Jargon Buster | Westminster Kingsway College

Jargon Buster

Jargon Buster

Use our plain-speaking guide to get the most out of College.

Academic Pathway

Traditionally regarded as one of the most popular routes into university and employment, A-Levels form the academic pathway for a wide range of subjects, including some that you may not have studied at school. Offering you the flexibility of studying more than one subject, you have the opportunity to build a career out of the courses that you most enjoy.

Access to HE

This one-year programme enables learners aged 19+ to prepare for direct entry to university or equivalent courses in Higher Education. These courses offer alternative pathways into Higher Education specifically for adults. At Westminster Kingsway College, we offer Access to HE Diplomas Level 3 in a wide range of subjects.

AS, A2 and A-Levels

A-Levels are Level 3 qualifications. If you choose A-Levels, you will study an AS (one year) in your first year and an A2 (one year) in the second year to complete the full A-Level qualification. You will need to pass your AS with at least a grade D to progress to the A2. You can choose to only study the AS because it is a qualification but the majority of students carry on to the full A-Level qualification.

AS (year 1) + A2 (year 2) = A-Level

The College expects A-Level students to study four AS Levels in their first year and progress to 3 A2 Levels in their second year.

A-Level GCE Intensives

Westminster Kingsway College offers a range courses on the Intensive A-Level programme. These demanding courses combine the AS and A2 units within one year. All full-time A-Level Intensive students have a structured tutorial programme, including regular academic review with individual action planning and support for applications to Higher Education.


An Apprenticeship is designed by employers for 16-24 year olds. Training and assessment is carried out in the workplace and you will be required to attend College one day each week. Apprenticeships combine hands-on work while studying towards recognised qualifications. This is a high quality option for a school-leaver to go to work, learn new skills, gain a recognised qualification and to earn a wage. The value of an Apprenticeship is that it has been put together to develop you in your chosen field and as an individual. This is reflected in the fact that as well as developing your technical skills you will also learn about:

  • Team working
  • Health and Safety
  • Equal Opportunities
  • Communication skills
  • Workplace skills
  • Enterprise skills
  • Quality Assurance

The College works with a number of employers, providing customised Apprenticeship programmes that have been developed for organisations to meet their specific training and development needs.


Learning should be fun, not daunting. In our experience, students enjoy BTEC programmes because they can specialise in areas of learning linked with work that they are interested in. You can build your confidence because you are developing practical skills that could help you secure a job in the future. Answers to assignments may be in written form but it is just as likely they will be in other forms too, such as film clips, project proposals, business plans and structured databases.

You are always given clear guidelines so you know you have to achieve and how to do this. We are continually developing the BTECs in response to the needs and skills required by employers. This ensures that you gain maximum benefit from your work while qualifying and that the qualifications stay relevant. Each BTEC is made up of units. The number of units you will take depends on the Level of the BTEC qualification that you choose to study. You are assessed regularly during your course, so it enables you to analyse and improve your own performance.


All applicants have to attend enrolment before they can officially become a Westminster Kingsway College student. This registers you in to the College and is when you will receive your Learner Agreement and Student Membership Card.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements refer to the grades or skills applicants are required to have before being offered a place. This varies depending on which course you are applying for so it is necessary to check if the course is suitable for you before applying.

Foundation Degrees

Foundation Degrees (FdA or FdSc) are two-year degree programmes in vocational subjects. Foundation Degrees are the equivalent of the first two years of an honours degree programme (Level 4/5) and are a recognised qualification in their own right. These programmes are specifically designed for those wanting to develop their skills for employment.

Foundation Learning

Foundation Learning offers personalised programmes that develop vocational areas of learning at Entry and Level 1 whilst also gaining Functional Skills in English, Maths and ICT, taught in a practical way using real-life situations. You will also benefit from personal and social development to prepare you for employment and working with other people. Those who succeed on a Foundation Learning course can move onto higher level courses or employment opportunities.

Further Education College

Further education colleges (often abbreviated to FE colleges) such as Westminster Kingsway College offer courses to students of 14 years old and upwards, including school leavers, adults and employees. They tend to be large organisations with more than one site. They can offer anything from basic skills courses to higher degrees enabling students to progress from course to course within the college.

Higher Education

Universities and colleges both offer higher education courses, such as Foundation Degrees or Higher Degrees. These are level 4 and upwards qualifications, which are usually taken after level 3 courses such as A-Levels and BTECs.

Learner Agreement

All applicants to Westminster Kingsway College are required to sign a Learner Agreement when they enrol. This is effectively a contract between the College and the student. Applicants are not officially students until this has been signed and received by the College.

Learner Support Fund

You can apply for help towards the cost of books and equipment from the Learner Support Fund. Financial support can only be given to learners in genuine financial difficulties and we cannot guarantee that all learners will qualify.


Every time you take a course it provides you with a qualification at a certain Level of study. The Level of course that you choose should depend on the qualifications and skills that you already have. To find out what Level of course you should apply for visit our Entry Requirements page. Additional entry requirements are also listed next to each course.

Student Code and Charter

The Student Code and Charter outlines what the College will provide for the student and in turn what the College expects from the student.

Student Membership Card

Westminster Kingsway College provides all students with a Student Membership Card. This card costs £25 (in 2013/2014) and is proof of your student status at the College. Your Student Membership Card enables you to access College buildings and resources, such as borrowing books and laptops. As a student, you will be required to wear your Student Membership Card with you at all times and show it to security or staff at the College when requested.

Vocational Pathway

Vocational qualifications tend to focus on a certain career or industry. They are both theoretical and practical and often include work experience. The College offers vocational qualifications at all Levels, including BTEC Level 3 Nationals and Apprenticeships.

Westminster Kingsway College

Westminster Kingsway College offers a wide range of full-time and part-time courses giving students the opportunity to gain vocational, professional and academic qualifications at different levels. The College is one of the largest colleges in central London with Centres in Camden and Westminster. It has about 14,000 students across all age ranges and offers 14-19 year old further education as well as a wide range of courses for adults and employers.

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