Design your high school diploma in Oxford

Your Oxford advisors help you craft your own pathway to graduation. Choose classes that are meaningful to you, from a wide range of subjects and graduate with a high school diploma like A-Levels.

What are your routes to university?

IB Diploma: A rigorous and holistic program that prepares you for success at university and life beyond. Designed to address your intellectual, social, and physical wellbeing, you take six courses a year, ensuring a breadth of knowledge in languages, social studies, science, mathematics, and the arts. The program also features three mandatory “IB Core” courses: Creativity, Activity and Service, Extended Essay, and Theory of Knowledge.

A-Levels Program: This UK qualification is perfect if you already know what you want to study at university and want to take that passion to the highest level in Oxford. You select a combination of three to four subjects directly related to your future plans, and you participate in the IB's Creativity, Activity, and Service Program. We also provide the Extended Project Qualification, in which you complete a thorough research project upon graduation.

Your pathway to success starts here

Choose between two high school diplomas in Oxford: The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and the A-Level Program. After choosing between the two programs, with our one-of-a-kind pathway system, we help you pair classes with clubs, enrichment activities, and practical experiences that meet your passions and future goals. Your personal Pathway Manager will guide you every step of the way.

Focused courses:

  • Biology

  • Physics

  • Chemistry

  • Mathematics

  • Computer Science

Clubs and academic extension activities:

  • Robotics Club

  • Math Club and Challenge

  • Physics Olympiad

  • 3-D printing

  • Visit Harwell Nuclear Research Facility

  • Organic chemistry experiments

  • Oxford's Mathematical Institute trip

  • Augmented reality seminar

Practical experience:

  • Physics and chemistry Masterclasses

  • Engineers and Environmental Consultants career Fair: Opportunities for industry Internships

Focused courses:

  • Biology

  • Chemistry

  • Psychology

  • Mathematics

  • Physics

Clubs and academic extension activities:

  • Pre-med Club

  • Biology Olympiad

  • Science Ethics Club

  • Medicine Talks at Oxford University

  • Beckley Foundation psychology field trip

  • Science museum exhibitions

  • Museum of History of Science

  • BMAT science classes

Practical experience:

  • Volunteer with the Red Cross or KEEN Charity

  • BMAT and UKCAT exam preparation

  • Oncology Masterclass in cancer research

  • Opportunities for industry internships

Focused courses:

  • Business

  • Finance

  • Management

  • Economics

  • Mathematics

  • History

  • Psychology

Clubs and academic extension activities

  • Student Leadership

  • Debate Club

  • Chess Club

  • Debate competitions

  • Student Council

  • Business in Action conference in London

Practical experience:

  • Hult Global Business Challenge

  • Hult summer classes

  • Internships at EF

  • Business conference in Birmingham

  • Opportunities for industry internships

Focused courses:

  • History

  • World Languages

  • Economics

  • Global Politics

Clubs and academic extension activities:

  • Model United Nations

  • Student Council

  • Visit Houses of Parliament

  • Amnesty International

  • Law Club

Practical experience:

  • Global Leadership Summit

  • Service learning in Nepal

  • Preparation for TSA and LNAT exams

  • International law masterclasses

  • Opportunities for industry internships

Focused courses:

  • Visual Arts

  • Media Studies

  • English Language and Literature

Clubs and academic extension activities:

  • Creative writing workshops

  • Photography Club

  • Drama Club

  • Student fashion show

  • Theater workshops and museum field trips

  • School plays

Practical experience:

  • Portfolio preparation

  • Workshops with visiting artists

  • Art trip to Barcelona

  • Creative Writing Masterclasses

  • Opportunities for industry internships

IB Diploma

An academically challenging program that prepares students aged 16 to 19 for success at university and life beyond. Designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical well-being of students. You take six courses, ensuring a breadth of knowledge in languages, social studies, science, mathematics, and the arts. The program also features three mandatory “IB Core” courses: Creativity, Activity and Service, Extended Essay, and Theory of Knowledge.

Course offering 2023-2024

IB Courses

The study of literary, non-literary, visual and performance texts provides a focus for understanding how meaning is constructed within belief or value systems, and how it is negotiated across multiple perspectives generated by single or multiple readers. Thinking critically about texts, as well as responding to, producing or performing them, leads to an understanding of how language sustains or challenges ways of thinking and being. The study additionally builds an awareness that all texts may be understood in relation to their form, content, purpose, audience and their associated contexts, such as social, historical and cultural circumstance.

The course is divided into 5 thematic units, each designed to incorporate the 3 overarching syllabus components: Readers writers and texts, Time and Space, and intertextuality: connecting texts.

