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Sixth Form Subjects

Sixth Form Subjects September 2022 Intake

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Click below to read our Sixth Form Course Guide for Study programme details:

Sixth Form Subjects - September 2022


Biology entry criteria: 5 in Combined Science (preferable) / 5 in English & Maths

What is the subject about? 

Biology is a popular subject to study in the Sixth Form, giving students the opportunity to develop critical understanding of the natural world. The major scientific issues for this century are mostly biological in origin, and an understanding of the principles involved are essential if you are to be able to make informed choices and decisions about topics such as enhanced reproductive physiology, sustainability, nutrition, health and genetic engineering.

What do employers say about this subject?

Biology allows students to develop a number of valuable soft skills, on top of the subject knowledge acquired. These include: A critical approach to evidence and good language skills; Numeric skills - including drawing and interpreting graphical data and re-arranging equations; Good manipulative and observational skills; Determination and stamina.

Key Stage 5

Year 12

 The course will be following the OCR(A) specification which is divided into biological topics, each containing different key concepts in biology. Once the key features of a biological topic have been developed, applications are considered. For assessment purposes, knowledge and understanding of key concepts are treated separately in some examination papers, while a separate paper will cover unified concepts within Biology as a whole. The teaching of practical skills will be integrated with the theory topics and are assessed within each of the written papers.

The teaching units at A-level are:

  • Foundations in Biology
  • Exchange and Transport
  • Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease

Year 13

  • Communications
  • Homeostasis Energy Genetics
  • Evolution and Ecosystems

Further information: https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-and-a-level/biology-a-h020-h420-from-2015/


Chemistry entry criteria: 7 in Chemistry or Combined Sciences / 6 in Maths / 6 in English / 36 APS

What is the subject about?

A-Level Chemistry provides students with an opportunity to explore different concepts across Organic, Physical and Inorganic disciplines of Chemistry. Through the Organic pathway students learn why drug trials need to be carried out, they understand the reactivities of different functional groups and can thus apply this to synthesising larger and more complex organic molecules such as Aspirin, Paracetamol and polymers. This is a great foundation for any students choosing a medical, pharmacology or biochemistry route at University level.  

Students apply their mathematical skills in Physical chemistry to understand the energetics of reactions, explaining the rate of chemical reactions and how this can be applied to industrial settings such as manufacturing ammonia. The Inorganic pathway takes students on an in depth look at the transition metals, building on their GCSE knowledge, students look at complex ions and reactions. This can be linked to cancer treatments such as Cis-platin, showing the power of all aspects of Chemistry in medicine. 

What do employers say about this subject?

Chemistry is an essential subject to study if you are considering a career in medicine. It also gives you an extremely valuable set of skills such as analytical and numeracy skills that employers look for. Chemistry opens up opportunities across a range of careers and degree choices.

CHILD DEVELOPMENT (write up to be added)



CRIMINOLOGY (write up to be added)




Economics entry criteria: Level 6 in Maths and Level 5 in English

What is the subject about? 

Economics is the study of how wealth and resources in society are created, priced and shared out.

It answers questions such as: What should be the price for a bag of sugar or the new PlayStation? How should the government raise and spend money? Why are some countries rich while others remain poor?

What do employers say about this subject?

Students who go on to study Economics at university typically earn the second highest (behind medicine) of any degree course after five years in employment.

Economics can lead to a wide range of careers in Economics and Finance including: Data Analyst, Finance and Banking, Investment Analyst and Stockbroker. In addition, the knowledge and skills learned would also be useful for careers including: The Civil Service, Data Science, Diplomacy, Journalism, and Government and Politics.

Key Stage 5

Our students will be studying Edexcel Economics A. This is broken down into four themes and three exam papers sat at the end of Year 13.

Year 12

Theme 1: Introduction to markets and market failure

This theme introduces students to microeconomics: how individuals and companies decide to allocate resources.

Theme 2: The UK economy

Students study macroeconomics by applying their knowledge and models to the UK as a whole. They focus on the likely effect of government policy and analyse the affect of different approaches to managing the economy.

