Choosing the right course for you
At St. Louis you can:

  • Study a broad range of Post-16 courses
  • Choose from courses that are both academic and vocational
  • Study A levels
  • Study BTECs
  • Study other post 16 A level equivalent courses
  • If you do not have the required GCSE grades in your chosen subjects (3 Bs and 4 Cs) you can arrange an interview with a member of the Senior Management Team

Choosing the right course for you

Pupils who meet the full entry requirements will be expected to take 4 AS levels or equivalent in the first year. Alternatively you can choose a more vocational path by studying BTECs / OCR Cambridge Technical or other vocational A Levels and combine these to a maximum of 4 A level equivalents in the first year. One or more A levels may be taken with our partner schools, Kilkeel High School and the SRC. Please take the time to read carefully the requirements for each course.

Post 16 Courses

AS Level: This is a one year linear course composed of two or three units. Most courses are assessed by examination or coursework or a combination of both. This is graded A-E.

A2 level: In the second year you take two or three units and are awarded the full A level which is graded from A*-E.

Linear A Levels: Some A Level subjects are now “linear” in structure, meaning that only the exams taken at the end of the two year specification count towards the final A level grade. For these subjects AS is now a stand alone qualification, worth 40% of full A level and can only be used if pupils exit the subject at end of AS.

However, whether or not pupils remain to complete the full A level, AS exams will be sat at end of AS, to form the basis of evaluating their progress in the subject; also, the content of these exams will be re-sat at the end of A2.

BTEC / Cambridge Technical / AQA Level 3 Certificate: These Level 3 qualifications are mostly coursework based and are graded as Pass / Merit / Distinction / Distinction * which has equivalences to A level grades and UCAS points.

Level 2 / GCSE: Level 2 courses are the GCSEs / BTEC National Firsts / OCR Nationals / Key Skills examinations you may have taken in St Louis or your previous school.

Leavers Destinations 2016-2017

St. Louis 6th Form Entry Requirements

Pupils are expected to achieve 7 A*-C at GCSE.

This should contain a minimum of 3 Bs and 4 Cs

All subjects require pupils to have achieved a grade B in the subject they wish to take at A level, or in a similar subject.

Consideration will be given for pupils who have achieved less than the required grades.

I loved going to St. Louis. The teachers are really helpful and I was given great guidance on which courses to take in university.
Orla, Past Pupil.


This option offers a vocational route and a more enjoyable route for those who prefer a portfolio based course without formal examinations. Some pupils benefit greatly from opting for vocational courses as this raises their level of achievement.

If you enjoy a course and are confident that it matches your interest and suits your learning style then there is every chance that you will excel.

Entry to University courses can be gained by presenting high levels of achievement in a range of Level 3 qualifications. These include BTECs and other vocational offerings such as the OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma in IT.

BTEC National Subsidiary Diplomas / Cambridge Technical Introductory Diplomas / AQA Level 3 Certificate consist of:

  • 6 units of work
  • Are portfolio based
  • Are assessed over two years
  • Each unit of work is graded Distinction, Merit or Pass
  • An overall level is awarded after the portfolio is completed and assessed by an examiner. This will be an overall Distinction, Merit or Pass.

If you obtain an Overall Distinction in your BTEC National / Cambridge Technical, you may in some institutions be judged as having the equivalent of an A Level grade A and will be awarded the equivalent UCAS points of 48.

If you achieve an Overall Merit in your BTEC / Cambridge Technical, you may in some institutions be considered to have the equivalent of an A Level Grade C and will be awarded the equivalent UCAS points of 32.

Does Queen’s University accept BTEC and OCR Cambridge Technical Awards?

Yes - Queen’s does not ask students to achieve UCAS points, they ask for grades or the grade equivalent. They do not focus on the overall level achieved - instead they will specify the exact number of Distinctions and Merits required for each unit. In general 6 Distinctions are considered equivalent to an A at A level. 3 Merits and 3 Distinctions considered a B.

Does the University of Ulster accept BTEC and OCR Cambridge Technical awards?

Yes - The University of Ulster accepts BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas and Cambridge Technical Level 3 Introductory Diplomas. The admissions department will specify the exact number of Distinctions and Merits required for each unit. In general 5 Distinctions and 1 Merit is considered equivalent to an A at A level. 3 Merits and 3 Distinctions considered a B.

Who should be cautious about selecting a BTEC?

Students hoping to study at a University in the Republic of Ireland (ROI)
Students hoping to embark on a degree courses in Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science Students hoping to study at Oxford or Cambridge.

Who should not take more than one BTEC option?

Students hoping to gain a place at St Mary’s University College, Stranmillis College or another teacher training college in the UK.
Students considering some degree courses in Queen’s such as Pharmacy where it is not permitted to take more than one applied subject / course.

Contact Us

If you do not already go to St. Louis and you are thinking about joining us in sixth form then please fill in the form below to receive an electronic version of the prospectus or to arrange an interview with the Senior Management Team.
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