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Your options at 16

Find out about the options there are when you finish Year 11.

In Years 10 and 11 you will study towards your GCSEs. You then will need to stay in education, employment or training until you are 18. Continuing your education or training improves your skills, giving you greater options in the future. 

To help you decide where and what you want to study you should think about:

  • the career you may want to pursue - some have specific entry requirements
  • your predicted grades 
  • how you want to study - classroom or on the job training.

Where can I study?

Sixth form

Staying on at the school you attended at Year 11 has the advantage that you will be continuing your studies in an environment and with people you are familiar. However, you don't have to stay at your existing school; you can apply to other sixth forms in the area.

Sixth form college

Sixth form colleges are similar to those found in schools but are larger and may offer a greater choice of courses. 

Further education college

Further education colleges offer a wide range of courses, ranging from A Levels to apprenticeships. Students can be of different ages - adults as well as young people.

What can I study?

There are qualifications to suit all abilities, from A Levels and NVQs to BTEC diplomas. Find out more about the qualifications you can take

Where can I get advice?

Whatever you decide to do you should get advice from your parents, school career advisor or by using the links below to research your options.

If you are thinking of going on to college be sure to attend open days and read prospectuses. 

Some students may be eligible for financial support while studying. Find out about the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund, help with travel costs to college or sixth form and the Care to Learn scheme. 

Other options

Other sites that might be useful

  1. iCould - Choices at 16
  2. UCAS - 16-18 choices
  3. Careerpilot - Your choices at 16
Last updated:
23 November 2023
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