Year 13

Theme 3: Business behaviour and the labour market

Students extend their understanding of microeconomics by considering how different types of markets lead to different outcomes.

Theme 4: A global perspective

Students extend their understanding of macroeconomics by analysing the causes of global inequality and the nature of trade between countries.

Further information: 



English Literature entry criteria: 5 in English Literature / 5 in English & 4 in Maths / 36 APS

What is the subject about?

English Literature builds upon the skills developed at GCSE. Students will learn to critically explore and analyse a range of texts using theoretical approaches and will learn to consider the impact of contextual factors on potential meanings in each text. 

A Level English Literature is a popular subject and is best suited to students who are avid readers of novels, poetry and plays. Those students who enjoy reading extensively at home should achieve well in this subject, as will students who enjoy the process of constructing a reading of text that draw upon a range of different sources and interpretations. It will also appeal to students who enjoy debate and exploring topics such as history, politics, psychology and gender. 

A Level English Literature offers an insight into the way writers use language, structure and form to shape meaning and explore the issues and ideas that reflect upon our lives. It affords the opportunity for discussion of themes and characters and further allows for the exploration of dramatic technique. It builds on the work you are familiar with from GCSE English Literature but develops your skills of analysis and your ability to approach texts from many critical perspectives such as feminism, Marxism, psychoanalysis and reader response. You will look at a range of different texts from different genres and narrative forms, from Shakespeare to contemporary texts, and consider how historical, political and socio-cultural context impact on the meanings that are both implicit and explicit within the text. 

Literature has a strong analytical element which complements Government & Politics, History, Sociology and Philosophy. Students of other subjects too will benefit from the different cultural perspectives offered. 

What do the employers say about this subject?

English Literature is a long-established and well-respected subject, both at HACA and by employers and universities. As such, it has become one of the most popular choices at degree level for those progressing to university and has strong links with professions such as Law and Journalism. For those wishing to pursue a work-based career path, this A-Level is well-regarded by employers as it demonstrates students’ ability to communicate clearly and effectively in both written and spoken English. It also encourages students to consider texts from a range of critical and contextual perspectives and to consider the validity of these readings.

Key Stage 5

Year 12

A Level Course Structure

  • Component 1 - Drama (30%, 2 hours 15 mins - exam): Hamlet by William Shakespeare and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams   
  • Component 2 - Prose (20%, 1 hour 15 minutes - exam): The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Year 13

  • Component 3 - Poetry (30%, 2 hours 15 mins - exam): Unseen Poetry, Post-2000 Poetry (Poetry of the Decade)  and The Poetry of Christina Rossetti
  • Component 4 - Coursework (20%, 2500 - 3000 word essay on two literary texts of your choice )



Financial Studies entry criteria: C in Business Studies (preferable) / 4 in English & Maths / 32 APS

What is the subject about?

Financial Studies is a subject for pupils interested in furthering their knowledge of financial planning in both the medium and long-term. It will examine money and it’s impact on life choices and the need to budget to be a responsible saver and financial planner.

What do employers say about this subject?

The combination of the academic challenge and practical focus makes business studies a key subject for many roles such as accounting, finance and marketing.

Key Stage 5

Year 12

Our students will be studying the London Institute of Banking and Finance Level 3 qualifications.

Certificate in Financial Studies:

  • Financial Capability for the immediate and short term
  • Financial Capability for the medium and long term

Each Unit has 2 external examinations - one on-line multiple choice examination and one written paper.  Students are allowed one re-sit opportunity for each part.  Examinations are January and May. 

Further information: www.libf.ac.uk 

Year 13

Our students completed Component 1 in Year 12 and will complete Components 2 and 3 in Year 13.

  • Component 1 - Business Opportunities and Functions
  • Component 2 - Business Analysis and Strategy
  • Component 3 - Business in a Changing World

Each of the components will be tested via a 2 hr 15 minutes written paper.

Further information: www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/business/as-a-level


Fine Art entry criteria: B in Art / 5 in English & 4 in Maths / 36 APS 

What is the subject about?

Fine Art is an essential subject for anyone interested in a career in the creative industries which are currently the UK's largest employers. While studying art, you will have the opportunity to develop your ability to express yourself creatively through drawing, painting, printmaking, photography and/or performance art.

