There are courses to suit all interests and students of all abilities.
Courses and qualifications include:
- A Levels or International Baccalaureate. These are good if you want to take a range of subjects, like to study and do well in exams. A levels are the main qualifications taken for entry to university. Most schools and colleges will require you to have high GCSE grades, including maths and English, plus a spread of other subjects. T levels are new technical study programmes taught full-time. The first T levels are expected to be available to study from September 2020
- Work-related courses. These cover broad career areas, such as ICT, music, art and design, construction, performing arts or business administration and more. These are good if you want to specialise in one subject. There are courses and qualifications to suit all ability levels. Qualifications include BTEC or Cambridge Technical Certificates/Diplomas
- Occupationally specific courses. These will give you the skills needed for a specific job such as hairdressing, nursery nursing, business administration, beauty therapy, IT or catering. There are courses and qualifications to suit all abilities.
Check out all the qualifications (levels 2 and 3) you can do between 16 and 18.
Where to go? You need to find out which school or college offers the subjects and qualifications you want to do. You can go to the websites for local school sixth forms and colleges:
- City & Islington College (Candi)
- Hackney Community College
- Islington Sixth Form Consortium
- St Mary Magdalene Academy
- Tech City College
- Westminster Kingsway College
- London Screen Academy, Islington - opening September 2019, free school offering University of the Arts London (UAL) Creative Diploma and A levels to 1,000 students 16+ from across London.
Also check individual websites for open days
For other colleges across London go to the online London Colleges Directory.
Also check out University Technical Colleges for students aged 14 to 19. They teach technical, creative and scientific subjects. There are a number of UTCs in London, specialising in, for example specialist engineering - aviation, building, design, health, product, transport; medical services; broadcast and media, creative, technical and digital - see external links.
If you are thinking about university, the website Informed Choices offers advice about A level choices - see the Downloads section on this page.
If you need advice on which courses to take, this video may help you with your decisions.
Applying to colleges and sixth forms
All schools and colleges have open evenings or events for future students. These give you a chance to see what it is really like and talk to tutors and teachers, so it is worth going along
At the open evening, check out course details and the qualifications you will need. And ask how to apply and when applications have to be sent. You need to send a well written application – and remember popular courses at colleges often have early application deadlines.