Intensive A level courses at Ashbourne

Ashbourne is one of the best independent colleges in London and has been delivering highly successful intensive courses for more than thirty years. Our courses offer outstanding opportunities for ambitious and hardworking students who will benefit from the individual support and choice we offer to help our students reach the highest grades, A and A*.

Ashbourne’s intensive A level programmes include: One-year A level courses, 18-month A level courses, Transfers from AS to A2 (changing exam boards), A level retake (resit) courses and A level Easter Revision courses.

Individual attention is an important motivator; at Ashbourne it begins with small class sizes of less than 10. This makes it easier for students to engage effectively and importantly for teachers to provide more feedback with assigned work. Students receive significantly more teaching hours than is typical so they can complete the syllabus in a relaxed and confident manner with plenty of time for revision at the end of the course. They also sit mock exams, based on previous exam papers, each half term followed by constructive feedback. Ashbourne places great emphasis on teaching exam technique which we believe is critical to achieving the best A level results. 

Our students consistently achieve excellent exam results, placing the college in the top two among similar private sixth form colleges in London. 58% of the exams taken by students on our intensive courses result in A and A*. Our retake students make outstanding grade improvements with 80% of exams resulting in A and A*. This level of value added to students has helped place Ashbourne in the top 5% of schools and colleges offering A levels in the UK.

Ashbourne is committed to offering as much choice and flexibility as possible to suit each student’s educational needs. Students can choose from an excellent range of A level subject choices, without restriction, and length of course. This even allows students to drop subjects studied previously to start afresh with new ones.  

We believe building students’ confidence is critical to their success so every Ashbourne A level student is assigned a dedicated Personal Tutor who provides individual academic and pastoral support and guidance throughout their time at the college. This includes expert careers advice and one-to-one UCAS support, from choosing the right course, interview practice all the way to accepting the best offer. We also offer specialised university application programmes for competitive courses such as Medicine and Engineering and entry to Oxford and Cambridge. More than half of our students go on to Russell Group universities including UCL, Imperial College, LSE, Oxford and Cambridge.

Ashbourne embraces a friendly, informal and adult approach to education, much like a university. We believe this encourages independent thinking, discipline and high expectations. We are situated in a fantastic part of London, close to many world-class venues and establishments, and we attract students from all over the world, making Ashbourne a vibrant and exciting place to learn.

Why Choose Ashbourne College?
I was drawn to apply to Ashbourne at first based on their phenomenal reputation in the UK, but the reality far exceeded my expectations… No single teacher had the same approach to teaching a subject, which was much more refreshing than the standard lecture & questions approach. From team quizzes during revision period, to weekly workbooks matching the syllabus – the organisation and creativity of my tutors really helped the content stick in my head, which made revision easier when exams came around. My personal tutor was extremely supportive throughout my UCAS application. He would reply emails near instantly if I had any questions, be on hand for regular support when I needed it and loaned me materials to read directly related to my chosen course – Law. Albeit slightly frustrating with the constant tweaking required to my personal statement every week, this was more of a fine tuning process as he would not stop until he knew my personal statement was as perfect as it could be, and I am very grateful for his determination!The hard work and determination required of you at Ashbourne really set me up for life at university as I knew what I had to do to stay ahead and still even applied revision tactics and tips from Ashbourne tutors to my final year of my law degree
NatashaLaw at Queen Mary (University of London); Legal Practice Course (LPC) at BPP Law School
Gained responsibility and independence and has a mature approach to their studies
Since starting work at Ashbourne in September, I was impressed by the amazing sense of community. The students’ combat differences in culture, age and circumstance to form fantastic relationships, and are strongly aided in the support and friendship from teaching and admin staff. Students are always given the attention they deserve, and these factors create a unique atmosphere for successful learning.
Hannah MartinFormer College Administrator and Welfare Officer

Ashbourne one-year student profiles

Elliot Yu

Physics A*, Mathematics A*, Further Mathematics A*

Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial

Joining Ashbourne with the ultimate ambition to become an Electrical Engineer, Elliot was committed to the challenge of taking A1 courses in Maths, Further Maths and Physics from scratch. Coming from Saint Dominic High School in the Dutch Caribbean, he brought with him an innate dedication and hard-working ethos, which meant he was able to master the material at a rapid rate. Always approaching his classes with a friendly and positive attitude, Elliot contributed with intelligent questions, and showed a witty yet courteous sense of humour towards staff and students alike.

Alexandros Papoutas

Mathematics A*, Economics A, Further Maths A

Economics and Statistics, University College London

Alexandros came to us from an experienced background of having done military service and previously studied at the International School of Paphos in Cyprus. He is a talented jazz piano player and enjoys tennis, but has the ultimate ambition to pursue Economics vocationally. His Economics teacher said “he worked very hard to achieve the necessary grades to enter a Russell Group institution – throughout his time here he developed high quality writing skills during the year which complemented his interest in economics”. Alexandros was always happy to help his peers in the classroom as well as engaging in discussions.