What do Employers say about this subject?

Fine Art equips students with the tools to communicate effectively, understand visual information and think outside the box to problem solve. The internet has created an explosion of opportunities for aspiring artists

FRENCH (write up to be added)




Geography entry criteria: B in Geography / 5 in English & 4 in Maths / 36 APS

What is the subject about?

Geography is a traditional subject for students interested in topical issues such as coastal and river managment, sustainable energy or the regeneration of inner city areas. Students will study topics including human, physical and environment geography, and develop a range of valuable transferable skills.

What do employers say about this subject?

Geography is one of the eight facilitating subjects. Students gain a clear understanding of how the environment affects health and survival of people, animals and ecosystems, as well as enhancing skills of writing and essays and extended reports.

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS (write up to be added)




Health & Social entry criteria: 4 in English & Maths / 32 APS

What is the subject about?

Health and Social Care Level 3 BTEC is an essential qualification for students who are interested in working in a health-related sector or in social care. Students will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of transferable skills on the course which are valued by employers. Topics studied include Human Lifespan Development and Working in Health and Social Care. The BTEC course relates directly to the workplace and students will spend time covering a variety of settings, gaining an insight into a range of roles within the sector. This course enables them to study how theory and legislation are put into practice.

What do employers say about this subject?

Developments in frontline health and social care mean there is a demand for well trained and multi-skilled people across a range of rewarding employment opportunities. Health and Social Care is one of the biggest and fastest growing sectors in the UK. Employers recognise the skills that BTEC demonstrates such as the ability to work independently, to meet deadlines and to apply theory to real life situations

This qualification is designed primarily to support progression to employment via higher education. It also supports students choosing to progress directly to employment as the transferable knowledge, understanding and skills will give successful students an advantage in applying for a range of entry level roles, industry training programmes and Higher Apprenticeships.

Key Stage 5

We follow the Pearson –Edexcel BTEC Nationals Health and Social Care Extended Certificate (2016) – equivalent to one A Level.

More info: qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/btec-nationals/health-and-social-care-2016

Year 12

Unit 1 - Human Lifespan Development (External assessment)

Unit 12 – Supporting Individuals with Additional Needs (Internal assessment)


Year 13

Unit 2 – Working in Health and Social Care (External assessment)

Unit 5 - Meeting Individual Care and Support Needs.


History entry criteria: B in History / 5 in English & 4 in Maths / 36 APS 

What is the subject about?

Students who study KS5 History at Haberdashers Askes Crayford Academy will gain a breadth and depth of historical knowledge as well as gaining key skills along the way. The KS5 history curriculum is designed to develop and extend their knowledge and understanding of key events, periods and societies in British, and wider world history. Students will develop an awareness of why people, events and developments have been accorded historical significance and how and why different interpretations have been constructed about them.

What do employers say about this subject?

Key Stage 5 History prepares students for the next stage of their education and employment by developing their interest in and enthusiasm for history and developing their understanding of its intrinsic value and significance, thus allowing them to go on and study it at university. However, it also means that students will acquire an understanding of different identities within society and an appreciation of aspects such as social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity which will be important and useful in all stages of their life whether in further study or in the workplace. In addition to this History improves students independent learning and as critical and reflective thinking skills which are highly desirable to employers. 

History can be a pathway into many careers including:

  • Law
  • Politics
  • Journalism
  • Civil Service
  • Business
  • Marketing
  • Economics
  • Teaching 
  • Insurance 
  • Archaeology

Key Stage 5

Students who study History will follow the OCR A-Level History Specification and gain a full A-Level at the end of the course.

The students will study the following units: 

Year 12

Unit 1: The Late Tudors 1485-1603

Unit 2: The Cold War in Asia

Year 13

Unit 3: Russia and its Rulers 1855-1964

Unit 4: Coursework/ Independent Essay

For further information please go to: https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-and-a-level/history-a-h105-h505-from-2015/ 


ICT entry criteria: 4 in English & Maths / 32 APS 

What is the subject about?

