What are my options after Year 11?
From apprenticeships, to finding a job and going to college or sixth form, different pathways and qualifications suit different people.
But the good news is, there are many options available to pick from. Finding the one that suits you can help you make the best choices for your future. This page looks at some of the things you can do next.
Go through the different qualifications you could do when you leave Year 11, as well as some of the key things to consider.
Qualifications and study levels
Before we look at the different pathways, let's talk about qualifications and study levels. At school and college, you usually call qualifications by their name, like ‘GCSE’ and 'A Level'. The same qualifications are referred to by their level in college, university and employment, such as 'Level 3'.
Your GCSEs are Level 2 qualifications. Typically, you'll move onto Level 3 once you leave Year 11. Although you may need to complete an extra Level 2 qualification first, for example if you choose to study a subject you’ve never done before.
Types of Level 3 qualifications
The following qualifications are study options available at Level 3:
- A Levels – study subjects and related subjects you took for GCSE at a higher level
- T Levels – partner with employers to get skills for the workplace
- Level 3 vocational qualifications such as BTECs – get practical skills for a particular area of employment
- Advanced apprenticeships – combine work and study
How to pick the best option for you
- Check the entry requirements for any future degree courses or jobs you'd like to do
- Ask yourself how you learn best? Then look at which pathway is likely to offer you the best chance of success
- Consider whether your subject choices link with your interests and future plans
- Think back on your experiences at school and what you've learnt about yourself to see which option is a good fit for you
Thinking about your next steps and considering going to uni in the future? We asked some of our students about their journey to higher education.