Student should choose their 'first' language. This is usually the one in which they are the strongest and fluent in reading, writing, and speaking. Options at EF Academy Oxford are:

  • English A- HL/SL

  • Spanish A- HL/SL

  • German A - SL

  • French A- SL/HL

  • Italian A- HL/S

Language B is an additional language-learning course designed for students with some previous learning of that language. It may be studied at either SL or HL. The main focus of the course is on language acquisition and development of language skills. These language skills should be developed through the study and use of a range of written and spoken material. Such material will extend from everyday oral exchanges to literary texts and should be related to the culture(s) concerned. The material should be chosen to enable students to develop mastery of language skills and intercultural understanding. It should not be intended solely for the study of specific subject matter or content. Options at EF Academy Oxford are:

  • English

  • Spanish

  • French

The main objective of this challenging but stimulating course will be to provide students with the skills that are necessary for them to be able to handle everyday situations in a Spanish/French-speaking environment. Through their acquisition of language, they will learn how to communicate effectively with other Spanish/French speakers in practical and social situations. The course will cover the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing and will enable students to know how to respond appropriately and spontaneously to a wide range of different circumstances.

Economics is a dynamic social science, forming part of the study of individuals and societies. The study of economics is essentially is seen through the lens of 9 key concepts: scarcity, choice, efficiency, equity, economic well -being, sustainability, change, interdependence, and intervention. These concepts are examined through 6 real-word issues:

  • How do consumers and producers make choices in trying to meet their economic objectives?

  • When are markets unable to satisfy important economic objectives - and does government intervention help?

  • Why does economic activity vary over time and why does this matter?

  • How do governments manage their economy and how effective are their policies?

  • Who are the winners and losers of the integration of the world's economies?

Why is economic development uneven?

Therefore, although economics involves the formulation of theory; it is not a purely theoretical subject: real-world examples must be applied to economic theories. Neither is economics a discrete subject, since economics incorporates elements of history, geography, psychology, sociology, political studies, and many other related fields of study.

History is a dynamic, contested, evidence-based discipline that involves an exciting engagement with the past. It is

a rigorous intellectual discipline, focused around key historical concepts such as change, causation and significance.

History is an exploratory subject that fosters a sense of inquiry. It is also an interpretive discipline, allowing

opportunity for engagement with multiple perspectives and a plurality of opinions. Studying history develops an

understanding of the past, which leads to a deeper understanding of the nature of humans and of the world today.

The IB Diploma programme history course is a world history course based on a comparative and multi-perspective

approach to history. It involves the study of a variety of types of history, including political, economic, social and

cultural, and provides a balance of structure and flexibility. The course emphasizes the importance of encouraging

students to think historically and to develop historical skills as well as gaining factual knowledge. It puts a premium

on developing the skills of critical thinking, and on developing an understanding of multiple interpretations of history.

In this way, the course involves a challenging and demanding critical exploration of the past.

The course examines business-decision making processes in business organization, marketing, production, human

resource management and finance are underpinned by six key business concepts: change, strategy, culture, ethics,

globalization and innovation. It studies the way individuals and groups interact in an organization and how resources

are transformed within an international perspective.

Global politics is an exciting course that allows students to explore a range of global political issues and the impact that they have on the relationships between nations, International bodies and other supranational organizations. Students will learn about a broad range of approaches to International relations theory and analyze the ways in which these different perspectives affect relationships and diplomacy between countries, alongside the ways in which bodies such as the United Nations and European Union can influence the actions of different groups. Students will also examine a wide range of specific global political issues and examine both the International and local effect's that they have on state government's actions and International relationships.

Biology is the study of life. The first organisms appeared on the planet over 3 billion years ago and, through reproduction and natural selection, have given rise to the 8 million or so different species alive today. Many areas of research in biology are extremely challenging and many discoveries remain to be made. Biology is still a young science and great progress is expected in the 21st century. This progress is sorely needed at a time when the growing human population is placing ever greater pressure on food supplies and on the habitats of other species and is threatening the very planet we occupy.

Chemistry is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. It is often called the central science, as chemical principles underpin both the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems. Apart from being a subject worthy of study in its own right, chemistry is a prerequisite for many other courses in higher education, such as medicine, biological science and environmental science, and serves as useful preparation for employment.

Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it seeks to explain the universe itself from the very smallest particles-currently accepted as quarks, which may be truly fundamental-to the vast distances between galaxies. Classical physics, built upon the great pillars of Newtonian mechanics, electromagnetism and thermodynamics, went a long way in deepening our understanding of the universe. From Newtonian mechanics came the idea of predictability in which the universe is deterministic and knowable. This led to Laplace's boast that by knowing the initial conditions, the position, and velocity of every particle in the universe-, he could, in principle, predict the future with absolute certainty.

