A Level Programme

Sixth form students at RBIS study A level programmes through Cambridge and Pearson. Students choose four subjects in year 12 to take AS levels in, and after the summer exams they will move forward in year 13 with three of the subjects. Students choose subjects following advice from their teachers, considering their future career plans, and what they enjoy learning. It is important to consider what a student will need to enter university courses in their desired country on their desired course. We have a varied choice in subjects at RBIS which allows students to either stream their learning into the RBIS Science stream, Humanities stream, Business stream or Arts and communication stream. However the subject choices have been arranged so that there is flexibility for students to have a balanced diet of subject, choosing subjects from the different streams.


Science Stream

Business Stream

Humanities Stream

Art Stream




Art and Design


Business Studies






Digital Media and Design


Media Studies


Media Studies

Why A level?

International Advanced Level qualifications and A levels are British qualifications designed for international students. They are rigorous and challenging courses that help students to gain high levels of applicable skill and knowledge in key subjects areas; preparing students for the independent study of undergraduate degrees. Unlike the IB, A levels allow students to specialise their subject range and play to their strengths. Students are able to focus on the subjects that are most relevant to their journey toward university and work, and are not forced to complete subjects that they have no interest in. A levels are very challenging and rigorous courses that introduce students to the higher level undergraduate concepts needed for university study.


A level structure and assessment

The A level qualifications can be taken in several ways:

  • 2 year courses broken into AS and A level with exams/assessments at the end of year 12 and year 13.
  • 2 year courses in which the entire A level is assessed at the end of year 13.
  • One year courses in which the entire course is assessed at the end of year 13 (Please see our One year A level Programme)

Standardly, A levels are run as two year courses, and only those students who are year 13 age would embark on a one year A level course. Generally, students sit their AS exams in year 12, unless it may be beneficial for them to wait for the following year.

Some of our courses also have unitised assessments which means that students are able to take exams on individual units throughout the year. This way, they can see the grades they are achieving as they go along, and can just resit units rather than an entire A level if they have not reached the desired grade.

Every A level course has at least one external examination, but several courses have coursework elements as well, which can account for a large percentage of a students final grade.



The IA and A level qualifications at grade C and above are desirable qualifications at top universities around the globe. Completing the A level course opens up many opportunities for students due to international regard for the British qualification. The A level programmes allow students to gain entry into top universities in the United Kingdom, Thailand, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and many more.

Personal Pathways:
One year A level Programme

Media and Arts Programme

From August 2019 RBIS is excited to offer its first one year A level programme in Media and the Arts. The programme consists of 3 A levels studied in a single year to allow students to gain qualification to enroll on Media, Communication, Art, Photography and Design Degrees in universities across the world in 2020. We are the only school in Bangkok offering the one year A level pathway.

The programme of study includes enrolment on a combination of 3 subjects from the list below:

  • Media Studies
  • Photography
  • Art and Design
  • Media and Digital Design

This is an intensive course which is only suitable for pupils who have the commitment, drive and talent to succeed in the Arts. After completing the course students will obtain three separate A levels which will gain them the requirements to gain a place on international programmes at Thai universities or degree courses at top universities in the UK, Europe, USA, Australia, Hong Kong, China and many more.


Course Structure

Students studying the one year media and arts programme will complete the A level course in an intensive period. AS exams will initially be taken in the October/November exam series and the A2 exams in the May/June series.


Who is eligible:

Students need to be 17 years of age who are proficient in English. On application students will need to undergo cognitive ability testing (CAT4) and English proficiency assessments. As the course is centred on the media and the arts students must exhibit a natural talent and skill in this area to be enrolled. You may be asked to bring a portfolio of work and evidence of past success in key subject areas.


A level Retake students

If you have struggled to gain the grades you needed at AS level, a swap in courses may be the ideal solution. It is never advisable to continue down a path that is unlikely to gain you entry into university, our one year A level course may be suitable for you. Please contact us to discuss a pathway to university.

Personal Pathways: BTEC Vocational programme

At RBIS we understand that a wholly academic stream of study is not suited to everyone. That’s why we offer students the opportunity to take a more vocational pathway with Pearson’s BTEC (Business and Technology Educational Council) which allows students a hands on opportunity to explore higher level programmes of study. From August 2019, RBIS is proud to launch its Art and Design BTEC, with a view of introducing more subjects  in the future.

The BTEC consists of unitised work which allows students to progress through the programme knowing how well they are doing. These units are assessed internally and all courses involve an externally assessed module. The BTEC can be combined with A level study or can be the entire focus of a students education. BTEC is a fantastic way to prepare students for the world of work and further education. One in five students at university in the United Kingdom have  completed a BTEC and the qualification is accepted in many universities globally in the USA, Australia, Hong Kong and Canada and many Universities in Thailand’s international programmes are beginning to recognise the BTEC.


What is a BTEC?

A BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council) is a unitized vocational course which prepares students for University or employment. It has been a recognized qualification in the UK for over 30 years and has very recently been launched by Pearson in Thailand as well. It is an alternative pathway to A level and allows a more ‘hands on’ approach to education.

