Questions about what can be studied

How many subjects can I study?

Students usually take the equivalent of three A levels as this is what they need to go to university or move on to a higher or degree level apprenticeship. Some students also study for an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) to make them stand out to universities and employers.

What courses are available?

We have a wide range of courses available: A levels, level 3 BTEC/CTECs, a T-Level, and some level 2 qualifications. For more information, please look on our course list.

Can I study a BTEC/CTEC with an A-Level?

Yes! Notre Dame will allow you to mix and match BTECs with A-Levels in order to give you the maximum amount of flexibility and future career options.

Can I study four A-Levels and an EPQ?

Even if you are planning to apply for a competitive degree like Medicine, or to a competitive university like Cambridge, three A-levels are enough. However, if you have a very strong GCSE grade profile (an example would be all grade 7/8/9), you could take a fourth A-level or study for an EPQ: we will discuss this with you at enrolment.

What’s the difference between an A level, a BTEC or CTEC, and the T-Level?

An A level is similar to a GCSE: the teacher gives you information to learn for exams at the end of two years. A BTEC or CTEC is more research and coursework based. The T-Level is equivalent to 3 A levels and includes a work placement - or what is described as industry placement - that makes up 20% of your time on the course. You can find out more here.

What is the Notre Dame Pathway?

The Notre Dame Pathway is designed to help students who don’t meet the entry requirements for level 3 courses (e.g. A levels). For one year, you would study level 2 BTEC/ CTEC qualifications and retake GCSE Maths or English if required. Then you would progress to a level 3 study programme at Notre Dame. To take a BTEC/CTEC level 2 qualification, you should have at least four GCSEs at grade 3 or equivalent qualifications including at least a grade 4 in GCSE English Language or GCSE Maths. Students who haven’t already achieved a minimum of grade 4 in either GCSE English Language or Maths will continue to work towards this.

Entry Requirements

What qualifications do I need?

Entry criteria for A levels are five grade 4s at GCSE including GCSE English Language and Maths, and for BTEC/CTECs it is five grade 4s including GCSE English Language and Maths. Many courses also have specific entry requirements and these are detailed on the individual course pages on our website.

At Notre Dame we are passionate about all students achieving the best outcomes possible. To support with this we enrol students onto the courses on which they will best achieve. Therefore, as well having grade criteria for each subject, we also consider applicants average GCSE score (Adding up all numerical GCSE grades and dividing by how many were taken).


  • A student with an average GCSE score of 5.5 or below will be enrolled on a predominantly vocational programme
  • A student with an average GCSE score of 5.5-6 will be enrolled onto a programme with at least some aspect of vocational learning
  • A student with an average GCSE score of 6+ will be enrolled onto a programme of three A levels

Please note:
A student being enrolled onto four A levels would ordinarily have an average GCSE score of 7+.

If I don’t meet the entry requirements for my chosen courses, can I change to different ones?

Once you receive your GCSE results, you will attend your enrolment appointment and a member of staff will help you with your next steps. If you change your mind about a course or don’t meet the entry requirements you can discuss this at enrolment.

Applying to start in September 2024

I haven't applied yet but I want to study at Notre Dame. Can I still apply now?

Our applications for September 2024 will open on Thursday 7th September. The application deadline is Sunday 28th January 2024. Applicants can apply after the deadline but will be placed on a waiting list and contacted in August if there are spaces available. We encourage students who have applied after the deadline to also apply for at least two other colleges or sixth form colleges. 

What should I write in my personal statement?

This guidance is given on the application form: “In this section, please explain in approximately 200 words why you want to study at Notre Dame and what extra-curricular activities (e.g. sport, volunteering, part-time work) you take part in. Please also describe any ideas you have about future careers or university subjects.” We will talk to you about your personal statement during your interview.

When is the application deadline for international students?

There is no set deadline but we do have a limited number of places and the visa process itself can take a while, so we encourage early applications if possible. International students can apply here.

College Interviews

After applying when will my interview be? How will I be interviewed this year?

Interviews will take place between January - May.  We’ll email and write to you two weeks before your interview to confirm the date and time. We’ll also send you a text reminder a week before the interview.

What will I be asked and how long will the interview take?

During your interview, we will ask why you have applied to Notre Dame, what sort of degree or jobs you are interested in, and if you take part in any extra-curricular activities or have any interests outside of school. We'll also double check your choice of subjects, tell you more about Notre Dame, and see if there's any extra support we can offer you. The interview will take ten to fifteen minutes.

What should I have with me at my interview?

You will have listed your predicted grades on your application form, and we will use these to check that you’ve applied for appropriate courses. However, if you have more recent grades - from mock exams or from your recent school progress tracker - please tell us about these during your interview.

I have applied but I haven't received an interview email or letter. What should I do?

Please contact the admissions team using admissions@ndonline.ac.uk if you have any queries about your application. We will be interviewing until the end of May.

Offers to induction

When will I find out if I have secured a place?

If possible, and so long as we’ve received a satisfactory reference from your school, we will offer you a conditional place at Notre Dame during the interview. This will be confirmed in writing within two weeks. If we aren’t able to make you an offer at your interview, we’ll be in touch to let you know the outcome of it, again within two weeks. 

