Cambridge Pre-U is a new form of pre-university qualification, requiring students to select three Principal Subjects, out of a choice of 26, ranging from Art and Design to Sport Science and from Biology, Chemistry and Physics to History, Latin and Mandarin Chinese. Students are also required to carry out an Independent Research Report (of 4,500-5000 words), on a subject chosen by the candidate in consultation with his or her tutor. They also must take a course in Global Perspectives: this is a particularly innovative part of the qualification, involving the study of global ethical, economic, environmental, technological and political issues.
The Pre-U was launched in September 2008, for first assessment in June 2010, and it has been adopted by some state-maintained and independent schools. Unlike the IB, Pre-U can be combined with A-Levels, since it is possible to replace two of the Principal Subjects with A Levels. Therefore, it offers a reasonably flexible alternative to the more established Further Education qualifications. For further information on the Pre-U syllabus see http://www.cie.org.uk/qualifications/academic/uppersec/preu
A-Levels or the Pre-U?
Pre-U offers students a wide range of choices and does not have any compulsory principal subjects, as in the IB. It is not, however, as flexible as A-Level: its structure is linear rather than modular, and the range of subjects is more restricted. Ashbourne believes that A Level offers students an unrivalled opportunity to master the subjects about which they are most passionate and engaged.
Ashbourne does not offer the Pre-U