ESS is an interdisciplinary group 3 and 4 course that is offered only at standard level (SL). As an interdisciplinary course, ESS is designed to combine the methodology, techniques and knowledge associated with group 4 (sciences) with those associated with group 3 (individuals and societies). As a result of studying this course, students will become equipped with the ability to recognize and evaluate the impact of our complex system of societies on the natural world. It is recognized that to understand the environmental issues of the 21st century and suggest suitable management solutions, both the human and environmental aspects must be understood. Through the exploration of cause and effect, the course investigates how values interact with choices and actions, resulting in a range of environmental impacts. Students develop an understanding that the connections between environmental systems and societies are diverse, varied and dynamic. The complexity of these interactions challenges those working towards understanding the actions required for effective guardianship of the planet and sustainable and equitable use of shared resources.

This course recognizes the need for analytical expertise in a world where innovation is increasingly dependent on a deep understanding of mathematics. This course includes topics that are both traditionally part of a pre-university mathematics course (for example, functions, trigonometry, calculus) as well as topics that are amenable to investigation, conjecture and proof, for instance the study of sequences and series at both SL and HL, and proof by induction at HL. The course allows the use of technology, as fluency in relevant mathematical software and hand- held technology is important regardless of choice of course. However, it has a strong emphasis on the ability to construct, communicate and justify correct mathematical arguments. Students who choose this course should be comfortable in the manipulation of algebraic expressions and enjoy the recognition of patterns and understand the mathematical generalization of these patterns. Students who wish to take Mathematics: analysis and approaches at higher level will have strong algebraic skills and the ability to understand simple proof. They will be students who enjoy spending time with problems and get pleasure and satisfaction from solving challenging problems.

This course recognizes the increasing role that mathematics and technology play in a diverse range of fields in a data-rich world. As such, it emphasizes the meaning of mathematics in context by focusing on topics that are often used as applications or in mathematical modelling. To give this understanding a firm base, this course also includes topics that are traditionally part of a pre-university mathematics course such as calculus and statistics. The course makes extensive use of technology to allow students to explore and construct mathematical models. Students will develop mathematical thinking, often in the context of a practical problem and by using technology to justify conjectures. Students should enjoy seeing mathematics used in real-world contexts and to solve real-world problems. Students who wish to take Mathematics: applications and interpretation at higher level will have good algebraic skills and experience of solving real-world problems. They will be students who get pleasure and satisfaction when exploring challenging problems and who are comfortable to undertake this exploration using technology

The IB Diploma Programme visual arts course encourages students to challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries. It is a thought-provoking course in which students develop analytical skills in problem-solving and divergent thinking, while working towards technical proficiency and confidence as art-makers. In addition to exploring and comparing visual arts from different perspectives and in different contexts, students are expected to engage in, experiment with and critically reflect upon a wide range of contemporary practices and media. The course is designed for students who want to go on to further study of visual arts in higher education as well as for those who are seeking lifelong enrichment through visual arts.

Throughout the course students are required to maintain a visual arts journal. Although sections of the journal will be selected, adapted, and presented for assessment, the journal itself is not directly assessed or moderated. It is, however, regarded as a fundamental activity of the course.

A-Levels in Oxford

A-Level (GCE Advanced Level) qualifications are a two-year program of study. This means that the exams are all taken at the end of the course, with the exception of practical assessments in science subjects, which are taken throughout the course. Examinations are held in May and June at the end of the second year.

It is recommended that students take three subjects. Most top UK universities ask for three subjects. Those who wish to take Further Maths may do so as a fourth A-Level, subject to meeting the requirements of an internal assessment that the Maths department will run at the beginning of your first term. Students will also have the opportunity to complete A-Levels in Oxford in their native language, subject to availability.

Alongside A-Level subjects, students are also able to undertake an extended project qualification (EPQ). It can provide students with the skills that universities and employers look for. Students can enjoy the freedom of working in their own way as they undertake a project based on a subject they are taking or an area of personal interest.

In addition to your A-Level subjects, all students will study English in preparation for taking the IELTS examination, which is required for entry to UK universities. All students have a lesson each week in Pathways Support, which covers Study Skills, Growth Mindset, Personal and Social Health Education, and University Preparation.

A-Level Courses

The A level Art course at EF Academy Oxford is an exciting and creative 2 year course that allows for different approaches and ideas as well as artistic skills to be developed. You will be working with increasing independence towards pursuing your own themes, topics and investigations. Its seven specialisms cover the breadth of art and design, both traditional and digital, to suit your particular skills and interests.

