Entry requirements

Individual course entry requirements

Subject Name                    GCSE Requirements           

GCSE Biology: 6

GCSE Trilogy: 6 in both Biology Paper 1 and Biology Paper 2 GCSE Maths: 6

GCSE Chemistry: 6

GCSE Trilogy: 6 in both Chemistry Paper 1 and Chemistry Paper 2 GCSE Maths: 6

GCSE English: 6

GCSE Maths: 5
English Literature GCSE English Literature OR English Language: 6
Further Maths

GCSE Maths: 8

AND Additional Maths must have been studied in Year 11


GCSE Geography: 6

GCSE English: 6
History GCSE History: 6 OR GCSE English: 6
Maths GCSE Maths: 7

GCSE Physics: 7

GCSE Trilogy: 7 in both Physics Paper 1 and Physics Paper 2 GCSE Maths: 7
Politics GCSE: History: 6 OR GCSE English: 6
Professional Pathways Business Studies GCSE: 3x Grade 5-9 AND 2x Grade 4-9
Professional Pathways Applied Science

GCSE: 3x Grade 5-9 AND 2x Grade 4-9 (including at least grade 4 in English and Maths AND at least 5/4 in Trilogy Science)


GCSE Maths: 5

GCSE Science: 6

Sociology GCSE English: 6


Access to courses will be based on the following:

  • Actual GCSE grades
  • Course-specific admissions criteria
  • Individual student data
  • Advice and guidance of the Sixth Form team

Course options are subject to change during the autumn term if students are struggling with the level of study required and not progressing as expected.

Internal Students

We actively support and encourage internal students to apply to the Sixth Form. Every student receives advice and guidance from both the Head of Year 11 and form tutors about the best subject combinations for different degree courses and careers.

Internal applicants should note that they are not guaranteed a place in Sixth Form.

External Students

External students should bring proof of identification to interview, and on results day they must see a member of Ark Acton’s Sixth Form team with their results; individuals who fail to do so will not be offered a place. Please note that Ark Acton does not admit external students who have failed Year 12 courses elsewhere and wish to re-take them.

Oversubscribed Courses

Our maximum class sizes are 15 for science subjects, 18 for practical-based subjects, and 22 for classroom-based subjects. Where a course is oversubscribed, we will give first priority to students on roll during the previous academic year, then students who have met the application deadline, and then finally those with higher GCSE or vocational qualification grades relevant to the course. 

Ark's unique Professional Pathways programme

Sixth formers love our unique vocational alternative to A levels, which provides them with the skills they need to thrive at university and throughout their career.

Sixth form student in library

Access game-changing bursaries

For Year 13 leavers going onto higher education, we offer bursaries ranging from £3,000 to £50,000 to help with the financial costs of university life.




Best-in-class careers provision

Our pupils dream big for life after school thanks to our highly aspirational careers programme, which includes visits to prestigious universities and employers, one-to-one guidance and a rich programme of workshops and visiting speakers.

Student in gym