How do we do it?

How do you achieve high grades? What form of education moulds the most well-rounded students? Which learning environment really works? These are questions we ask every day at Cardiff Sixth Form College.

Like our students, we work hard at our studies. We analyse our classes and teaching styles; constantly aiming to perfect. It is always possible to improve – there is a science to teaching. By evaluating the details of education – large and small – we provide the best possible atmosphere for our students to learn.

Tradition is important. Every school needs a culture. At Cardiff Sixth Form College, however, our culture is thoroughly in the present-day. Many English boarding schools rely on long histories and heritage. Here at Cardiff, we look forward. We want to build for the future and be the standard by which all schools are judged. And our results show we are already on the way…

In 2015, 95% of students achieved A*-A grades, whilst 99% of students achieved A*-B grades. For six years running we have been awarded Top Private School in the UK, Top Private Co-educational Boarding School and Top Private Sixth Form College in the Education Advisers’ Awards. In addition, we have been ranked number one for A-Level results in league tables published by The Daily Telegraph and The Times for three consecutive years.

For more information about our awards and accreditations, please visit our Awards page.

East meets West

Cardiff Sixth Form College literally searches the world for the best approaches to education. Our teaching philosophy draws from both East and West. Like our multi-cultural student body, we believe that our integrated methods set us apart from other boarding colleges.

Eastern education prizes rigour and discipline, and students receive a first-rate understanding of core subjects across the student body, while Western approac


Cardiff Sixth Form College is proud to be placed at the top of the Education Advisers’ league tables once again in three categories:

  • Top Private School in the UK by A-Level results for 2015
  • Top Private Co-educational Boarding School by A-Level results for 2015
  • Top Private Sixth Form College by A-Level results for 2015

Cardiff Sixth Form College has won these awards thanks to its outstanding 2015 A-Level results, in which it achieved 99% A* – B grades; 95% of which were A* – A grades. To see a full report of our results, please visit our A-Level Results section.

Accepting the award, the college’s Co-Founder, Yasmin Sarwar stated:

“It’s been a tough journey, and we couldn’t have done this without your support – the staff and the students. You are the college. Thank you for all your hard work. This is an achievement for all of us… to the students – thank you for your support, your loyalty, and the trust you put in us. I know that we will win this again next year.”


Following our most recent inspection (2016), the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) graded Cardiff Sixth Form College as “exceeding expectations for the quality of education.”

The report went on to say:

“The quality of the curriculum, teaching and learners’ achievements is excellent. Students receive an extremely good education in accordance with their objectives and the college’s aims…arrangements for the health, safety and welfare of students are excellent…the effectiveness of governance, leadership and management is excellent.”


At Cardiff Sixth Form College, we aspire to foster a genuine passion for learning in our students. Our teaching aims to make students think for themselves. We believe this sets our students apart from the crowd, leading to excellent results year-on-year.

Below is a brief introduction to the UK A-Level system, our own A-Level programme and how best to choose your A-Level subjects. Information concerning the A-Level courses we offer at the College can be found on our Departments page.

UK A-Levels – AS and A2

One of the great advantages of the British educational system are A-Levels (also known as GCE Advanced Levels). A-Levels provide students with the opportunity to specialise in the subjects of their choice before university.

British universities frequently prefer A-Level qualifications, as A-Level curriculums explore chosen subjects in great depth. This provides an ideal standard for beginning a UK degree course. Many equivalent qualifications do not provide comparable insight and are often valued as secondary.

The British A-Level is separated into two sections – AS-Level and A2-Level. The AS-Level is a subsidiary qualification, aimed at offering a higher introduction to your chosen subject. A2-Level provides an in-depth study of the topics, building upon progress made at AS-Level. Both levels may act as stand-alone qualifications, but A2-Level may only be entered once an AS-Level qualification in the chosen subject has been achieved.

A-Levels at Cardiff Sixth Form College

Students should be able to choose from a wide range of A-levels. Too frequently, schools and colleges require students to choose from a limited selection subjects in order to meet timetabling requirements. We believe this is not in our students’ best interests. Cardiff Sixth Form College aims to give its students the freedom to choose any subject combination they wish and to construct a timetable around their individual needs. If you are uncertain as to which A-Levels would suit you best, Cardiff Sixth Form College offers expert advice from career specialists. For more details, please see the below section, ‘Making The Right Decision’.

