Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We have put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions that we have designed in response to the questions we receive regularly from distance learning students. We have separated the categories into our four main levels: IGCSEsA Levels, Level 3 Diplomas and BTEC HNDs. If you can’t find an answer to your questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us via the call back service or email enquiry service. We will be very pleased to help you.

IGCSE Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called an IGCSE rather than GCSE?

There are no significant differences between our IGCSEs and normal GCSEs in terms of the qualification. It is simply that as we are an international distance learning college we provide the international versions of Edexcel’s GCSE courses, which allows a wider range of students to sit the exams overseas. The qualification is equivalent once the exam is passed at the end of the course.

Who is the examining body?

All IGCSE subjects are accredited by the exam board Edexcel. You will receive your certificate from Edexcel via the exam centre where you take your exams.

What is the duration of the course?

All IGCSE courses last for 1 year. You will need to focus your study time around the exam dates which are held every June.

Where do I sit my exams?

The exams must be taken in a local college or examination centre near you. Please contact your local college to ask for a private or external candidate exam placement, or use our Examination Placements page to locate a centre.

How do I find an examination centre?

You should call a local school/college to find out if you can be accepted as an external candidate. If you have any trouble finding an exam centre to register you as an external candidate, please see our examination centre webpage for guaranteed exam placements and links to the exam board websites. Please contact the exam centre for details on exam dates and fees.

Is there a discount for enrolling onto more than one subject at one time?

We are pleased to extend the following discounts for enrolments of multiple IGCSE subjects:

– 4 or more subjects = 10% discount
– 6 or more subjects = 15% discount
– 8 or more subjects = 20% discount

This discount will automatically be applied to your order when you enrol online. Multiple subjects must be purchased at the same time for the discount to apply.

A Level Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the difference between an A Level and a Level 3 Diploma?

An A Level is a 2 year course that follows a specific syllabus provided by the corresponding examining body such as Edexcel, AQA and OCR. The A Level carries UCAS points depending on the grade achieved. The A Level is on Level 3 of the National Qualifications Network (NQF). A Levels are assessed by exams which have to be attended in person. A Level certificates are provided by the examining boards.

Our Level 3 Diplomas have been specifically written for us by qualified course writers who are qualified to at least Level 5 or above. The Level 3 Diplomas are 1 year courses comprising 10 modules followed by an online examination. The course is pitched at Level 3 so is the equivalent level of study to an A Level. On successful completion of the exam, an Oxford College Diploma certificate is issued.

What is the difference between the AS, A2 and full A Level?

The full A Level is divided into two halves. The first half is the AS and the second half is the A2. An AS or A2 course can be taken on their own and have a 1 year duration. The A2 can only be taken on successful completion of the AS.

Where do I sit my exams?

The A Level exams must be taken in a local college or examination centre near you. Please contact your local college to ask for a private or external candidate exam placement.

How do I find an examination centre?

You should call a local school/college to find out if you can be accepted as an external candidate. If you have any trouble finding an exam centre to register you as an external candidate, please see our examination centre webpage for guaranteed exam placements and links to the exam board websites. Please contact the exam centre for details on exam dates and fees.

Can I sit my A Level exam outside of the UK?

If you would like to take your exam outside of the UK you can check on the relevant examining body’s website for their international centres. Some subjects and examining boards only offer the exams in the UK so please ensure you check this before you book your course.

What is the duration of the course?

The AS and A2 courses last for 1 year from the date of enrolment. The full A Levels last 2 years from the date of enrolment. The courses can start at any time but please take into account the schedule of the exams which are in May and June.

LEVEL 3 DIPLOMA Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the difference between a Level 3 Diploma and an A Level?

Our Level 3 Diplomas have been specifically written for us by qualified distance learning course writers who are qualified to at least Level 5 or above. The Level 3 Diplomas are 1 year courses comprising 10 modules followed by an online examination. The course is pitched at Level 3 so is the equivalent level of study as an A Level. On successful completion of the exam, an Oxford College Diploma certificate is issued.

An A Level is a 2 year course that follows a specific syllabus provided by the corresponding examining body such as Edexcel, AQA and OCR. The A Level carries UCAS points depending on the grade achieved. The A Level is on Level 3 of the National Qualifications Network. A Levels are assessed by exams which have to be attended in person. A Level certificates are provided by the examining boards.

How is the course accredited?

The Level 3 Diplomas are accredited by Oxford College and it is Oxford College that issues the certificate.Our Diplomas do not carry UCAS points. Many of our Diplomas are approved by the CMA (Complementary Medical Association) where students can register as a practitioner and receive advice on setting up a practice and getting the correct insurance.

How is the course assessed and examined?

