The curriculum of this famous boarding school broadly follows and extends the National Curriculum to allow for a proper combination of breadth and specialisation. It is designed to stimulate, challenge and support all pupils. The curriculum is supported by a wide range of academic extension and enrichment activities through societies, lectures, theatre trips, museum and gallery visits, debates, poetry readings, conference and concerts creating a full co-curriculum which recognises that qualifications alone do not produce a broadly educated person. Time is allowed in the curriculum for extra-curricular activities, and on occasions the timetable is suspended or modified to allow activities to occur, such as CCF/OA field days, sports fixtures and subject-specific day trips. The curriculum of this top UK boarding school is designed to ensure that every individual maximises their potential. There is a clear focus placed upon success in public examinations, but the College also takes seriously its responsibility in preparing pupils to succeed beyond the College, at University, and in their subsequent career.
There are five year groups in the College split between Upper and Lower Schools. During the Shell (Year 9) year, pupils maintain the broadest possible curriculum in order to introduce them to the range of subjects available at Marlborough and options are kept to a minimum. In the Remove (Year 10) and Hundred (Year 11) pupils will study a core of compulsory subjects to GCSE: English, a modern foreign language, Maths and the three Sciences - Biology, Chemistry and Physics. They will do GCSE Religious Studies. They will also continue to study Information Technology and Physical Education.
In the Upper School, pupils have a choice whether to follow the pattern of A level qualifications or to take the International Baccalaureate Diploma. In addition, some subjects have chosen to follow the Cambridge Board Pre-U course. Subjects are taught in departmental areas to give all pupils the advantage of specialist facilities such as laboratories, art studios, computer suites, design technology workshops and modern language suites.