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TOP-100 schools and colleges in England and Great Britain where foreign students can study A-level programme

Education information

Today, foreign students consider the UK as the best country for educational tourism. SMAPSE offers more than 100 best UK schools and colleges where international students can study A-level programme. Due to the list of TOP-100 schools and colleges in Great Britain, you will definitely find the most appropriate option. Please, don't hesitate to contact SMAPSE experts, as they are always ready to answer all your questions. 

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A-level in the UK for international students

A-level is a preparatory program for foreign students, focused on successful admission to the best universities in England. In addition, A-level program represents the final stage of obtaining advanced secondary education in rating English schools. After passing A-level program, passing examinations is provided, while the results are quoted and accepted by all the top universities in the UK .

Studying A-level program is the best tool for effective preparation for entering a highly ranked British university. So, having an A-level certificate, a foreign applicant will not need to pass additional exams and undergo language preparation courses . Thus, studying provides gradual integration into a new language and academic environment, and, of course, a significant improvement in the level of English proficiency and deepening knowledge in academic subjects.

An effective A-level educational program is aimed at high school students, corresponds to the Sixth Form level. The duration of studying is 2 years, while in the framework of teaching, emphasis is put on in-depth study by students of selected disciplines. So, foreign students independently form an individual curriculum, they select 3-5 subjects of interest. As part of the selection of disciplines, it is worth focusing on individual preferences, goals, the requirements of the future university, specialization of interest. At the end of the program, examinations are envisaged, the results obtained are entered into the A-level certificate, which is highly quoted and has widespread prestige.

The list of academic subjects for selection by foreign teenagers includes the following disciplines:

  • English
  • French
  • Art
  • Political science
  • The photo
  • Business
  • Maths
  • Critical thinking
  • Geography
  • Economy
  • Chemistry
  • Philosophy
  • Spanish language
  • Physical Education
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Technology design
  • History
  • Music.

Admission requirements to the A-level program for foreign students

So, for a successful admission to the A-level education program, a foreign applicant will need to prepare the following package of documents, namely:

  • A transcript of school grades for the last 2-3 years of study and grades for the current school year
  • Certificate of secondary education - as a rule, an adolescent enrolled in school at the time of admission, therefore, its presence is not a requirement
  • International language certificate, namely IELTS or TOEFL.

Moreover, among the best British schools there are various requirements regarding the results of the language test. In particular, when entering a prestigious international college in England, it is enough to pass IELTS by 5.5 points. At the same time, the result of an international language exam of 7.0 points may not be sufficient for admission to an elite boarding school in the UK.

A-level programme at TOP UK schools: tuition fees for international students

The cost of studying in the framework of the A-level educational program in the UK is determined by the prestige and reputation of the educational institution, created educational conditions, as well as accommodation. In particular, the cost of studying at a public college in England, taking into account living in a host family, in average is 16.000 £. At the same time, the cost of studying in a UK advanced private boarding school, taking into account living in a comfortable school residence, will cost about 30-40 thousand pounds.

Below is information about the cost of studying at the best schools in the UK :

  • Grade 7 - £ 8,990 per term
  • Grade 8 - £ 10,220 per trimester
  • Education from grades 9 to 13 - 10 860 £ per trimester.

Please note that the cost of studying does not include the following components, and provides for payment on an additional basis:

  • Deposit - £ 3,000
  • Registration fee - 100 £
  • Payment of the consular fee at the Embassy
  • Payment of visa fees and services, translation and notarization of documents, as well as delivery of originals by courier
  • Health Insurance - £ 150 per year
  • Registration of guardianship for the period of study in England - from 495 £ per term
  • School uniform purchase
  • Student pocket expenses
  • Organization of transfer at the time of arrival and departure
  • Air tickets in both directions.

