Honours Programme

Barrow Sixth Form College Honours Programme

Students who achieve an average GCSE score of 7.0 or better in their GCSEs will be eligible to join the Honours programme.  (To calculate an average GCSE score, please click here).

To qualify as an Honours student, you will need to commit to two options in addition to your three main A Levels / Cambridge Technical L3s.


(i) either the Extended Project Qualification or an AS level or a 4th A level

The EPQ is equivalent to half an A level and allows you to pursue an individual project related to your future ambitions, or one that draws on a personal interest.  You are mentored by a tutor who guides you in your choice of project and the skills you will need to realise it.  Ultimately you produce a significant piece of independent research.

The EPQ provides you with vital skills that will not only help you with your applications to universities but also develops your capability to work independently.  Skills include obtaining and selecting information from a variety of sources, analysing data, taking critical decisions and communicating ideas effectively to others.

Many universities view this qualification very positively.  The director of admissions at Cambridge University said:

The potential benefits of extended projects are enormous.  They give students the opportunity to get deeply involved in a subject that interests them, to develop research and critical thinking skills, to pull together learning from other subjects and to develop extended writing skills – all of which are hugely valuable preparation for university study.  Cambridge is one of many universities which support extended projects as good preparation for degree-level study.

(ii) Subject-specific extension work in one of your A levels, your “Honours subject”

Here you will be encouraged by specialist staff to develop your academic curiosity and passions.  This will involve high-level stretch and challenge activities that will lead to extended levels of understanding outside the regular syllabus alongside the much sought-after skill of independent learning.

In addition to the above, Honours students will have access to a dedicated Oxbridge programme throughout years 12 and 13 which aims to support those academically very able students who wish to apply.  As well as one to one help from College tutors, other events are as follows:

  • A specific careers guidance programme led by our specialist careers advisor
  • A visit to the Annual Oxbridge conference
  • A visit to Oxford and Cambridge Open Days. These visits include pre-arranged opportunities to speak to individual admissions tutors at 4 different colleges
  • Mentoring and interview practice with senior members of College staff
  • Individual help with personal statements

The Honours programme is endorsed and supported by Lancaster University: click here for further information.

With an average GCSE score of 7.0 or better, you will be able to choose just option (i), but you will not be considered as an Honours student.

honours Students
Honours Students
Honours Learning Hub
Students in the college’s university-style Learning Hub

For information on our Medical Applicant Programme click here