St Brendan’s Sixth Form College: The best way to enter a top university

Image courtesy of St. Brendan's Sixth Form College

Meet St Brendan’s staff in Hong Kong, Macau and Chengdu 6-12th April 2017

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Choosing what to do once you finish school is probably one of the first big decisions you’ll have to make in life. It’s downright terrifying when you think about it. Unless you know exactly where you want to be, it’s normal to feel more than a little overwhelmed. And with countless academic programmes and global universities, how do you pick the one that best suits your aspirations?

That’s where we come in. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t quite got it all figured out, but it is important to achieve good grades to ensure you’ll be able to enter a good university. If your aim is to study at one of the top universities in the UK, we might just have the right programme for you…

Why attend St Brendan’s College?

 As the only state-funded specialist Sixth Form College in the vibrant city of Bristol, St Brendan’s Sixth Form College is one of the UK’s most popular and reputable institutions for several reasons. This place offers an ideal pre-university environment for students with a high grade average going on to respected universities, including those in the UK’s prestigious Russell Group. Every single course offered at St Brendan’s, its 70 Level 2/3 A level and BTEC programmes, is tailored to the specific needs of 16 to 19 year olds.



But what’s most interesting is the Advanced Graduate Programme (AGP), consisting of valuable information, advice, guidance and support for students aiming for the most competitive university courses. It was initially created for students aiming to enter Oxford, Cambridge and other selective UK universities.

Approximately 200 local and international students join the AGP each year, and at least 73 percent of students progressed directly to a Russell Group university. The bespoke academic and pastoral programme that runs in addition to other classes gives students the opportunity to develop their talents.

The programme has been extremely helpful for Mohammad Kordzanganeh, a Year 2 student studying A Levels Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computer Science. “The staff and teachers here are very able, welcoming and supportive, helping me with my studies, immigration process and financial matters.”

Students who are accepted into the Advanced Graduate Programme benefit from specialist support for competitive applications, including guidance on personal statements from within St Brendan’s and from universities like Oxbridge and the Russell Group, and also receive help with UCAS applications, mock interview practice, and support with admission tests from subject specialists. Students also get the chance to learn about the Russell Group universities when visiting speakers from University of Bristol, Warwick, Exeter and Newcastle come to St Brendan’s.

“What I enjoy about studying here is the very helpful staff and teachers,” says Jian Hui Poh, a St Brendan’s international student from Malaysia. “The teachers in the college are willing to help and are willing to correct our mistakes. This college also provides many facilities, for example, the learning resource center, media room and Maths Hub. So far I have not found any difficulties in settling into this college and [it] has exceeded my expectations in what a college should be.”


 Students at St Brendan’s study three to four subjects depending on their ability and their intent to apply to the most selective universities. You can choose to study a two-year A Level or BTEC Level 3 programme or a combination of both, or BTEC Level 2 (a choice of 10 subjects) for students who do not have the equivalent Level 2 qualification from their own country, or who otherwise need additional English or Maths support.

You also have the freedom to create your own timetable without any restrictions.  Some of the subjects offered at St Brendan’s include: Business & ICT, Mathematics & Computing, Art & Design, Performing, Arts, Media & Film, Science, Humanities & Social Sciences, Sports Studies & Languages.

“I had a flexible timetable that allowed me to choose my own subjects and carry out a science project and other activities that did not relate to my lessons,” says Jenny Zhan from China.

Aside from academic classes, the college runs a series of Master Classes that students need to join. These classes are done to challenge and widen student knowledge, thinking and perception. Some of the workshops are run by the staff while others might be lectures by leading academics. Students are also encouraged to attend lectures, talks and workshops at local universities.

Aside from that, students are provided with a lovely opportunity to attend summer schools in Oxford, Surrey and Edinburgh, allowing them to experience university life and explore a particular subject at a higher level.


Rebuilt in 2009, the new and improved St Brendan’s Sixth Form College comes with state of the art facilities, like teaching and learning equipment that covers all classroom-based subjects, purpose-built science labs, creative arts studios and sports facilities that include a sports hall, dance studio, open plan arts area and theatre, plus a large restaurant area that provides students with meals, drinks and snacks.

Each student is assigned an academic mentor for personal support – also to give parents a direct point of contact. Enrichment activities like computer animation, creative writing, martial arts and football are provided for students to relax after a long day in class.


St Brendan’s is situated in the bustling city of Bristol, a city which always has something to do, great architecture, food and a thriving cultural scene.  St Brendan’s College is located 15-minutes by bus from Bristol City Centre, but also near the countryside if you need to take a break from the endearing city buzz.

The College is also conveniently situated 20 minutes from the picturesque and very British city of Bath, and just 90 minutes from London and its international airports such as Heathrow. Not only does this city represent an affordable place to live, it is a popular student location, home to two world-class universities –  – University of Bristol and University of West of England (UWE).


Interested? Click here to request more information from St Brendan’s.

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All images courtesy of St. Brendan’s College

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