I’ve changed my mind about the courses I want to study!

Subject choices can be discussed at enrolment once you have your GCSE results, and will be subject to availability.  

What is the Summer Learning Programme?

Here at college, our teachers are busy putting together all sorts of activities and resources, which will give you a head start when it comes to your A level and BTEC/CTEC courses. You can access the programme here.

How will enrolment work this year?

Enrolment will be taking place from 22nd - 28th August 2024. We will send you a detailed enrolment pack in the post. This will explain how this year's enrolment days will work, what you will need to bring with you to your appointment and how to enrol if you can't make these dates. Students must attend their enrolment appointment in person in order to receive a place at Notre Dame. To find out more about our order of enrolment, you can view our Admissions Policy here

What happens on my induction day?

Once you have enrolled at Notre Dame, you will then be invited to your induction day which will be early September (exact date TBC). We’ll give you lots of helpful information about the College, and will take you on a tour of the campus.

When is the Experience Notre Dame Days?

The Experience Notre Dame Days are for students who have applied to study at Notre Dame for September 2024. They will take place on the 9th and 10th July. You will only need to attend one of the dates, on which you will be allocated. We will be in touch soon with further information. 

Other Questions

How is college different to high school?

College is a more adult environment than high school. There are no bells to mark each lesson, you are expected to take responsibility for your own learning (with lots of support from us) and you don’t have to be on the college site if you have a study period, which means you might get a lie-in on some days!

Is there a dress code?

There is no uniform, but we ask students not to wear anything revealing, offensive, or really impractical.

Is there a canteen? What food does it serve?

We do have a canteen; it sells a range of hot food that changes daily. We also have a pavilion that sells cold food such as meal deals, and a small shop in the lower study area that sells snacks.

How many students do you have?

Around 1300 new students enrol with us each year, so there are approximately 2600 Notre Dame students.

What will my timetable look like?

The college day begins at 9 a.m. and finishes at 4 p.m., but students aren’t in from 9 until 4 every day. You will have some periods on your timetable when you aren’t in class. You can use this time to write up notes, complete coursework, revise etc. and a lot of our students will go to the library or the IT suite to work. But you don’t have to be in college when you don’t have a lesson, and you don’t have to stay in college for lunch – just make sure you’re back in time for your next class!

What is PTE?

The PTE programme aims to encourage the formation of the whole person and seeks to be inclusive, challenging and affirming to all, irrespective of faith or perspectives. Through reflections and discussions, we foster a community based on respect and trust where everyone feels valued. In this class, you will discuss the wider issues in life. They look at the big questions, spiritual development and how they relate to their internal and external worlds. There are no exams, no homework and no coursework in this lesson. You will also have the opportunity to gain the Stella Maris Leadership Award.

Can I have a part-time job while I study at college?

Yes, but don’t work for more than 10 hours a week, as otherwise this can affect your grades.

Do I have to be Catholic to go to Notre Dame?

No, we welcome students from all faiths. The diversity of our students is a strength of the college.

I'm not religious. Will I have to pray/go to church if I come to Notre Dame?

We are a Catholic College that welcomes all faiths and none. Our Mission & Ethos is important to us and all staff and students follow this. There are prayer opportunities every week, which you can join in with if you wish or be respectful of those who do. You will see examples in the Catholic Life section of our website of the many charities and volunteering opportunities our students are involved with All students must attend PTE, which you can read more about here

Can I attend Notre Dame as a mature student?

We are a Sixth Form College, which means our A-Level, T Level and BTEC Level 3 courses only cater for 16 years olds usually on a two-year programme.

Are lockers available?

Yes, we do have some lockers available.  A £20 deposit is required to hire a locker for your 2-year course and is refundable on the return of your key. Please enquire at the Finance Office. 

What are the average class sizes?

Our average class size is 20.

What is the campus like?

A virtual tour of the college is available on our website, which shows you the Notre Dame campus.

Does Notre Dame have a College bus? I’m not sure how to get there.

We don’t have a college bus, but Notre Dame is situated a 20-minute walk from Leeds Bus Station and the train station is a 15-minute walk away. There are a variety of cycle routes into the city and there is provision to store your bicycle securely within college grounds. Once you are 16, you will be able to apply for a half fare bus and train pass. You can find out more about this here:  https://www.wymetro.com/

Can I go on holiday during term-time?

We do not allow this: once you’ve enrolled, please speak to your personal tutor for further information.

What careers support do you offer?

The College has a specialist careers team who will provide you with impartial advice and guidance at every stage of your academic journey. The Careers Department provides support with career planning, UCAS and higher education, interview skills, job applications and CV writing:  https://www.notredamecoll.ac.uk/students/careers-support

Can you help me to find work experience?

Yes, we have a work experience coordinator who can help you to look for a placement. You can read more about this on the ‘Careers Support’ page of our website:  https://www.notredamecoll.ac.uk/students/careers-support

What extra-curricular activities or trips do you offer?

We offer a huge range of enrichment activities. You can find out more on our ‘Enrichment and ND+’ page:  https://www.notredamecoll.ac.uk/why-choose-us/enrichment

Do I require a laptop?

Although a laptop is not essential for any of our courses, if this is your preferred way of working you are permitted to bring in your own. 

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