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Outstanding results

You will be studying at one of the top non-selective colleges in the country. Department for Education league tables again placed us as one of the top Further Education colleges in the country in 2020 across both academic and vocational measures. 

The College resides in the top of all colleges nationally year-on-year for academic and vocational results and 2020 was no exception. The summer exams were cancelled, with Centre Assessed Grades awarded across academic and vocational qualifications. As expected, Truro and Penwith College students achieved results consistent with years of very high performance. Overall, the results saw a further increase to record levels both in high grades awarded and in the progress students make during their time at the College.

Sarah from Wadebridge studied A Level History, Geography and Politics. Sarah’s outstanding results will see her study History at the Russell Group’s University of Nottingham.

“I’d like to be an MP, so my A* in Politics was really pleasing. I live in Wadebridge but chose to travel to the College for its Politics course, my tutor was amazing and really enthusiastic. Work as hard as you can and it will pay off.”

Kim from Gulval, near Penzance, studied A Level Biology, Chemistry and Maths at Penwith College after completing his GCSEs at Mounts Bay Academy.

“I’m thrilled and over the moon,” he said after receiving his results. Kim will be using his grades to study Medicine at university level in 2021.

Alice, from Helston, studied Biology, Psychology and Sociology A Levels at Penwith College. Alice had her place confirmed at Reading University to study Clinical Psychology.

“Penwith College is a really nice environment. It’s closer to a university experience and a good stepping-stone. I really enjoyed the variety. I’d find myself doing practical work in science and then learning in a classroom environment, always getting the help and support I needed.

“I’d advise new students to say ‘yes’ to everything. I got the opportunity to go on trips and take part in research projects which was cool.”

A Level student Tanya from Threemilestone near Truro studied Chemistry, Biology and Psychology. Tanya is planning a gap year in 2020 and will then apply to study medicine at the Russell Group’s University of Exeter and Cardiff University

“I am really pleased with my results, they are what I was expecting. I really enjoyed studying at the College. I liked having the opportunity to meet new people from different areas and with different interests.

“Don’t be afraid to ask if you’re not sure if your course is for you or what career to pursue. I went to career workshops and discovered the Medics Academy, which helped me confirm my career ambitions in medicine.”

BTEC Sport Diploma student Mia from Camborne was delighted to receive her result. Mia is a keen rugby player and was part of the College’s Women’s Rugby Academy - she is now off to Gloucestershire University to study for a BSc in Physical Education and Coaching and also hopes to advance her rugby career.

“I was really pleased with my results. I was struggling a bit in the final year, but my tutors definitely helped me a lot.”

A Levels

Learners at the College secured pass rates of over 99.5% in comparison with the national pass rate of 97.6% in the 2019 results. The percentage of those securing the top A*to C grades at the College rose again to 88%, against the national average of 76%. 

With over 5, 000 individual A and AS Level entries, Truro and Penwith College is one of the largest providers of the qualification nationally. This year’s results again see it confirmed as one of the best too.  

No fewer than 34 subjects achieved a 100% pass rate, including Maths, Further Maths, Physics, English Literature and Spanish. The College’s leading local and national role in STEM (Science, Technology, Maths, Engineering) education was evidenced once more, both in the quality of student outcomes, and in the large and growing volumes of entries.

For example, 186 (37 in Further Maths) students gained a A Level pass, 117 passed Biology, 112 were successful in Chemistry, and 93 in Physics. These successes followed earlier results in STEM subjects at the college on the International Baccalaureate and in vocational Diplomas such as Applied Science and Engineering.

Many traditional ‘facilitating’ subjects also saw very high levels of entry, with 213 students gaining an English A level, 125 passing Geography and 107 History. 

Results across the College’s two present sites, in Penzance and Truro, were again very closely matched indeed, confirming last year’s Ofsted judgements about how the exceptional and consistent quality of teaching and achievement characterises both campuses. 


Many hundreds of students excelled on vocational and skills-based courses at Truro and Penwith College in 2019.

Nearly 900 students completed Level 3 courses, with an exceptional number achieving high grades, which confirms Truro and Penwith College as one of the largest and highest-quality providers of higher-level vocational qualifications nationally.

On BTEC L3 Extended Diploma courses, over four hundred students achieved at least a triple Distinction (equivalent to three grade A’s at A Level). This equates to 64% of BTEC students compared to just over a third of students achieving these higher grades nationally. Indeed, over two hundred students at the College achieved the very highest grade possible, the triple Distinction star. There was similar high achievement for students following creative arts and media-based courses with almost 100 of the 250 students gaining Distinctions on their University Arts for London Extended Diploma courses.

In addition, around four hundred and fifty students gained Diplomas in occupational areas such as Beauty Therapy, Construction, Hairdressing, Professional Cookery and Light Vehicle Maintenance, with over a hundred of these being at Level 3 (A Level equivalent).

The majority of students on these Diploma courses will be progressing onto degree courses, including some of the most competitive Russel Group universities.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma

The International Baccalaureate programme at Truro and Penwith College continues to go from strength to strength.

In 2019, our IB students completed the Diploma with an average score of 35 points out of a total of 45, which is equivalent to three A stars and an A at A Level and well above the global average of 29.63. Some of our students placed in the top 3% by earning a score of 40 or over, including one student who achieved an outstanding score of 44.

Read more about our IB Diploma.

University Courses

In 2018, more than three quarters of bachelors degree students at the College who completed their courses were awarded either a First Class Honours or 2:1 for their final year of study. Our Foundation Degree and Higher National Diploma students also had positive results with over 60% of those graduating achieving equivalents high grades.