Emily Yu

Chemistry A, Physics A, Maths A

Pharmacy, University College London

Like Elliot, Emily is originally from Sint Maarten in the Dutch Caribbean, but came to Ashbourne to achieve the grades needed to study Pharmacy at degree level. She is described by her teachers as an extremely able student who was a pleasure to teach. She epitomises a true Asher in that she respected of the greater sense of freedom Ashbourne gives to students, by ensuring she was always present and punctual for class. She was focused in her execution of exam technique and proved excellent understanding of her subjects by submitting the highest standard of work throughout her entire year with us. She has now accepted her offer from UCL and has accomplished her ultimate goal to study Pharmacy

Emily Yu

Chemistry A, Physics A, Maths A

Pharmacy, University College London

Like Elliot, Emily is originally from Sint Maarten in the Dutch Caribbean, but came to Ashbourne to achieve the grades needed to study Pharmacy at degree level. She is described by her teachers as an extremely able student who was a pleasure to teach. She epitomises a true Asher in that she respected of the greater sense of freedom Ashbourne gives to students, by ensuring she was always present and punctual for class. She was focused in her execution of exam technique and proved excellent understanding of her subjects by submitting the highest standard of work throughout her entire year with us. She has now accepted her offer from UCL and has accomplished her ultimate goal to study Pharmacy

Ilya Bychkov

Russian A*, Physics A, Biology A, Chemistry B

Biomedical Sciences, King’s College

Ilya came to us from Oakham School in hope to secure the grades required to study Biomedical Sciences at King’s College University. After completing his one-year courses in Russian and the Sciences, he said “I would recommend Ashbourne to friends who may need to resit any of the A-levels”. Ilya’s success can be seen to reflect the value of our smaller class sizes in the context of shorter intensive courses as he adds, “I enjoyed the very personal approach to teaching from most of my teachers during the individual lessons and the ability to tailor some of the lessons to my specific needs, which I believe improved the effectiveness and the enjoyment of the education”.

Xuan Huang

Physics A, Mathematics A, Chinese B

Mechanical Engineering, Manchester University

Xuan was previously studying in the United States, and although he refers to his studies there as challenging, he admits to having found the process easier since enrolling with Ashbourne. Xuan is a bright and hardworking student who has gained in confidence and ability within his subjects during his time here. When reflecting back at this year he said, “I think A1 at Ashbourne is a very good programme and if I could choose again, I would certainly do it”. Having accepted his offer from Manchester University, he will now go on to study Mechanical Engineering.

Aimee Martino

Italian A, French B, Music C

Music, Royal Holloway

Having an exciting array of interests such as opera singing, fantasy literature and film, Aimee was a well rounded, bright and engaging student. She came to Ashbourne with the ambition of going on to Royal Holloway to study Music. As a singer with the versatility to perform Gluck, Mozart, opera and English folk songs, she has a myriad of capabilities under the musical umbrella. Aimee compared the openness of Ashbourne’s university-like approach to her previous experiences in education, saying “it was really nice to be treated like an adult for the first time and being given the freedom to approach your studies in your own way”.

She expressed an appreciation for the balance between teacher’s support and independent thinking as she explains “You get great guidance from teachers, but the freedom to approach your studies in your own way. For me it was perfect”.


Biology A, Economics A, Philosophy B

Philosophy and Psychology, Edinburgh University

AB was praised as an exceptional student by her Economics teacher, and was recognised as someone who possessed high-order skills which she worked incredibly hard to enhance. She came to Ashbourne wanting a change from the standard school environment, and flourished under Ashbourne’s encouragement to be more proactive and independent in approaching her studies. She was a prime example of an Asher in her social approach to classes, as she was always engaged and happy to help others. After initially considering a gap year, she has now decided to study Philosophy and Psychology at Edinburgh University

Conor Grefte

English Literature A, Economics B, Psychology B

Ancient History and English, University of Leeds

Originally from Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, Conor came to us to retake Psychology and Economics, in addition to one of his English Literature Units. During his one year stay with us he adapted his style of working in line with his teachers’ guidance, which allowed him to maximise his marks and realise his potential. ultimately securing him his improved grades. He upgraded his marks from B in English Literature, C in Psychology, and D in Economics to ABB respectively. His Economics teacher said: “Conor showed a strong interest in the subject, which is important if you’re going to learn anything and improve”, which has proven to be one of the determining factors in Conor’s outcome. He is now going on to study Ancient History and English at the University of Leeds.

