Frequently Asked Questions

Why can't I apply to both Varndean & BHASVIC?

You cannot apply to both Varndean and BHASVIC as they are both very similar colleges offering a very similar range of courses. Each college has to plan its very complex curriculum timetable months in advance and therefore it would prove extremely misleading and disruptive if there were students applying to both colleges and holding places at both colleges simultaneously.

Can I study a combination of A Levels and vocational courses?

Yes, many students study a combination of A Level and vocational courses. For example, this could be 2 A Levels and a BTEC, 1 A Level and 2 BTECs or even 3 BTECs. Please note that a single BTEC is equivalent to 1 A Level and a double BTEC is equivalent to 2 A Levels. Please also note that if you are looking to follow a specific career path at university, then it is worth checking on the UCAS website to find out what entry requirements are required for a specific degree course. This can vary from one university to another and from one course to another. Many undergraduate degree courses do carry specific A Level entry requirements.

Can I try a subject out before deciding my subject choices?

No, unfortunately this is not possible. However, under certain circumstances, students may request to switch a course within the first few weeks of term if they find they have made the wrong choice. Please note, however, this is subject to places being available on the alternative course they wish to switch to.

When do I attend for an interview?

You will be invited in for an Admissions interview in either January or February depending upon which school you currently attend. You will then attend a further Enrolment interview in late August once you have received your GCSE results.

What happens if I don't get the grades I need?

If you do not achieve the grades needed to follow a particular course, then this will be discussed at your second ‘Enrolment Interview’ in late August. If necessary, we will look at finding you an alternative subject or course to study. In some circumstances, it may be the case that you have to follow an Intermediate level course for one year and then continue on to an Advanced level course after that.

How many students do you have?

We currently have approximately 1800 students, predominantly on Level 3 or mixed vocational programmes.

What is your average class size?

Our average class size is 18/20.

How many students study the IB?

We have an average of 45-50 students each year study the IB Diploma.

Which schools do students come from?

Students come from a huge range of schools, not just from within Brighton & Hove, but right across Sussex; from as far north as Haywards Heath, Worthing in the West and Eastbourne in the East.

How long is the college day?

The college day runs from 8.40am - 4.10pm on 3 days and 8.40am - 5.05pm on 2 days. However, each student has their own individual timetable and is not expected to be in lessons for this entire time. Each day is different. One day your first lesson may not be until 10.30am or another day it may not be until the afternoon. You are only expected to be in college for your timetabled lessons. Outside of these lesson times, however, you are advised to use your time wisely by undertaking independent study, either offsite or onsite.

Are you affiliated to Varndean School?

No, Varndean College is completely independent to Varndean School. We just happen to have similar names and share the same magnificent views of Brighton!

Which bus serves Varndean College?

The 5B and the 55 buses stop immediately outside Varndean College.

Do you have student car parking?

Unfortunately we do not provide student car parking on site, however there is free street parking in the surrounding area to the college.

How far is it to the nearest train station?

Preston Park station (the closest) is an approximate 15-20 min walk away.

How do I apply?

If Varndean College is your first choice college, then you can make an application using the College's online application system. This can be found at, Firstly, you will need to set up an online account using your email address and a password. It is advisable not to use your school email address, as once you leave your school in the summer of 2020 you will no longer be able to access this. After setting up the account, you can then complete all relevant sections and submit. You can also save the application at any time and return to a later date.