ICT is a subject which provides opportunities to develop numerous skills demonstrated by employers and further education providers. It is a good qualification for students who wish to seek employment in the ICT industries. Some of the topics that students will study include Information, Systems and Communication and employability skills for IT.


Maths entry criteria: 7 in Maths / 5 in English / 36 APS

What is the subject about?

If you enjoy solving mathematical problems and want to improve your analytical skills then studying Maths in Sixth Form could be perfect for you. Some of the topics that students study include algebra, trigonometry, co-ordinate geometry and calculus. Students also have the opportunity to study mechanics and statistics.

What do employers say about this subject?

The career possibilities can be endless with an A-level in Maths. If is a facilitating subject that is highly valued by universities and employers and can lead on to a number of rewarding careers such as accountancy, banking, consultancy and many science related jobs.


Music entry criteria: 6 in Music / 4 in English & Maths 

What is the subject about?

The A Level Music curriculum is broken into three strands of performing (35%), composing (25%) and listening and appraising (40%). Students must be confident enough to perform on a solo instrument to grade 6 or 7 standard and must commit to take peripatetic lessons. Students will study the AQA A level Music Specification over Year 12 and 13. 

What do employers say about this subject?

The course provides evidence of commitment, self-discipline, communication, interpretative and ICT skills. It is a required subject for specialist music conservatoires

Key Stage 5

Year 12

  • 1 performance recital lasting at least 10 minutes 
  • 1 free composition in any genre
  • Composition in the style of Bach
  • Area of Study 1 Strand A – Baroque: the solo concerto 
  • Area of Study 1 Strand C – Romantic: the piano music of Chopin, Brahms and Grieg  
  • Music for media or Music for theatre (student choice)

Year 13

  • Performance of recital lasting at least 10 minutes 
  • 1 composition in response to a set brief  
  • Area of Study 1 Strand B  - Classical: the operas of Mozart :   
  • Pop music
  • Music for media or Music for theatre (student choice)

PERFORMING ARTS (write up to be added)




Photography entry criteria: B in Art or Photography / 4 in English & Maths / 32 APS

What is the subject about?

Photography is ideal for students who have an eye for composition, creative flair and are good conceptual thinkers. Studying photography involves learning about the composition of photographs, manipulating images and developing a variety of creative and technical skills.

What do employers say about this subject?

Studying photography will enhance your creative, social and cultural understandings as well as develop your specialist technical knowledge. Jobs directly related to the qualification include Graphic Designer, Press Photographer and Television Camera Operator.


Physics entry criteria: 2 6's in Sciences / 5 in English & 6 in Maths / 36 APS

What is the subject about?

Physics is the basis for everything. A level physics is a facilitating subject that can get you into a broad range of careers. AQA physics takes you on a journey learning about the smallest particles onto how we can explore space. Explaining how we’ve come to understand what is beyond our everyday perception. A level physics is an introduction to important ideas that will develop critical thinking, reasoning, logic and maths.

What do employers say about this subject?

Employers see A level Physics as a prestigious qualification. Candidates that have this A level are thought to be highly capable individuals who are good at understanding and applying complex theories, which can be applied to workplace situations. Given the nature of the subject, a high level of numeracy is also guaranteed. As such an A level Physics background often leads to careers in finance, in addition to science, engineering and technology. On comparing similar candidates for prospective employment, those with A level Physics receive a higher level of approval in the selection criteria.

Key Stage 5

Physics is a linear course meaning all of the A level exams are sat after two years of study. There are optional exams after one year if student wish to gain an AS qualification. However, most pupils will want the full A level so will use the AS exams for practice and will then continue on to the full 2 year course.

During the two year course, there are 12 standard practical assessments to complete to gain the practical endorsement. Other practical learning opportunities and demonstrations are also given to aid learning. This should give students the necessary practical skills to pursue science at university

PSYCHOLOGY (write up to be added)




Religious Studies & Philosophy entry criteria: 5 in English & 4 in Maths / 36 APS 

What is the subject about?