Zheng Hong Zhou

Mathematics A, Chinese A, Economics C, Further Mathematics C

Economics and Finance, Surrey University

Justin was an ambitious pupil who always wanted to achieve top grades in Mathematics. He came to Ashbourne after studying a 3-month foundation course for Mathematics, Accounting and Economics at LU Shang International Experimental School in China. However, once discovering this couldn’t lead to his academic ambition of securing a place at university, he enrolled with Ashbourne to take A1 courses in Maths, Further Maths, Chinese and Economics. He progressed steadily since the beginning of the course, and consistently adopted a highly independent approach to his studies. He will now go on to pursue his interests in Economics and Finance at Surrey University.

Previous Highlights


2015/20162014 / 2015


Tom Cavailhes

Further Mathematics A, French A, Economics B, Mathematics C,
King’s College, French and Management

Originally from Montpellier in France, Tom came to Ashbourne to study Maths, Further Maths and Economics in one year. He wants to have his own business and already does some importing and exporting.

Tom had a little home tutoring last year but otherwise has studied the A levels in their entirety in 1 year. ‘I have had an amazing experience here, especially from my tutors, who show a different approach to each individual student’. Tom has also commented on the help that he was given by staff, especially Lee Kirby, the Director of Studies, with the university application process. As Tom has said, it is thanks to Lee’s encouragement and telephone calls, that he has his offer from King’s.

Friendship is an important aspect of student life at Ashbourne. As Tom says, so long as you show respect to your colleagues, everyone at Ashbourne is accepted, no matter what their appearance, creed or background.

Theo Kemp

Psychology A, Biology A, Chemistry B
Bristol University, Biology

Theo took his AS at King’s College School, and came to Ashbourne to read Biology, Chemistry and Psychology. He only gained Cs and Ds at AS first time round, so he has done these subjects from a scratch in a year. Theo says that it was definitely the right decision to come to Ashbourne: ‘the move helped me to grow up and learn new things… ‘ As well as receiving excellent tuition, he has commented on the ‘efficient and slick’ help that he received for his university application from the Deputy Director of Studies, Rob Koccho.

Guy Monnington

Mathematics A, Italian A
King’s College, Computer Science

Guy had briefly attended Brighton Uni, reading Civil Engineering, before coming to Ashbourne to improve his grades in order to get into a more highly ranked university. His original grades were BBC at Bedford School and he has changed subjects (retaking Maths and adding Italian to his original French A level).Guy says that he has concentrated much more this year and the teaching has been excellent. ‘I do like the fact that we do mocks every half term. That was very good for me… I feel so much more confident this time round.’ He also commented on how his tutor Ruchi helped him with his university application, especially making sure that he made the right decisions, and prepared him well with coding exercises that helped him to make a strong application for computing.


Mathematics B, Biology B, Chemistry B
St George’s Hospital Medical School, Biomedical Science

MH studied Biology and Chemistry in one year with us, as well as taking the A2 in Maths. She had obtained a B and a C in the AS subjects first time round from another independent sixth form college, and has now met the required grades to continue her education at St George’s Hospital Medical School. She told us that she has had a ‘really good experience… all the teachers are very helpful. It’s a very good learning environment … you’re not pushed down if you have a question or haven’t understood anything…’ She also remarked how her teacher Amy was very helpful with her university application and ‘is such a good teacher; never lets you down and always gives good notes’.Generally, she has found Ashbourne to be very friendly and enjoyable: ‘If I could go back, I would probably have come to this college initially (rather than having to retake)’.

Lucas Frayssinet

Mathematics A*, Further Mathematics A, French A
Barcelona University, Business Administration

Like Tom Cavailhes, Lucas is from Montpellier. He was looking for a direction after completing his French Bacc., in which he scored 14/20. He came to Ashbourne to study Maths, Further Maths and French in one year and has been accepted at Barcelona University to study Business Administration. Having done a series of internships, he is keen on retail and is interested in opening supermarkets when he completes his education.Lucas likes the approach to teaching at Ashbourne, in which there are 5-10 people in a class — a personal mentoring with ‘good staff and environment, everything’ and excellent help with the university application process from the Principal, Mike Kirby. As Lucas put it, ‘I made myself work as never before; it’s the first time in my life that I’ve worked really hard.’ Socially also this was one of his best years in school as he admitted before receiving his results: ‘ I really enjoyed it… Even if I don’t meet my choices, I will be satisfied with what I have accomplished this year.’ — a new thing for me…’


Physics B, Mathematics B
Warwick University, Engineering

AA came to Ashbourne from Marbella via Ampleforth College and retook his Maths and Physics. He has commented on how he covered all the material in half the time, and felt really well-prepared in the uprun to exams. In relation to Maths C4, for example, he said that Miss Rupinder ‘explained things really well, things I didn’t get last year’ and he enjoyed the small class sizes, in his case as low as 3 students.
He was happy that he received lots of homework as it encouraged a consistent and maintained level of hard work.He received helpful assistance from Mike with the editing of his personal statement and support with explaining to universities about his previous grades and new application. As a consequence, he has achieved the grades which have afforded him the opportunity to study Engineering at Warwick University, which could lead to a career in the energy sector. He enjoyed the diversity of Ashbourne and made solid friendships.

