Welcome to Mander Portman Woodward (MPW), one of the UK’s leading names in fifth and sixth-form education.
Founded in 1973, our three colleges are strategically located in close proximity to leading universities in London, Birmingham and Cambridge. We offer a distinctive alternative to traditional schools, with an approach defined by an outstanding level of individual support. Our classes are taught in small, Oxbridge-style groups, with a maximum of nine students in A level classes.
We place a strong focus on exam preparation and extensive support throughout the university application process. You can choose from a broad curriculum with A levels offered in over 40 subjects, GCSEs and prestigious university foundation programmes, including our new UAL endorsed Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.
Consistently outstanding results mean that our students progress to some of the best universities in the UK – over the past three years, two-thirds of UK university placements were at Russell Group, University of London or specialist universities.
A diverse, friendly community, with a majority of British students, provides an ideal learning environment for you to establish the vital language and cultural skills needed to succeed at university and beyond. Outside of the classroom, we offer a range of desirable accommodation options, including full boarding in London at the newly refurbished Queen’s Gate House.
Choose from over 40 A level subjects, offered one year, 18-month or two years, with no restrictions on subject combination or course length. Here are the courses structures we offer:
- Two-year A level courses (September start)
- 18-month A level courses (January start)
- One-year A level courses
- One-term (September to December) or Two-term (January – June only) A level courses
Two year courses
Two-year courses are designed for students who are continuing at MPW after GCSE; students from other schools seeking a specialist A level college after GCSEs; year 13 transfer students who have changed plans after an unsatisfactory first year of A level at another school.
One year courses
One-year courses are designed for transfer students from other schools who continue into Year 13 or take one year intensive; retake students whose previous grade in the subject is too weak to risk a short course or a course involving only a limited selection of units; retake students taking a brand new subject; mature students – especially those converting to Medicine following an Arts-based first degree.
GCSE & IGCSE
GCSE & IGCSE
We offer one- or two-year GCSE and IGCSE courses and two -year GCSE courses in over 30 subjects at our colleges in London, Birmingham and Cambridge, with full-time courses over two years for students joining in Year 10, one year programmes for students transferring to us at Year 11, and programmes for students retaking GCSEs.
Students coming to MPW for GCSE courses enjoy very small classes in a co-education setting – there is an average of six students per class and absolute guarantee of fewer than 10. We also have an outstanding pastoral support system, providing our students with personalised attention at every stage of their GCSE journey.
As a GCSE pupil at MPW, you’ll feel that we’re less like a school than your old school, and we don’t have school uniform in our Colleges. Your programme will be structured for success – for example, if you’re under 16 at the beginning of the school year, we provide a much closer level of supervision in between lessons and you will have timetabled library sessions during which you can complete some of your homework. Within our wide enrichment programme, there is one compulsory and one optional Sport session per week and a compulsory study skills and PSHE programme.
University Foundation Programmes
University Foundation Programmes
We offer a range of programmes including:
UAL Foundation Diploma in Art & Design: Your route to studying Art and Design at the UK’s best universities, endorsed by UAL.
NCUK: A unique foundation programme with guaranteed university progression, with pathways in business, humanities, engineering and science.
The NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY) is designed with NCUK university partners to prepare international students for first year entry to undergraduate degree courses. Its purpose is to help bridge the gap between a student’s local qualification and starting a university degree.
Students who successfully complete the IFY gain guaranteed access to thousands of degree courses at NCUK universities. No one else can offer this guarantee.
MPW University Foundation Programme: the ideal route to studying a degree at leading universities across the UK and internationally.
International students who have not already studied GCSE or the equivalent in the UK or in an International School where the teaching is in English will be required to sit an entrance and/or recognised English language test.
All students must also attend an interview. Interviews normally take place in the UK, but under certain circumstances students from China, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong (SAR), The Philippines, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, countries within the EU, and other selected countries/regions can be interviewed in their own countries. See our schedule of overseas interviews for details of when we’re next in your country.
International students whose first language is not English will normally only be considered if they fulfil the following requirements:
English Language at a level equivalent to IELTS 5.5 – 6.5 (depending on which programme they wish to study) – all applicants will be required to sit an English Language test unless they have already achieved the required score at IELTS or equivalent.
Excellent school record across a range of subjects – a certified English language transcript of the student’s school marks for the two most recent years will be required at the interview stage.
An understanding of the UK education system and clear university and career plans. These will be discussed at the interview.
MPW’s international students needing accommodation have a range of options. In London, MPW Boarding has an outstanding new facility, Queen’s Gate House, offering students aged 14 plus comfortable and stylish accommodation in an unbeatable location in the heart of South Kensington.
In Birmingham and Cambridge, many students choose accommodation managed by Kensington Student Services (KSS), an independent company, wholly owned by the Mander Portman Woodward group.
KSS is a specialist accommodation agency, providing and arrange accommodation for international sixth-form students aged 16 years and over studying at MPW Birmingham and MPW Cambridge. KSS offer much more than just a room – it’s teams cultivate a sense of community and belonging, as well as helping students to develop life skills and transition to independent living.
Results & Destinations
Results & Destinations Results & Destinations
2022 A Level Results – MPW continues to achieve outstanding results at A level
MPW has a highly consistent record of exam results over many years and across all three of our colleges. Our A level results for 2022 show this continuing success
39% of exams taken at MPW resulted in grade A*/A
67% of exams taken at MPW resulted in grades A*-B
Why join MPW Colleges?
|Small Class Sizes||One-One Attention||Examination Practice||Enrichment Programme|
MPW offers numerous learning opportunities. Our courses range from GCSE, A level to the International Foundation Programme. Many students also come to us to help improve their grades with our One-to-One tuition, Retakes and Easter revision courses.
Classroom facilities are designed to make the most of our teaching model of fewer than 10 students per group – seminar configurations and tutor presentations via whiteboard, interactive whiteboard or group discussion.
Each of our colleges has a student common room or internet cafe providing a more relaxed environment for both study and leisure and is equipped with computers for student use.
Our students enjoy a range of extra-curricular activities enabling them to develop their intellectual, sporting and cultural interests. Getting involved in a college related activity is a great way to make friends, develop and demonstrate your skills and interests and help you stand out from the crowd when you apply to university.
"I first came to Cambridge with no friends and acquaintances, but the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of MPW immediately made me feel at home. Over the two years of my studies, I received tremendous support and care from both my teachers and my classmates."
"My one-year A level course at MPW was fruitful to say the least. The college did a remarkable job of creating an enjoyable yet intense and culturally diverse learning environment. Diminutive class sizes accompanied by field-leading tutors allowed for a more student-focused academic milieu. For me personally, it made the development of everlasting personal and professional relationships seem almost effortless. I was able to meet and acquire knowledge from individuals that stem from different walks of life, which I believe massively augmented my skillset and overall versatility. "
"My teachers and Personal Tutor were an immense support and rapidly diminished my feelings of doubt. They didn’t set boundaries as to how much I was likely to achieve, believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself and, as a result helped me achieve my full potential"
"With the help of friendly, supportive and professional staff in MPW, I enhanced my academic skills and got offers from the most prestigious universities. I want to thank my Personal Tutor, an incredible person who helped me throughout my journey.” Ulan achieved A*A*A in Economics, Mathematics and Further Mathematics. He is now reading Accounting and Finance at Warwick University."