Religious Studies & Philosophy is a highly-respected subject that develops a number of valuable transferable skills. It is the study of great thinkers. Some of the topics studied in Sixth Form include the works of Socrates and Plato, arguments for the existence of God, the Problem of Evil and a variety of ethical theories.

What do employers say about this subject?

Religious Studies & Philosophy is an academic subject that is valued by many universities. You gain many skills such as the ability to spot flaws in arguments. Many people who study it go on to careers in law, government & politics, journalism, teaching and banking.

Key Stage 5

At KS5, we currently offer the OCR Religious Studies A-Level, choosing to study Philosophy of Religion, Developments in Christian though and Religious ethics. Philosophy of religion caters for those who are interested in examining and participating in arguments for and against the existence of God. Topics included are Ancient Greek Philosophy, Judaeo-Christian influences on the Philosophy of Religion, Classic Arguments for the existence of God, The problem of Evil and Religion and Science. Religious Ethics concentrates on ethical theories and how they respond to a variety of ethical issues. Topics included are absolutism and relativism, the link between religion and morality, natural law and Kant’s categorical imperative. Developments in Christian thought include topics such as ‘who was Jesus’ and Christian moral principles.

More can be found about this course on the OCR website or by following this link: ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-religious-studies


Applied Science entry criteria: 2 C's in Science / 4 in English & Maths / 32 APS

What is the subject about?

Applied Science is an ideal qualification for students with a passion for science but also want to study a practical subject. On this course, students will examine the fundamentals of science, practical scientific techniques and what working in the science industry is like.

What do employers say about this subject?

Applied Science is a practical subject which helps students to build up research, problem solving, organisation and analytical skills. Students taking this subject will be able to demonstrate to employers a good knowledge of scientific methods and technical skills.


Sociology entry criteria: 5 in English & 4 in Maths / 36 APS 

What is the subject about?

Sociology is the study of how people behave in society. It involves engaging with research to uncover the forces that drive human behaviour. Topics studied include crime and deviance, the family and education.

What do employers say about this subject?

Students will gain valuable skills such as the understanding of research methods and the ability to develop opinions and new ideas on societal issues. These skills gained can be useful in a variety of careers such as social work and human resources. Typical employers include the local and central government, NHS and third sector.


Key Stage 5

This A-level Spanish course focuses on language, culture and society. It fosters a range of transferable skills including communication, critical thinking, research skills and creativity, which are valuable to the individual and society. Taking A-level languages is not only very useful for specialist linguist careers, but also for many others where there is an international element. Linguists are amonghst the most employable.

The course will focus on how Spanish-speaking society has been shaped, socially and culturally, and how it continues to change. Aspects of the scoial context are studied, together with aspects of the artistic life of Spanish-speaking countries. The course will also focus on issues, such as life for those on the margins of Spanish-speaking society as well as looking at the postiive influences that diversity brings. The aim is to develop students' competence in all four skills. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and are closely monitored and fully supported by their teachers. 


Sport Studies entry criteria: C in PE or Sport Studies / 4 in English and Maths / 32 APS  

What is the subject about?

Sport and Exercise Science is a fantastic subject to study for students interested in learning more about the science of sport. We extensively cover functional anatomy, applied sport and exercise psychology and the interventions necessary to improve performance, biomechanics and coaching for performance and fitness. 

What do employers say about this subject?

The sports industry currently supports 450,000+ jobs in the UK yet is extremely competitive. A Sport Studies qualification will set you up with key skills and foundational knowledge to help you to succeed in many careers. Careers that include sports development/analytics are physiotherapy and a secondary school teacher.

Key Stage 5

Year 12

Our students will be studying BTEC National Level 3 extended certificate in Sport and Exercise Science. In their first year they will study: 

  • Unit 2 - Functional Anatomy 
  • Unit 3 - Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology 

Both of these units are Mandatory External exam units, sat in April 

Year 13

In Year 13. our students complete the coursework elements of the course. 

  • Unit 6 - Coaching for performance and fitness

This unit is mandatory and will externally assessed 

  • Unit 7 - Biomechanics in Sport and Exercise Science

This unit is optional and will be internally assessed

For further information please visit the Pearsons BTEC Sport and Exercise Science webpage