The Principal Welcomes You to Varndean College

Welcome to Varndean College, a sixth form college with a strong academic reputation, located in the lively and cosmopolitan City of Brighton on a very attractive campus surrounded by playing fields and with views of the sea.

The country's Chief Inspector for Schools and Colleges has identified Varndean as a "particularly successful" college. Varndean has a high reputation for examination results and students progress to university and employment - with many of our former students now prominent in public life. Students at Varndean become involved in a wide range of enrichment opportunities in sport, music, drama and societies and there is a lively student union. Support for students is excellent whether this be from personal tutors or using important services such as welfare, careers guidance and additional support for learning, including language support.


The Programme

  • An opportunity to study in English in a UK college for short programmes of either one term, one semester or one year – see the dates below
  • You choose three subjects to study in A-level classes and/or BTec classes – both are at L3
  • You also study General English (IELTS)
  • There is a practical Sport and Fitness session each week
  • You receive a final report at the end of your study
  • All students (both EU and non-EU) staying on the one-year programme will need a Student visa which also requires you to take an AS exam in at least one of the **subjects in the list below
  • You have the support of the College tutorial sessions and the International team for your pastoral care
  • You live with a UK host family, which is arranged by Varndean College or your agent
  • We provide an induction programme to the college, the local area, and take you on visits to tourist venues

Entry Requirements

  • You need to be age 16 to 18 years old on entry
  • Anyone from around the world can apply. After January 2021 all students (both EU and non-EU) who choose a course of study in the UK longer than 6 months, will need:
    1. UKVI Student visa:
    2. UKVI IELTS test:
  • To meet our entry requirements, you will need
    1. An IELTS grade of 5.5 with no grade less than 5.0 in any category
    2. Good grades in your latest school report
    3. A good recommendation from your current school
Please look at the Courses tab on Varndean website to see the courses and the entry requirements

Programme Dates and Prices

* UKVI Student visa and UKVI IELTS are needed for the one year programme
  • Tuition fees include: tuition in L3 courses (A-levels or BTec or IB), administration fees, orientation programme in first term and exam fees where applicable.
  • Accommodation costs include: full-board accommodation in a host family, situated close to the college. The accommodation costs are inclusive of all College holidays during the student's period of stay.
  • All students must stay in host family accommodation arranged either by Varndean College or by their agent
  • From 1 January 2021, a Student visa is needed for all students for periods of study longer than 6 months:
  • An IELTS UKVI official test is also needed for the CAS to be issued:
Tuition & Accommodation *
One TermWed 1 Sept 2021 - Fri 17 Dec 2021£7,295
Tue 4 Jan 2022 – Fri 1 Apr 2022£5,960
SemesterWed 1 Sept 2021 - Fri 28 Jan 2022£9,375
Tue 4 Jan 2022 – Fri 27 May 2022£8,930
One YearWed 1 Sept 2021 - Fri 8 Jul 2022£15,770

** All one year short courses need to take at least one formal AS qualification as a requirement of the Student visa. Only some subjects are available as an AS – they are annotated with **
No.SubjectQualificationSeptember EntryJanuary Entry
1ArtA Level
2BiologyA Level
3Biology (Applied)BTEC Level 3 Single
4Business StudiesA Level
5Business Studies (Vocational)BTEC Level 3 Single and Double
6**ChemistryA LevelNot Available
7Classical CivilisationA Level
8Computer Games DevelopmentBTEC Level 3 Single
9Computer ScienceA Level
10CriminologySingle Level 3 Diploma
11DanceBTEC Level 3 Single
12Design - 3DA Level
13Design - GraphicA Level
14Drama and Theatre StudiesA LevelNot Available
15EconomicsA Level
16EngineeringCTEC Level 3 Single
17English LanguageA Level
18English LiteratureA Level
19English Language & LiteratureA Level
20Environmental SustainabilityBTEC Level 3 Single
21Film StudiesA LevelNot Available
22**Forensic Science and Criminal InvestigationDouble BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
23FrenchA Level
24GeographyA Level
25GermanA Level
26Health & Social CareBTEC Level 3 Single and Double
27History - Early ModernA Level
28History - ModernA Level
29Information TechnologyBTEC Level 3 Single
30International BaccalaureateIB Diploma
31LawA Level
32**Law (Applied)BTEC Level 3 Single
33MathematicsA Level
34Mathematics - FurtherA Level
35Media StudiesA Level
36Music TechnologyA Level
37**Performing ArtsBTEC Level 3 Single and DoubleNot Available
38PhilosophyA Level
39PhotographyA Level
40PhysicsA LevelNot Available
41PoliticsA Level
42Protective ServicesBTEC Level 3 Single
43**PsychologyA Level
44**Psychology (Applied)BTEC Level 3
45Science (Applied)BTEC Level 3 SingleNot Available
46SociologyA Level
47SpanishA Level
48TextilesA Level
49Travel & TourismBTEC Level 3 Single