A-level rankings 2018

A/A* % Name Day/Board Boy/Girl Day GBP Board GBP
1 88.92 Westminster School Both Co-ed (Boys Only 7-16) 29,709 39,252
2 88.68 Cardiff Sixth Form College Both Co-ed 16,600 42,750
3 84.73 St Paul's School Both Boys 25,032 37,611
4 84.30 Wycombe Abbey School Boarding Girls 29,205 38,940
5 83.54 Oxford International College Both Co-ed 21,000 42,000
6 83.06 Brighton College Both Co-ed 24,420 44,460
7 81.43 Concord College Both Co-ed 14,280 39,900
8 80.12 Eton College Boarding Boys   40,668
9 76.17 Highgate School Day Co-ed 20,970  
10 71.79 St Mary's School - Ascot Both Girls 27,630 38,790
11 71.25 Ruthin School Both Co-ed 14,000 34,500
12 70.39 University College School Day Boys (Co-ed 6th form) 20,328  
13 68.74 Hampton School Day Boys 20,055  
14 68.48 Tonbridge School Both Boys 30,342 40,446
15 66.78 Downe House School Both Girls 27,495 37,530
16 66.55 St Catherine's School - Guildford Both Girls 18,375 30,285
17 65.00 Harrow School Boarding Boys   40,050
18 64.11 Oundle School Both Co-ed 23,505 36,690
19 62.62 Dulwich College Both Boys 20,448 42,681
20 62.21 Abingdon School Both Boys 19,950 39,750
21 62.00 Benenden School Boarding Girls   37,950
22 61.74 Marlborough College Both Co-ed   37,815
23 61.15 Woldingham School Both Girls 23,190 38,040
24       60.87 Rugby School Both Co-ed 22,437 35,760
25 60.68 Radley College Boarding Boys   38,325
26 60.00 Wellington College Both Co-ed 30,375 41,580
27 59.68 Mayfield School Both Girls 21,000 33,900
28 59.06 Caterham School Both Co-ed 18,900 36,570
29 58.33 Hurtwood House Both Co-ed 28,950 43,428
30 58.22 Epsom College Both Co-ed 25,266 37,263

Secondary education in the UK

World Ranking 1
Foreign students 20%
Minimum age 4 years+ (age 11-14)
Tuition language English
Minimum English level beginner&higher (depends on the school)
Tuition cost £17,000-50,000
Cost of living (year) £10,000-25,000
Mandatory subjects English, Mathematics, Science

Learning programs-summary information

Name Meaning Equivalent Min. age Duration, 
years
Next stage Cost
GCSE General certificate of secondary education secondary education (non-accomplished) 14 1–2 A-Levels 15,000 USD+
A-Levels Advanced level secondary education (accomplished) 16 2 University 15,000 USD+
BTEC Business and Technology Education Board secondary special education 14 2–3 University/ work 15,000 USD+
Oxbridge Preparation Preparing for Oxford and Cambridge secondary education (accomplished) 17 1 University 15,000 USD+
International Baccalaureate International baccalaureate secondary education (accomplished) 16 2 University 18,000 USD+
Foundation/ Pathway Year Preparatory year admission to the 1st year of university 17 1 University 14,000 USD+
NCUK The Northern consortium 2 year university 17,5 1 2 year University of NCUK 13,000 USD+
Special Preparation (Medics/Math/Business) Specialized training - 14 optional optional 4,000 USD+
Academic English Academic English Language school 8 + 6–12 months School or University 8,000 USD+

Advantages and disadvantages of English schools

Advantages Disadvantages
The opportunity to enter the best universities in England, USA, Canada, Switzerland, Europe, the world Expensive
High quality of education and academic standards Strong workload
Perfect English after graduation The need to change the social environment; it takes time to adapt
Useful contacts The difficulty of choosing the most suitable school for the child, requires a qualified specialist