Munkiran Deo

Biology A*, Chemistry A, Mathematics B
Bristol, Law

Munkiran came to us from a state school in East London in order to retake Biology and Chemistry in one year, together with Maths A2. After taking a gap year, Ashbourne helped her to compile a strong application, the success of which Munkiran reflects upon by saying ‘Ashbourne was ‘the best choice that I’ve made in terms of school… teachers are so supportive, interested, they want you to do well, … they know what they have to do and how to do it. She also commented on the ‘really nice people; the atmosphere is very positive and everybody really kind; I immediately integrated into the group.’

Olamide Duyile

History A, Psychology A, Mathematics B
Warwick, Sociology and Global Sustainable Development

Olamide came to us from Chobham Academy, where she had taken AS Maths, History, Chem and Psych (AABB). At Ashbourne she retook one module in History and carried on with A2 Maths, History and Psychology. She commented on the ‘helpful teachers, to whom you could go back for extra help’. Her tutor Will, gave her lots of help with her UCAS application, for example, with the extra personal statement required by the University of Warwick.

Ada Bruzziches

Italian A*, French A, History A, Government and Politics C
Queen Mary, Russian with Business Management

Ada came to us with excellent grades (8.5) from the Convitto Nazionale in Rome, keen to take A levels in French, History, Politics and Italian in one year. She immediately impressed us with her maturity and intellectual depth and subsequently received an offer (AAA) from University College London to read Politics and East European Studies. Ada showed herself to be a great learner and rapidly developed both her academic skills and her writing in English. As she has put it, ’doing everything in one year was quite challenging but the school motivated me and I always wanted to do the work!’


Luke Hammett

English Literature A*
Sussex University, Philosophy

Luke was 19 years old when he arrived at Ashbourne, having previously achieved an A* in Film, a B in Philosophy and a C in Psychology at another school. He impressed us from the outset with his range of literary and cultural interests, and gained an A* in English Literature A level in his year at Ashbourne. He is now studying Philosophy at the University of Sussex.

Emily Hong

History of Art A, English Literature B, Film Studies B
University of Lancaster Marketing Management

Emily achieved excellent GCSES and then underperformed at AS in her previous school, gaining a D for Design and Technology, a C for Philosophy and a C for English Literature. At Ashbourne she achieved an A in History of Art, a B in English Literature and a B in Film Studies. She is now studying Marketing Management at the University of Lancaster.

Micha Horgan

French A, English Literature B
University of East Anglia, American Literature

Micha came to Ashbourne at the age of 19, having disliked the regimented atmosphere in his previous school. He achieved an A for French and a B for English Literature with us.

Benedict Tso

English Literature A*, Music B, Mathematics B
King’s College, English Literature

A talented student, Benedict had only achieved a D for Mathematics, an E for Economics and a C for Music in his previous school. At Ashbourne Benedict improved his Mathematics grade to a B and he studied English Literature in a year, starting from scratch, achieving an A*. This set him up perfectly for reading English at King’s College, London.

Sara Parnell

German A, Fine Art B, Psychology B

Having been schooled abroad, Sara spent her first year in the UK at Ashbourne, achieving an A in German, a B in Psychology and a B in Fine Art. Sara had originally intended to study medicine but eventually decided to pursue a career in the arts.

Umair Uddin

Biology A, English Literature A, Chemistry B
Oman Medical College

Umair took his A levels at another school in London and joined Ashbourne for a one-year course. He improved his grades in English from a B to an A, in Chemistry from a D to a B and in Biology from a C to an A. Umair is now studying Medicine at Oman Medical College.

Federico Milana

Mathematics A

Federico came to Ashbourne for a specific but not untypical reason. An able student, he had taken the IB at another school in London but the subsidiary level Mathematics that he had taken there was not sufficient for his chosen university course. At Ashbourne he took Mathematics in one year and achieved an A

Matthew MacFarlane

Mathematics A, Physics B
Bristol University, Physics

Matthew came to us from a famous public school in the North of England. In his year at Ashbourne he improved his Mathematics grade from a C to an A and his Physics grade from a C to a B. He is now studying Physics at the University of Bristol.

Ben Dyson

Mathematics A
University of Virginia, International Relations and Politics

Ben studied at a top London school before improving his Mathematics grade from a D to an A in his year at Ashbourne. His family is delighted with his performance at Ashbourne and felt that the College offered Ben the secure environment that he needed to fulfil his potential. He went on to study International Relations and Politics at the University of Virginia.