How Much Does an A Level Qualification Cost?
If you want to enrol on an A Level qualification (or any qualification for that matter), you’re going to have questions. Questions about how long it takes to gain the qualification, what the course assessments entail, and above all else, how much an A Level qualification could cost you.
Every penny counts these days, and as is generally the case before you make any significant buy, you want to know how deep into your pockets you’ll have to reach before dishing out the dineros.
To help you out, we’re taking a closer, well-rounded look at the factors that play into the cost of an A Level qualification.
A Level Qualifications: Awarding Bodies
While there are multiple organisations which set examinations and award A Level qualifications (including CIE and OCR), the two most recognised high school awarding bodies in the UK are AQA and Pearson Edexcel.
AQA (formerly the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance) is the UK's most popular awarding body for high school qualifications, with their courses currently being taught in thirty countries around the world.
Pearson Edexcel, on the other hand, is the UK’s largest awarding organisation, working with leaders in education to maintain the highest qualification standards.
Both awarding bodies are valued among employers and universities alike and are taught in schools, colleges, and online.
What affects the cost of an A Level qualification?
There are several things to consider if you’re looking at the cost of studying an A Level qualification. These include:
Your learning provider
A Level qualification costs will differ with each provider, so taking the time to compare course fees is entirely in your benefit.
While learning providers do tend to set the prices of their qualifications based on guidelines from awarding bodies and associations, each provider will set its own prices for its A Level subjects.
A Level courses are free to UK students aged 16 to 18. However, it’s worth noting that in some particular circumstances, there are colleges that may consider waiving part of if not your entire course fee and offer you A Level courses for free if you’re aged between the ages of 19 and 23.
If you’re past the age of 23, then the cost of getting your A Levels as an adult will depend on the school you choose to study with, your course, and how you study.
Your study route
You can study your A Level qualification either online or in a classroom.
If you choose to study in a classroom, then you’ll need to attend in-person classes each week, typically in a sixth form or college. Lessons are taught on a tight schedule alongside other students, so you’ll have to cover the (often hefty) cost of your course materials and commute, making this option the more expensive and inflexible choice.
If you choose an online course, you can learn online from anywhere and benefit from reduced course costs since most of your course materials will also be online, and there’s no need to worry about a commute (or finding a decent pair of trousers).
Online learning providers tend to be the more flexible option because they allow you the freedom to choose when and how often you study, meaning you’re not only benefitting from saving your money but your valuable time as well.
A Level exam fees
Exam entry fees are typically not covered in your initial course costs and tend to range from £84 to £196 per exam depending on the A Level course and the exam centre you choose to sit with.
If you become an online student, you’ll sit your exams in-person at the same time as those students who have chosen to study in a classroom. The only difference is that you’ll be solely responsible for booking your exam - but not to worry, AQA post a list of exam centres that accept private candidates.
So, how much does an A Level qualification really cost?
As mentioned, the cost of an A Level qualification will vary depending on the learning provider, the course, and the format you choose.
As an A Level student studying in-person through a sixth-form or college, you can expect to pay tuition fees of upwards of £9000 or more, on average, whereas online A Level qualifications can start as low as £340 and make their way up to around £1500.
Some online providers (like us!) even offer low, interest-free monthly payments to spread the cost of your course as you learn.
If you’re looking to study more than one A Level qualification, it’s also worth looking into whether your provider offers a multi-course discount.
Hopefully, after reading this blog, you have a better understanding of how much an A Level qualification might cost if you’re over 18.
Remember, however you choose to study, A Levels really are an investment into your future.
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