Group 1English Literature
Group 2French / German / Spanish / Spanish for beginners / Mandarin / Mandarin for beginners
Group 3History / Global Politics / Psychology
Group 4Biology / Physics
Group 5Mathematics – Analysis & Approaches / Mathematics – Applications & Interpretations
Group 6Chemistry / Film / Philosophy / Visual Arts
Plus the core programme of:
  • Extended essay: 4,000 words on a topic of particular interest in any subject
  • Theory of knowledge: A study of the foundations of knowledge
  • Creativity, activity, service: A programme of extra-curricular activities

Covid-19 addendum to policy: for September 2021 entry, all deposits will be fully refunded if
  1. The course does not run at Varndean due to Covid-19 implications
  2. The student decides to withdraw from the programme due to Covid-19 reasons, before they arrive.

Once the student arrives in UK, the normal refund and cancellation policy applies, regardless of Covid-19 implications. This is as follows:

  1. Withdrawal after paying the deposit, before full payment, for non-Covid-19 related reasons: For students who do not need a visa:
    1. All deposits are non-refundable - they guarantee and hold a place for the student at Varndean College.
    2. All deposits are non-refundable for any reason except a visa refusal (see 1.3)
    3. 85% of the deposit will be refunded if a visa has been denied
  2. Withdrawal after paying the full amount, before arrival:
    1. If a student pays the full fees and then withdraws for any reason except a visa refusal (see 2.2)
      • the deposit will not be refunded
      • 85% of the balance of tuition fees will be refunded
      • the full accommodation fees will be refunded
    2. If a student pays the full fees and the visa is refused:
      • 85% of the full fees, including the deposit, will be refunded
      • the full accommodation fees will be refunded
  3. Withdrawal after arrival, or if a student is sent home for any reason:
    1. If any student withdraws after arrival, unless there are exceptional circumstances (see 3.2)
      • the deposit will not be refunded
      • the tuition fees will not be refunded
      • any remaining accommodation fees will be refunded less two weeks notice period for host family
    2. If there are exceptional personal circumstances, such as bereavement, a percentage refund may be considered, on appeal to the Principal of the college
  4. Full payment is needed before the student lands in the UK
  5. The deadline for payment is one month before scheduled flight to UK. In the event of non-payment:
    • the student's place will be withdrawn
    • the deposit will not be refunded
  6. Agent's commission in connection with refunds and cancellations
    1. No commission will be paid to the agent if the student is not enrolled in College, for any reason

Application Checklist

Please email your application to Shaun Clark at, including:

  • the application form as a scan or attachment
  • a scan of your passport
  • a scan of your latest school report with subjects and grades
  • a scan of any additional learning needs support plan if applicable
  • a scan of your current school's recommendation from your tutor or principal
  • a scan of any IELTs or English Language certificate you may have

We will then contact you with the next steps in the process.

For any general enquiries about study programmes for International students, please contact us at:

Tel: +44 01273 508011

Students' GuideApplication Form