades, on the 1-9 scale, for full GCSEs/IGCSEs as follows:
  • English Language GCSE (grade is counted twice).
  • Mathematics GCSE (grade is counted twice).
  • Your highest six other grades.
To calculate your admissions score, please use the following link

Admissions Score Calculator >>

The minimum admissions score required for applicants to attend guidance meetings in 2020 (as referred to in Section 3.1 (iii) of the College’s Admissions Policy) is expected to be 56.

Depending on application levels, the minimum admissions score may need to be adjusted for some subjects, including STEM subjects  (science, mathematics and computer science) as follows:

Whilst the ‘adjusted level’ for science subjects depends on that year’s application pattern, it is expected to be broadly equivalent to four subjects at grade 7 and four at grade 6, including English Language and Maths.

This equates to a minimum admissions score of 66, though the value may vary a little from year to year. The ‘adjusted levels’ for mathematics and computer science are expected to lie between 56 and 66.

For more information please see section 3.3 of the College’s Admissions Policy.

Up to two GCSEs can be replaced in our admissions score by level 2 vocational qualifications of equal size to a full GCSE, using the following conversion of vocational grades:

  • Distinction*= 8
  • Distinction=7
  • Merit=6
  • Pass=4
  1. Unlike ‘attainment 8’, we do not require the inclusion of three further English Baccalaureate GCSEs, in addition to English Language and Mathematics.
  2. To be fair to all applicants, we do not take account of level 3 qualifications as these are not available to most applicants.
  3. Where special circumstances have resulted in an applicant taking fewer than the eight qualifications, we will make an individual judgement to determining an appropriate admissions score for them.

Subject grade requirements

The specific grade requirements for chosen A level subjects are shown in the table below.

* Where GCSE Biology, Chemistry or Physics are named below but are not being studied, the grade must instead be achieved in both combined science GCSE entries.

What you will need to study each subject




 A level subject Min. grade Needed in these ​full GCSE/vocational subjects
[plus any other conditions]
Art ​& Design 6/Merit Art/Design
(or similar subject)
Biology 7 Biology*
AND 6 in Mathematics
and Chemistry*
Business 6 English
(Language or Literature)
AND
4 in Mathematics
Chemistry 7 Chemistry*
AND Mathematics
Classical Civilisation 6 English
(Language or Literature)
Computer Science 6 Mathematics
[Must also have minimum 4
in Computing/Computer Science, if studied]
Dance 6 English
(Language or Literature)
[Must also have minimum 6/Merit in Dance, if studied]
Drama & Theatre 6 English (Language or Literature)
[Must also have minimum 6 in Drama, if studied]
Economics 6 English
(Language or Literature)
AND Mathematics
English Language 6 English Language
English Language
& Literature
6 English Language 
AND English Literature
English Literature 6 English Language
AND English Literature
Film Studies 6 English
(Language or Literature)
French 6 French
Geography 6 Geography
AND 4 in Mathematics
OR
English (Language or Literature)
AND 4 in Mathematics
[must also have minimum 4
in Geography, if studied]
Geology 6 Mathematics
AND a Science
German 6 German
Government &
Politics
6 English
(Language or Literature)
History of Art 6 English
(Language or Literature)
History (Crisis,
Conflict & Communism)
6 History
OR
English
(Language or Literature)
[must also have minimum 4 in History, if studied]
History (Rights, Race & 
Revolutions)
6 History
OR
English (Language or Literature)
[must also have minimum 4 in History, if studied]
Latin 6 Latin
(short course GCSE acceptable)
Mathematics 7 Mathematics
Double Maths
(Maths & Further Maths)
8 Mathematics
Media Studies 6 English
(Language or Literature)
Music 6 Music AND Grade 5 instrument or voice
OR
Grade 5 instrument or voice
AND Grade 5 Music Theory (or equivalent)
Music Technology 6/Merit Music (or similar subject title)
OR
Grade 5 Music Theory
or Grade 5 instrument
Philosophy 6 English
(Language or Literature)
Photography 6 English
(Language or Literature)
OR
Photography or Art
(or similar subject title)
Physical Education 6 PE (or similar subject title)
AND Maths or a Science
OR
English
(Language or Literature)
AND Maths or a Science   
[must also have minimum 4 in PE, if studied]
Physics 7 Physics*
AND Mathematics
Psychology 6 English
(Language or Literature)
AND Maths or a Science
Religious Studies 6 English
(Language or Literature)
Sociology 6 English
(Language or Literature)
Spanish 6 Spanish
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