The BTEC is broken down into units of work, some are core and some are  optional. The units are assessed internally and externally moderated.


Is it as good as A levels?

Quite simply, it’s a very different type of course to A levels. Many people believe that vocational courses are not as well thought of at universities as more traditional qualifications such as A levels. However, in the UK 1 in 4 students enrolled on undergraduate degree courses studied BTEC and not A levels. There are several different options of study for BTEC, all of which have equivalence to A levels in some way. They begin with a BTEC level 3 certificates which are equivalent to  0.5 of an A level, and range all the way to a full level 3 extended diploma, equivalent to 3 A levels. They can also be studied as single full time courses or alongside other A levels.


How is it assessed?

The BTEC is a unitised qualification in which students are given a unit front sheet or brief in which they will have to produce a portfolio of work for. These units are then assessed by the teacher in school and externally moderated by an examiner. Each BTEC has a selection of Core units a student must complete, and a number of optional units; much like a British degree.

Students are then awarded either a Pass, Merit or Distinction for the unit. All the units at the end of the course will be calculated to give a student an overall grade for the course (again Pass, Merit or Distinction). If a student does not manage to get at least a Pass on a unit, they are able to retake the unit using a new task.

This manner of assessment enables students to gain greater skills in independence that better prepare them for University study and employment.


How do the units work in BTEC?

There are various levels of study in BTEC; levels 1 and 2 are equivalent to GCSEs and Level 3 national Diplomas are equivalent to A levels. The level 3 BTEC can be studied alongside A levels or as a course on its own. This is due to the different BTEC entries. Each entry contains a different amount of units and will result in different equivalencies:

BTEC Level 3 National Certificate – 2 units (1 mandatory, 1 externally assessed) – 0.5 A levels

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate – 4 units (2 mandatory, 2 externally assessed) – 1 A level

BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma – 6 units (4 mandatory, 2 externally assessed – 1.5 A levels

BTEC Level 3 National Diploma – 2 A Levels

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma – 3 A Levels


Who is eligible to study BTEC

Anyone is able to study a BTEC,  as long as a student is hardworking , independent and has a drive to succeed, they can finish the qualification ready for university. The BTEC, more so than A levels, teaches students to be independent, pro-active critical thinkers. The units are largely project based which involve students engaging in elements of research, production and reflection.


The Gateway Qualification into UK universities from Thailand

Many students in international schools in Thailand complete A levels as it is the only  option after IGCSEs. However, many students struggle with either the academic demand of the courses; the rigid assessment criteria; or even the language used in the exams and content. The BTEC is finally a qualification that will allow international students a vocational pathway to top UK Universities. In fact, 1 in 4 students at universities in the UK have a BTEC and not A levels. BTECs are accepted in almost all universities in the UK, even Cambridge and Oxford.

From August 2019, RBIS is proud to launch its Art and Design BTEC, with a view of introducing more subjects in the future. Join us for your direct pathway to a UK education.

Personal Pathways
High School Diploma

At RBIS we understand that not every student can achieve in the academic stream of A levels, and some do not wish to embark on the more vocational route of BTEC. RBIS has a specially designed High School diploma course which will enable students to learn academically rigorous subjects, without the higher level pressures of A level examinations.


Who can complete the High school Diploma?

The High School Diploma has been designed primarily for Thai national students who do not have the English proficiency levels to fully access the higher level grade questions of A levels. It is not suitable for students who are unable to read, write and speak Thai at a proficient level.


What is the structure of the High School Diploma?

The high School Diploma has been designed to incorporate the higher level teaching of a level, along with core subjects and community responsibilities. The course is broken down across two years of study and consists of five major subject components:

Compulsory subjects:
  • Thai
  • English Competence

In addition to these students can choose three option subjects from the subject list below:




Business studies






Media studies

Digital Media and Design


All students must also take part in Community Service, Activity and Leadership, as well as Physical Education. These components give students a holistic approach to their sixth form education and allow prepares them for international programmes in Thai universities and foundation courses at universities abroad.


How is the High School diploma Assessed?

Unlike the A level, BTEC, IB and GED, the High School Diploma is 100% internally assessed. This means that students are able to learn higher level subject content which is broken down into regular assessments so students are fully aware of their GPA. There are no external exams and so students are able to complete courses with more time than traditional exam subjects.


How is it different to A levels or GED?

The A level qualification is highly regarded in Thailand and internationally, and so the High School Diploma is not a qualification that can be used in the same breadth. However, it has been designed by RBIS and certified by the Ministry of Education as a rigorous award that will allow Thai students a Diploma with a GPA that gains them entry into Thai Universities on top international programmes of study.

The GED is a high school equivalency but is not well regarded by universities, it is designed for mature student who missed out on a high school education, and not students of sixth form age. The High School Diploma offers pupils a chance to learn A level material face to face with teachers, and offers them the opportunity to develop their independent learning and critical thinking skills for university.