Top 21 best boarding colleges in England 2021

Top 35 best schools in the USA - 2020 Smapse rankings

1      North Broward Preparatory School
2 Phillips Academy Andover
3 The Storm King School New York
4 Red Bank Catholic High School
5 Windermere Preparatory School
6 Shattuck St Mary's School
7 Cheshire Academy
8 Cate School
9 Ross School
10 Deerfield Academy
11 The Village School
12 Amerigo Los Angeles – Bishop Montgomery High School
13 Webb Schools
14 Kent School USA
15 The Winchendon School
16 Darlington School
17 Marian Catholic High School Amerigo Education
18 Grier School
19 The MacDuffie School
20 CATS Academy Boston
21 The Cambridge School of Weston
22 Milton Academy
23 Amerigo Education Napa Valley
24 American Hebrew Academy
25 Northfield Mount Hermon School
26

Mater Dei Catholic High School San Diego Amerigo Education

27

American University Preparatory School Los Angeles

28 Webb Schools
29 Kent School USA
30 Groton School
31 Maine Central Institute
32 The Lawrenceville School
33 Grand River Academy Оhio
34 Saint John Paul II Academy
35 Chicago North Shore

Top 14 best schools in Switzerland 2021

Top 12 best schools in Canada 2021

Best boarding schools in England - 2021 Smapse rankings

1 Cardiff Sixth Form College
2 Sevenoaks School
3 Queen Ethelburga's College
4 Brighton College
5

The National Mathematics and Science College NMSC

6 Concord College
7 Westbourne School
8 Wellington College
9 Rossall School
10 d'Overbroeck's College
11 Dulwich College
12 Fettes College
13 Stonar School
14 Wycliffe College
15 Lucton School
16 King's School Canterbury
17 ACS School Cobham
18 Hurtwood House
19 Uppingham School
20 Scarborough College
21 King's College St Michael’s
22 Mill Hill School
23 Windermere School
24 Clifton College
25 Badminton School
26 Oakham School
27 Oundle School
28 Stowe School
29 Cheltenham College
30 Bromsgrove School
31 Sidcot School
32 Prior Park College
33 Millfield School
34 Oswestry School
35 Caterham School
36 City of London Freemen’s School
37 Buckswood School
38 Brooke House College
39 Taunton School
40                   St Clare's Oxford
41 Repton School
42 Royal Russell School
43 King's Ely
44 Leys Cambridge
45 Leighton Park
46 Bedford School
47 Fyling Hall
48 Royal Hospital School

Rankings of British colleges 2018

A/A* % Name Day/Board Boy/Girl Day GBP Board GBP
1 88.68 Cardiff Sixth Form College Both Co-ed 16,600 42,750
2 83.54 Oxford International College Both Co-ed 21,000 42,000
3 81.43 Concord College Both Co-ed 14,280 39,900
4 58.33 Hurtwood House Both Co-ed 28,950 43,428
5 54.17 Bellerbys College Cambridge Both Co-ed 27,060 38,940
6 53.71 Abbey College Cambridge Both Co-ed 29,000  
7 53.37 d'Overbroeck's Oxford Both Co-ed 23,850 38,700
8 47.21 Cambridge Tutors College Both Co-ed 15,900 39,990
9 44.09 CATS College Canterbury Both Co-ed 26,490 41,775
10 42.55 Bosworth Independent College Both Co-ed 12,600 30,300
11 39.29 CATS College Cambridge Both Co-ed 24,990 44,775
12 32.94 Mander Portman Woodward - Cambridge Day Co-ed 28,305  
13 31.01 Bellerbys College Brighton Both Co-ed 27,060 43,704
14    30.53 Abbey College Manchester Both Co-ed 12,750  
15 30.50 Chelsea Independent College Both Co-ed 24,000 48,000
16 29.75 Cambridge Centre For Sixth Form Studies Both Co-ed 21,000 48,000
17 28.65 Rochester Independent College Both Co-ed 18,000 36,900
18 24.86 CATS College London Both Co-ed 24,990 49,980
19 24.83 DLD College London Both Co-ed 23,000 50,500
20 20.93 Ealing Independent College Day Co-ed 16,050  
21 16.39 Padworth College Both Co-ed    
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