Intensive A Level Courses



For students who are able, determined and have strong academic foundations, one-year A Level courses offer outstanding opportunities. These can include:

Former student Annabel Reed on studying one year A levels at Ashbourne College


Ashbourne is one of the best independent colleges in London and has been delivering highly successful intensive courses for more than thirty years: restoring confidence, improving grades and brightening futures.

The keys to its success are small classes, exam orientation and outstanding teaching. Most importantly, we provide almost double the usual teaching time so that students can approach their exams in a relaxed and confident manner.

In order to ensure that a student’s ability and ambition are matched, our dedicated UCAS and Personal Tutors offer one-to-one guidance for all students applying to university. More than 50 % of our 2015 graduates went on to Russell Group universities including UCL, Imperial College, the LSE, Oxford and Cambridge. Moreover, this year 5 of our students have gained offers from Oxbridge and over 70 offers have been received from Russell Group universities.

Valuable insights into the experiences of our one-year students can be gained from reading the case studies below. You can also watch an illuminating video about Ashbourne graduate Annabel Reed, who went on to study Philosophy at Oxford University.

Ashbourne Profiles of One-Year Students

Ashbourne’s one-year A-level courses lead to excellent grades and university placements through hard work, individual attention and an emphasis on exam technique. These profiles summarise our students’ experiences and the reasons for their success

2015 / 2016


Tom Cavailhes

Originally from Montpellier in France, Tom came to Ashbourne to study Maths, Further Maths and Economics in one year. He has an A*AA offer from King’s College London to read Management. 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

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, in order to meet his offer from the Biology department at Leeds (AAA).

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

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. He has an offer to read Computer Science at King’s (AAB).   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.


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 she is aiming to meet her offers of ABB from Warwick and AAA from St George’s in order to read Biomedical science.   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

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 given an offer from King’s College (A* A A) to read Management. Having done a series of internships, he is keen on retail and is interested in opening supermarkets when he completes his education. So the degree from King’s should be very useful!

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: ‘ 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…’


AA came to Ashbourne from Marbella via Ampleforth College and is retaking Maths and Physics. He has commented on how he has covered all the material in half the time, and feels really well-prepared.   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 and worked hard.

He had good help 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 an offer from Warwick to read Engineering (AAB), which, he hopes, could lead to a career in the energy sector.

He enjoyed the diversity of Ashbourne and made good friendships.

Munkiran Deo

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. She is taking a gap year but will apply next year for dentistry and law. Obviously, Ashbourne will help her to make a strong application in the autumn. In the meantime Munkiran has said that coming to 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.’

Hieronymus Kothbauer

Hieronymus is from Vienna, having done well in the Austrian system with the exception of Maths, and came to Ashbourne to take a 1-year A Level in Maths. Exeter University has offered him a place on their Physics course provided he gets a B in Maths. He has had a very good experience with Ashbourne’s Maths Department, and said that his tutor Abdul was ‘a great teacher.’ He hopes that he will get an A.

Olamide Duyile

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.   She has received offers for Economics from UCL, Warwick and Durham (all A* AA).

Ada Bruzziches

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!’

2014 / 2015


Luke Hammett

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

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

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. Micha is now reading American Literature with Creative Writing at University of East Anglia.

Benedict Tso

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

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

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

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

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

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 (his mother has already written a google review) and felt that the College offered Ben the secure environment that he needed to fulfil his potential. He is currently studying for an International Relations/Politics degree at the University of Virginia.