Each of our A level distance learning courses is divided into two parts: the AS level and the 2nd Year (A2 level). While both contain roughly the same amount of learning material, the conceptually more difficult elements will almost always be at post-AS level. AS level exams may be taken after one year of study but results from AS exams no longer count towards A level results. At AS level, there are generally two written exams of 90 minutes duration. Each full A level has three written exam papers or two written papers and some coursework, also called non-exam assessment (NEA). Examinations take place each summer. Where NEA is required, the candidate’s work is marked and moderated by OOL tutors. See A level changes.
In 2014, the Government announced alterations to A levels which have impacted on all students. From 2017 onwards, A level candidates have been required to take all their examinations in the same sitting to achieve an A level grade. Module marks can no longer be carried forward. Oxford Open Learning has devised brand new A level courses to match the new specifications. Please see our New A levels page for further details.
For each of our A level courses, we recommend a set textbook to help students with their studying. By clicking on any of the book images on this website, you will be taken to the relevant page on the Amazon (books) website where you can order a hard copy of the text. Some courses also include access to exclusive online resources. In addition to the recommended text, each course includes a list of suggested further reading to help you gain a broader understanding of your subject.
The majority of our A level courses have specific entry requirements. For further information, please see individual subject details. Oxford Open Learning will usually permit entry onto our A level courses with a minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade C and above. Preferably, these will include English and Maths.
An A level is the gold standard of British Further Education. Normally studied over two years by 16 to 18 year olds, the A level is the most common qualification needed to progress to university.
You will sit your examination as a Private Candidate at a local school, college or tutorial centre. Entering for examinations is your responsibility but our Exams team and Student Advisers will give you all the help you need. If your course includes coursework (NEA), this will be marked by OOL tutors but written exams will still be taken locally.
This is very hard to answer as the definition of an online course is very broad and encompasses everything from an unsupported multiple choice testing engine to a virtual environment which attempts to carry out lectures via webcast. We prefer to provide you with hard copies of your course materials, as we feel this is still the best way to study these academic subjects. Each of Oxford Open Learning Trust’s courses are supported by a fully qualified, subject-specific tutor to whom you will be able to submit your assignments and questions electronically by email. More importantly you will have a free phone contact number for your tutor, so you can receive personalised tuition on a one to one basis. However, the assignments from some of our courses, such as the Maths A level assignments, are much better done using pen and paper and so can be sent to your tutor either using the post or by scanning and emailing.
AS levels can be taken as a stand-alone qualification, but they no longer make up the first part of a full A level course. Studying a new syllabus A level, you will need to sit all of your exams in one sitting. If you are unsure about your subject or syllabus then please feel free to speak to one of our student advisers.
Different students will study for different lengths of time. Traditionally an A level is studied over roughly two years, but some students will feel that they have the time to study a course over one year or slightly less. Whilst we do enrol all throughout the year we do have deadlines in place for enrolling towards specific exam dates. To study an A level requires an average total of 700 study hours so it is important that you are realistic about the amount of time you can set aside for your studies in a given time frame.
The sense of achievement my two A grades have given me, the self confidence boost and sheer happiness were definitely worth the effort! I am only half way through to getting my A levels and getting A’s in my AS French and Spanish, means I may some day actually apply for a job as a teacher of foreign languages. And if I don’t, I have still bettered myself!
Gabriella Beard, French and Spanish AS level