|Leaving after year 12|
|Leaving after year 13|
Some students leave after completing their full A levels. Others may have chosen to continue in sixth form because they’re not sure what they would like to do later on. Sixth form is a good way to extend your ‘thinking and planning time’ for the future. It’s important to realise that what you can do after year 12 differs a lot from what you can do after leaving year 13 with full A levels. In making your decision, make sure you don’t regret it later. In many cases, staying on for the full two years may be the best option to prevent this from happening. It’s fully your decision of course!
Leaving after year 12?
If you are thinking of leaving sixth form after year 12, then the options are broadly the same as when you leave year 11. Because of the structure of A levels, you won’t have any extra qualifications but a lot more experience, you’re older as well, and you’ve had more time to think about your options, so the chances are that you have more opportunity to settle into something you really like. You can’t yet go to university, however. To do that you will have to achieve a full level 3 qualification, either by continuing in sixth form or by completing a full level 3 course at college. This last option will normally take two years.
The options for you are:
- Completing sixth form at the same school or elsewhere – then depending on your results, all full post-sixth form options are open to you, including university.
- Starting a college course or T levels in something you really like – link – after completing either T levels or another college course, all the options linked to this are open to you, including university but very much depending on your results, the course you have taken and what you would like to do at University. I haven’t heard of anyone finishing a course at college and getting into medicine for instance.
- Looking for an apprenticeship at level 2 or 3
- You can only officially go to work without official training when you are 18
Completing sixth form?
If you finish your A levels, then it’s not just university you can aim for, even though a lot of people will do just that. Have a look on www.ucas.com and on the Higher Education pages on here, if that’s your plan. The options at 18, when you are finishing sixth form are very similar to the options you have when you leave year 11, apart from maybe college. You could:
- Of course go to university depending on your grades and subjects
- Start a higher or degree apprenticeship
- Start a level 2 or 3 apprenticeship
- Go to work
- Start your own business or become self-employed
- Take a gap year to go to university the year after
I mentioned college but you need to contact them if that’s your plan. You will have a full level 3 qualification already by completing your A levels so you may have to pay for your course. The college will be able to tell you more, so it’s important you contact them to have that discussion. If college is your plan, don’t give up without doing that! For a list of colleges, see the useful links page.