The course has been designed to enable schools to deliver the content modules (Modules 2-6) using the framework provided. Practical work undertaken to support teaching of the content will serve to cover the requirements of the practical skills module (Module 1), which is assessed in the written examinations and through the Practical Endorsement.

This course allows you to develop relevant practical skills along with essential knowledge and understanding of a range of biological concepts and scientific methods. Biological mathematics and problem-solving skills is fully integrated into learning.

This course encourages you to: develop an enthusiasm for studying business; gain a holistic understanding of business in a range of contexts; develop a critical understanding of organizations and their ability to meet society's needs and wants; generate enterprising and creative approaches to business opportunities, problems, and issues; be aware of the ethical dilemmas and responsibilities faced by organizations and individuals; and acquire a range of relevant business and generic skills, including decision-making, problem solving, and applying numerical skills in a range of business contexts.

The A Level Chemistry A qualification at EF Academy Oxford is a content-led course designed to develop theoretical and practical chemistry skills, knowledge, and understanding. You will study the material world, and through chemistry, we can describe and explain questions such as: 'what happens when sugar dissolves in tea?'; 'how can one pain killer be better than another if you've got a headache?'; 'why does detergent works better in hot water?'

The A-Level Computer Science qualification helps students understand the core academic principles of computer science. Classroom learning is transferred to creating real-world systems through the creation of an independent programming project. This course will develop your technical understanding and ability to analyze and solve problems using computational thinking.

The course aims to allow you to develop an understanding of key economic concepts and theories through critical consideration of current economic issues, problems, and institutions that impact everyday life. It develops analytical and evaluative skills and incorporates the study of economic choices and markets, as well as national and international issues.

A-Level Mathematics is a highly respected qualification that UK universities view highly. It makes an excellent choice alongside science subjects or disciplines such as economics. The course at EF Academy Oxford encourages logical thinking and a systematic approach to solving problems.

A-Level Further Mathematics is a challenging course that requires students to develop logical thinking skills and work systematically. The qualification provides students with a coherent course of study to develop mathematical understanding, encouraging them to think, act, and communicate mathematically. Designed for students who wish to study beyond A-level mathematics, it provides a solid foundation for further study in mathematics and other disciplines that make extensive use of mathematical skills. In total, six modules must be taken: three in the first year and three in the second year. Further mathematics accompanies other subjects well, particularly physics, chemistry, biology, economics, and business studies.

Physics at A-Level is all about observing the world around us, and looking at how we can measure and explain the things that we observe. The course enables students to build on their knowledge of the laws of physics, applying their understanding to solve problems on topics ranging from subatomic particles to the entire universe, attempting to find unifying ideas that can explain the universe. They also have the opportunity to develop all the relevant practical skills.

A-Level Physics is a highly respected qualification. It can be taken with any subject combination and makes an excellent choice alongside mathematics and chemistry. Physics is essential for those students wishing to study for degrees in engineering or architecture and is often required for computer science courses.

The mind is something intangible that exists within our brain—an unseen process of enzymes, chemicals, and electric currents. But why do some people suffer from stress or mental illness? Or that others are considered abnormal for deviating from social norms? Psychology looks at questions like these and more. It is a fascinating science with cutting-edge research that has real-world applications that you are bound to find interesting. Psychology is a great subject to study because it will not only give you a number of transferrable skills, but it will also teach you more about the way people think.

A-Level Sociology offers you a challenging and stimulating course that is widely recognized and highly respected by universities as well as employers. The course covers a range of relevant subjects with an emphasis on contemporary society, ranging from youth culture to the exploration of inequalities in society. While there is a strong emphasis on many traditional topics in sociology that continue to be relevant, there is also a range of topics that are the latest and most exciting developments in the discipline. 

Those who have studied sociology often go on to higher education to study for degrees in sociology, psychology, criminology, social policy, media studies, law, journalism, social work, nursing, or other humanities-related courses. Sociology is useful in any career in which you work with people and need an understanding of equality and diversity.

The EPQ is an A-level standard, standalone qualification designed to extend and develop their abilities beyond the A-level syllabus and prepare for university or their future career. The Extended Project will develop and extend from one or more of your study areas and/or from an area of personal interest or activity outside of their main program of study. It will be based on a topic chosen by you and aligned with that of your supervisor. The EPQ can take two formats—written or practical—so it's suitable for all students. The final piece will either be a written report of around 5,000 words or an artifact with a written report, which could be, for example, a three-dimensional piece of artwork, a play or musical composition, a robot, a model airplane, or even a website. You will learn skills such as: how to develop titles, questions, and proposals; project management skills, including time management, planning techniques, and setting aims and objectives; research methods, including research ethics, analysis and evaluation, risk assessment, and data collection techniques; and report writing and presentation skills.

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