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Fast track one year A levels in Kent

Academic and creative one year A level courses 

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Can you do A levels in one year from scratch?

One popularly held misconception that Rochester Independent College debunks with complete and cheerful confidence is that “A levels have to be two year courses.” As RIC students show with year after year of fantastic, sometimes expectation exceeding, results A levels ranging from the sciences to the arts can be completed successfully in just a single year of study. 

These courses are available to students from the age of 17 upwards and it is quite usual for students who are 18, 19 or 20 to begin these intensive courses.  


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Students take one year A level courses for a variety of reasons

• International students with a good academic background join directly from overseas and can study one year A Levels at RIC as a cost-effective alternative to foundation courses that open up a wider range of leading universities. Top grades at A level remain the most reliable passport to the best universities, including Oxbridge and the rest of the G5.

• Students transfer from other UK and international schools to one year A level courses at RIC if they need to change subjects and direction or catch up and revise the first year of A level comprehensively alongside the second year material. This allows them to still complete their sixth form within the standard two year period and aim for a good university.

• Students transfer to the one year A level course after completing the first year of the IB if they feel A levels are more suitable. 

• International students who want to experience a year of UK education and have a meaningful qualification at the end of it. 

• Students who need to retake their A levels and spend an extra year at school to aim at their first-choice university. This can be a passport to Russell Group universities who accept retake students for most courses.

Accelaerated academics at RIC 

RIC specialises in Maths and Science A levels and is able to offer the full range of subjects at A level (including further mathematics) to students ensuring they have the right qualifications and skills base for a variety of degrees in the Sciences, Engineering, Accountancy, Finance and Management Studies. 

We also offer one year A level courses in the Creative and Visual Arts. Students looking at arts at university on a one year A level course also generate a portfolio alongside top A level grades. Subjects such as Digital Media and Design, Film, Photography, History of Art, Fashion and Textiles and Music Technology can all be taken successfully from scratch in one year. 

The advantage of single year A level courses for well qualified international students is that they can move quickly into UK Higher Education, specialising earlier in a way that is more difficult in many international systems or with the IB Diploma. The range of university options for students with A levels is still much wider than for those following foundation courses and many of our students proceed directly to top universities such as KCL, Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Warwick and Imperial after only one year of study at Rochester.

Groups in all subjects on one year courses tend to be dynamic and exciting with lots of interaction between students and teachers. Those aiming for places on highly competitive courses such as Law, Medicine, English and Veterinary Science will find themselves in groups of similarly dedicated students keen to make rapid progress. The pace is swift and focused on the demands of the examinations. Classroom teaching is supplemented in all subjects by a structured revision programme and regular testing.

RIC students studying A levels on intensive one year courses won courses at some of the UK's top universities. These include: Mathematics and Statistical Science at UCL, English Literature at Bristol, Medicine at Southampton, Medicine at Sheffield, Pharmacy at KCL, Physics at Manchester, Fine Art at The Slade and Business and Management at Exeter. 

Paul Dutton, RIC’s Head of Physics has this advice for students thinking about a one year A level course:

“How can students achieve A level success in one year? You have to bring something to the party: Commitment. In return we offer courses with the flab removed. At RIC we have the expertise to put together a course which distills A levels down to the essentials and ensures that everything you learn is completely relevant to your syllabus. Our programme of regular testing under exam conditions ensures you know exactly how you are performing on a weekly basis. Our generous allocation of lesson time ensures that the one year course is not rushed but paced. One year A Level courses, either from scratch or from a background which is not working at present, are often seen as daunting. With proper planning and management they are achievable.”

Tuition methods at RIC are aimed at helping each student to understand and realise their own potential. Small classes, with a maximum of eight in a group, and the easy accessibility of staff ensure that students receive a great deal of individual help and attention. Regular tests under examination conditions are designed to help those who suffer from ‘examination nerves’ and prepare them for public examinations.