Joining NUAST in Year 12

Studying at NUAST sixth form is just a little bit different from the regular post-16 experience.

NUAST offers some of the very best facilities for Science, Engineering and ICT in Nottingham, because we believe that the young people of this county deserve the chance to excel in STEM subjects by accessing the very best equipment available.

The fantastic building, facilities and equipment are only a small part of what NUAST has to offer.

Specialist and expert teachers in every subject will instil in you the passion and commitment they feel for their subjects, while expertly leading you through the examination requirements and beyond. At NUAST, we believe in achievement, but we also believe that learning does not end with the requirements of the examination board. Our teachers will prepare you for a future career in industry by teaching the skills that employers want to see.

Our small academy allows personalised learning that breeds dedication and will transform you into a professional student who any university or employer would be proud to take on.

Our close links with both local universities, as well as local employers and national companies will ensure that you leave NUAST well connected with an exceptional awareness of how to succeed in your chosen field.

Download Year 12 Prospectus

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A Level Pathway

Click a subject below for full course details.

In addition to these subjects, you will undertake the Extended Project Qualification. The EPQ is a universally recognised additional qualification that allows students to explore a particular area of academic study that interests them.

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BTEC Level 3 Engineering Pathway

Engineering is a career rich in opportunities which can take you to any corner of the globe. At NUAST we provide the best engineering facilities and curriculum in the local area at GCSE and Post 16.

Post 16 (Level 3 Qualifications)

At Post 16 NUAST offers the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Engineering. Broken down into 18 units, this course is designed to give you a firm grounding in engineering principles through practical experience.

Supported by our industry partners, you will be taught over 20 teaching sessions a week leading to a qualification equivalent to three A Levels.

To further support your study and provide you with an opportunity to explore ideas beyond the curriculum, you will take the Level 3 Extended Project Qualification.

The EPQ is a universally recognised additional qualification that allows students to explore a particular area of academic study that interests them.

Enrichment and Wider Skills

Whilst NUAST offers its students the very best in specialist teaching and facilities, our enrichment programme provides unrivalled extra-curricular opportunities and a unique set of skills highly valued by employers.

Enrichment activities include national and international competitions that challenge the skills of young engineers and scientists. Beyond specific enrichment activities, NUAST’s unique links with local and national employers and the University of Nottingham mean that every month there is a range of speakers, educational visits and industry challenges available across the curriculum.

Greenpower Challenge

The 24+ formula Greenpower challenge is aimed at young mechanical and electronics engineers aged between 16 and 25 years old.

This formula is all about designing and building an electric car with a standard motor and sets of batteries. There are strict regulations to follow, but this certainly doesn’t restrict the creativity required to be competitive.

The season consists of eight Championship rounds, each of 60 minutes duration. Teams must enter at least three events including the Final Round at Rockingham Motor Speedway. The top three results of each team determine their position in the final championship table.

NUAST is investing in two 24+ formula shells and electronic packages allowing two teams of students to enter the competition.

Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge

Using the facilities at NUAST, a team of 4–6 students will work together to design and build a radio controlled four-wheel-drive (4x4) vehicle. The team must work to set specifications in order to successfully negotiate NUAST’s specially designed test track that emulates real life challenges faced by a full scale 4x4 vehicle.

The challenge is an excellent opportunity for young people to work in teams and gain an awareness and understanding of project management.

VEX Robotics Competition

This tasks teams of students with the challenge of designing and building a robot to compete against other teams from around the world in a game-based engineering and coding challenge.


Science, maths, coding and engineering skills are put to the test in the competition ring as NUAST students learn lifelong skills in teamwork, leadership and communications.

Tournaments are held at a regional and national level with the top UK teams going on to compete against the best in the world at the VEX Robotics World Championship each April.

NUAST has invested in a full competition package including a practice tournament ring and all the components required to compete at the highest level.

F1 in Schools

This is is a multi-disciplinary technology challenge. Teams of students will utilise the state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities at NUAST to design, analyse, manufacture, test and race miniature compressed air powered balsa wood F1 cars.

Teams of 3–6 students are then judged in regional competitions on car speed as well as delivering a verbal presentation on the science and engineering behind their design.

NUAST has invested in a full F1 in Schools 25m test track and timing equipment to ensure our teams are the most competitive they can be.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

AS Level (maximum 70 UCAS points, A* available)

What is the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)?

Extended Project is an optional extra AS Level qualification which can be studied for one year, alongside your other A-Level subjects. Extended Project puts you in control and gives you the chance to explore something that really interests you.

Success with this qualification depends on you being able to work independently as your teacher is only involved in the process as a mentor or coach.

You will choose a subject to explore in-depth, something that interests you, or that you might want to study at university or even pursue as a career.

You will choose one of four types of project to complete:

  • Write a dissertation
  • Produce an artefact, like a sculpture, model or DVD
  • Develop and showcase a performance
  • Conduct an investigation or field study

How will it be assessed?

The EPQ is assessed by 100% coursework. You will choose, plan and manage a project to completion. You will learn how to apply project management skills such as planning and managing your time to achieve an extended, advanced long-term goal. The key to success is your ability to work independently.

The outcome could be a dissertation, report, artefact/design, event or performance of some kind. In addition, you will complete a detailed log documenting your journey.

Where can it lead?

The EPQ is highly valued by both employers and higher education institutions. It demonstrates your ability to manage your own learning effectively. Not only can it can give you a competitive edge in making applications to employment or higher education, you will also deepen your understanding in an area that really interests you, since you choose your topic.

Life after NUAST

The majority of our students are expected to progress onto higher education or a higher level apprenticeship. All students will be provided with information and guidance enabling them to make a well-informed choice as to their chosen pathway.

We have strong links with a number of universities giving students a flavour of university life. Expert advice from our experienced staff will be provided to support all students individually with their university or apprenticeship application.

The combination of our high expectations for academic learning and the development of wider employability skills is critical for supporting applications at this level.

Students wishing to enter directly into employment will also have support with their job applications.

UCAS Applications

Ensuring NUAST students can access undergraduate courses at the very best universities is a key priority for the academy. As a small, specialist academy we can offer the care, support and guidance students need to ensure they apply for the right courses, jobs or higher apprenticeships.

To ensure that our students receive the very best advice and guidance when applying through UCAS, we have teamed up with the University of Nottingham admissions team. They are providing training, advice and support to our students and staff, offering an invaluable insight into how to deliver the very strongest applications.

In addition we have an experienced school leader as our pastoral Head of Post 16. Ross Little oversees the induction, mentoring and academic progress of our students along with his mentor team. Ross also leads the UCAS process and employment/higher apprenticeship applications.


The unique nature of the courses offered by NUAST mean that our students are well equipped to access university or higher apprenticeships. Unlike with UCAS, the pathway to securing a higher apprenticeship requires specialist knowledge and support. At NUAST we not only have the experience to guide our students through that process but can use our unrivalled links with local business to access the very best apprenticeship opportunities in the region.

With so many of our business partners regularly visiting us, every day at NUAST is a potential job interview. Since opening in September 2014, we have already had students offered positions through enrichment activities and company placements.