Cardiff Sixth Form College provides each student with as much time with teachers as possible. Students receive between 24 to 30 hours a week of scheduled class time. In addition, we arrange tutorials and study sessions to fit the needs of each individual learner. Our teacher-student ratio reaches 1:7 – far above the national average. Each student benefits from the individual attention and mentorship they receive.

Our A-Level programme is also supplemented by our detailed extra-curricular policy. For more details, please see our Enrichment page.

Making The Right Decision

Choosing what to study at A-Level can be difficult. It takes time and thought, and you may have conflicting ideas. Like all decisions, you need to achieve a balance. It is important that you understand the full details of what subjects you are choosing, and the implications for your future career choices. The following guidelines should help:

  • First and foremost; consider which subjects interest you. A-Levels take time and dedication – and time and dedication takes interest. Even the hardest of problems can prove gratifying when you have a passion for what you are studying – so think about what you enjoy!
  • Second, pick your strengths. Are you good at essay writing? Are you fond of problem solving? Do you have an affinity with numbers? Trust in your ability and avoid those areas in which you struggle.
  • Third, think about the future. Where do you want to be in 10 or 20 years’ time? Some disciplines expect certain subjects. Medicine, for example, requires at least two science subjects, including Chemistry. If you wish to be a doctor therefore, you should consider choosing sciences at A-Level. If you are uncertain which subjects are required for your career of choice, please feel free to request advice from our expert Careers


International Boarders
Registration Fee £185
Acceptance Deposit £9,500*
Full fee cluster/apartment/studio, August 2016 intake £39,725/£41,925/£44,125**
Full fee cluster/apartment/studio, September 2016 intake £36,000/£38,000/£40,000***
Full fee cluster/apartment/studio, January 2017 intake £26,700/£27,700/£28,700****

*    Deposit is held against any disbursements or deductions including, but not limited to: damages, outstanding accommodation costs, library fees, exam fees, voluntary or compulsory trips (under £100), short fall on accounts, any credit charges for late payments, insurance fees and if, at the end of the full A-Level course, there are monies remaining these monies can be offset against the disbursements or deductions otherwise an invoice will be issued for any damages or disbursements in excess of the deposit. Any monies remaining will be refunded in accordance with the college’s Terms and Conditions.

**August 2016: Fees are paid biannually in August and January in equal amounts of £19,862.50 for a single room and equal amounts of £20,962.50 for an apartment and £22,062.50 for a studio flat.

***September 2016: Fees are paid biannually in August and January in equal amounts of £18,000 for a single room and equal amounts of  £19,000 for an apartment and £20,000 for a studio flat.

****January 2017: Fees are paid biannually in August and January in equal amounts of £13,350 for a single room and equal amounts of  £13,850 for an apartment and £14,350 for a studio flat.

Boarding fees – what’s included?***

  • Tuition
  • Group IELTS preparation (excluding exam fees)
  • Exam fees (excluding retakes)
  • Use of all college facilities
  • Accommodation – Students live together in modern, purpose-built accommodation. All necessary resources are provided and as the accommodation is situated just a 10-minute walk from the college.
  • Meals (catering is not available during the Christmas, Easter and summer holidays).
  • Complimentary bedding pack (one per year)
  • Gym membership
  • Weekly room cleaning
  • One complimentary airport pick-up (on specified dates)

Boarding Fees – What’s not included?***

  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) – £25 single payment in August invoice
  • Student insurance – £150 per annum; single payment in August invoice. This is compulsory unless an alternative cover is provided. Please note that the college does not provide an insurance scheme to cover fee refunds and parents are encouraged to make their own arrangements.
  • Guardianship (compulsory for students under 18 years of age on 1st September)
  • August UCAS preparation programme
  • One-to-one tuition (academic, IELTS and music lessons are available at an extra cost of £50 per hour)
  • Uniform pack (£213 – single payment)
  • Text books and stationery
  • Off-campus activities (with some exceptions)

***Note: These lists are not exhaustive