All Level 3 Diplomas are assessed by online examination at the end of the course. The online exam must be taken within the 1 year time limit of the course. The exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions. When you are completely ready to take the exam, please contact us for an authorisation code for one-time access to your exam. We recommend that students also complete all SAPs (Self Assessment Preparation assignments) at the end of each unit to ensure full knowledge has been gained prior to the exam.

Can I re-sit the exam if I fail?

You can take an online exam re-sit within 3 months of taking the exam, or before the end of your course, whichever is sooner. There is a £150 charge to re-sit the exam.

What is the duration of the course?

Our Level 3 Diplomas last for 1 year from the date of enrolment. All studies and the online exam must be completed within the 1 year time frame.

Can I extend the course if I don’t finish in time?

We do offer a course extension programme where Level 3 Diploma courses can be extended for £75 per month for up to 3 months. The extension period starts from the expiry date of the course.

Can I get into university with a Level 3 Diploma?

Most universities require UCAS points to gain entry. Some universities accept Level 3 Diplomas in place of A Levels. We urge you to check the entry requirements of your chosen college/university/employer before enrolling on a course with us.

BTEC HNDs (Higher National Diplomas) Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the duration of the course?

The BTEC HND distance learning courses have a duration of 2 years. All work and coursework must be completed within this time frame. It is possible to complete the course in a shorter time frame if your study plan and other commitments allow.

How is the course assessed and examined?

The course is assessed by coursework that is sent in to the tutor at the end of each of the 16 units via our online system. The work is then marked by the tutor and sent back to the student. Students should wait for feedback on the first unit before sending in work on the subsequent units. Units must be submitted chronologically. Your Edexcel certificate is issued on successful passing of all 16 units of the course.

How many attempts do I have at submitting coursework?

You have 2 submissions for each unit, with the first being considered a draft submission. You have the option to purchase additional upload slots should you wish to attempt to gain a higher grade.

GENERAL Frequently Asked Questions:

Is distance learning right for me?

To successfully complete a distance learning course you will need to be a self-motivated person who is able to allocate time within their own lifestyle to dedicate to study. As a successful distance or open learning student you also need to have access to a modern computer and internet access to be able to study online. Home study can be challenging especially – as with many of our students – if you have existing commitments to work, family or studies. However once you set yourself a study plan and get started, you should comfortably fall into the routine.

What is the advantage of distance learning over attending a college in person?

The beauty of studying at home is really that you can work to your own pace and you can work from anywhere. You are not restricted by college times or locations.

Can I contact my tutor directly?

Students are assigned a tutor for the duration of the course. For Level 3 Diplomas the students must send emails via the tutor department (email address provided after enrolment) and for BTEC HNDs, A Levels and IGCSEs students submit questions via our online system. Our online tutor contact system enables us to keep a record of all contact between student and tutor. We can therefore monitor the contact and continually improve customer service, course materials, tutor support and tutor response times.

Can I complete my course in a shorter time than the course duration?

As the courses are offered online by distance learning, students do have the flexibility to work more intensively on their studies and complete the work faster. For A Levels students will need to work towards the exam dates which are in May and June. For Level 3 Diplomas the course and exam can be completed in less than 1 year and the BTEC HNDs can also be completed in less than 2 years. It all depends on the student’s own individual timetable and commitments in their daily life. The more hours students can commit to their studies, the faster they can complete the course.

What are the entry requirements to enrol?

Students wishing to take A Levels or Level 3 Diplomas should have studied to at least GCSE (O Level) or Level 2 on the UK National Qualifications Framework (NQF). Students wishing to take a BTEC HND need to have gained A Levels or qualifications equivalent to at least Level 3 on the NQF. There are no requirements to enrol onto an IGCSE course. Please check the age restrictions with the college upon enrolment.

Do I receive any books or materials by post?

No, all our materials, course details and supporting information is accessed online via your On Campus account. The materials are viewed using an online viewer software and there is no option to print from home. If you would like your course materials to be sent in the post you can purchase a paper copy for an additional £65. You can also purchase a PDF version for £25.

Is there any funding or financial support available for the course?

We don’t offer any kind of funding programmes for distance learning courses. We do, however, offer an instalment plan for you to spread payment over a period of months depending on the course. Please see our instalment plans page for more information. If you would like to enrol using an instalment plan then simply follow the steps for Online Enrolment and the options will be presented to you.

How do I enrol?

Enrolment can be done online via our website and online shop. Instalment plans can also be set up via online enrolment. You can also call us Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm to make an enrolment over the phone. Alternatively we can email you an enrolment form to be filled in and returned to us. We look forward to welcoming you as an Oxford College student soon!