Options for Year 11s

What are the options?

At 16 your options are still broad. You could choose from: -

  • A Levels - Level 3 qualifications which use exam based assessments. Typically students choose around 3 or 4 subjects to study at this level.
  • International Baccalaureate - Level 3 qualification with core modules and elective modules. See section at the bottom of this page.
  • BTEC - Level 1, 2 or 3 qualifications which are assessed through a portfolio of work and observations.
  • Apprenticeship - Intermediate (Level 2); Advanced (Level 3); or Higher (Level 4 and above). Usually, you will be in paid employment for four or five days per week and study towards a qualification through flexible or online learning.
  • Traineeship - A scheme for helping young people gain work skills before they move onto an apprenticeship or a job.
  • Work with training - You can work for an employer, and the employer must allow you time to be able to study an accredited course (this can be flexible e.g. evenings, weekends, distance learning) for a minimum of 280 hours per calendar year.

Searching & Applying for courses

To help you search for local colleges or sixth forms, you can use: -

  • National Careers Service Course Directory
  • UCAS Progress which has simple search tools for the region you want to search. You can set up an account, and use your account to apply to several 6th forms at a time.
  • For a specialist Further Education college, Natspec has a directory of courses for students with learning difficulties or disabilities.
  • Moving On magazine offers careers and qualification information.

Information for Parents and Carers: Supporting your child through the process

To help you support your child in their search for local colleges, 6th forms, apprenticeships, or work with training: -

  • UCAS Progress have developed a page for parents supporting their child through the process of applying for their post-16 education or employment.
  • The Careers Writers Association have developed a website where they bring together lots of information to help parents understand more about the processes and choices their child must make.

Which level of course should I apply for?

Link to chart outlining various qualification levels and general entry requirements.

This chart gives a general outline of various qualification levels, general entry requirements needed for each level and the progression opportunities available after each level is successfully completed. If you plan to apply for a course, you will need to check that you fulfil that particular establishment's entry requirements. Click on the thumbnail image on the left to see the full-size chart.

Which subjects are best?

Watch this Russell Group video (6:32mins) to see how your choice of courses at Post 16 can affect your future and getting a place in a top university. Read the PDF document Informed Choices to learn about various options available to you at 16.

What is the International Baccalaureate?

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is an internationally recognised qualification for students aged 16 to 19. It is based on a study of a range of subjects and leads to a single qualification, rather than separate qualifications. The IB Diploma is a leader in international education and is recognised by universities in 140 countries.

The IB Diploma is a 2-year course, at Level 3 (comparable with A Level) and is designed to encourage you to: learn how to learn; ask challenging questions; develop a strong sense of your own identity and culture; and develop the ability to communicate with and understand people from other countries and cultures.

The IB Diploma Programme is made up of a compulsory 'core', plus six optional subjects:

  • Compulsory core elements: theory of knowledge, extended essay, CAS (creativity, action, service)
  • Optional subjects: first language, second language, experimental sciences, mathematics and computer science, the arts, individuals and society

Colleges across London offer the IB Diploma, as well as other areas in the UK and internationally. Use the website ucasprogress to find local colleges where you can study the IB Diploma.

Click on the image on the left to see the full-size version.