Further Education


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After taking your GCSEs (Level 2 qualifications), you could move on to Level 3 qualifications, either by staying on in school or going to college. 

If you didn't get a C grade or above in GCSE English and maths, you must continue to study them in school or college, along with whatever else you decide to do.

The courses at Level 3 are A levels (mainly to qualify you for university) and vocational qualifications (to qualify you for a job).

You can take a mixture, but if you are thinking of going to university, you'll usually have to have at least one A level. Many universities will require more than one.

A levels

A lot of university degrees will be open to you whichever A level subjects you decide to take. Other will require very specific A levels - for example, medicine and dentistry degrees will require science A levels.

The top universities prefer students to have two 'facilitating subjects'. These subjects are: 

•    Mathematics and further mathematics
•    English literature
•    Physics
•    Biology
•    Chemistry
•    Geography
•    History 
•    Languages (classical and modern)

It's best to look at the detailed entry criteria given by the universities for each degree course you think you might be interested in. 

Vocational qualifications

These Level 3 courses are usually done in college. They include:

•    Advanced Apprenticeships
•    BTEC Extended Diploma
•    NVQ Level 3

These qualifications will give you practical work skills that employers will value when you apply for a job.

The next step will give you a full list of Westminster sixth forms and colleges.

Page last reviewed: 22/02/2024

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