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Your choices at 18

FE College at 18

Further Education College after Y12/13

Most young people progress to a further-education college at 16, after GCSEs. However, you can also progress to a college at 17 or 18, after A Levels, BTECs or similar.

Colleges offer an extensive list of courses which could include:  

  • GCSE: The GCSE offer at each college will vary but all will offer English and maths, including re-sits. 
  • A Levels: Some colleges offer a large selection of A Levels as the schools near them are only 11-16, but some colleges do not offer any. 
  • Vocational subjects - these are related to a broad subject area such as business, health and social care, etc. - so they can lead to a large variety of employment areas or university courses.
  • Practical Vocational Courses (often now called technical or professional programmes) that lead to specific jobs such as hairdressing, plumbing, or engineering.
  • Apprenticeships where a student is based predominantly or completely with a paying employer and is assessed either in that workplace by a visiting assessor or by attending college for a day or week at a time.
  • Courses that prepare people for Higher Education, such as Access Courses or the Art Foundation/Post- A level Art Course
  • Vocational Higher-Education-Level courses, such as Foundation Degrees, Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) and Certificates (HNCs).
  • Foundation Courses to develop maths, English, study skills and employability skills. These courses can give students the chance to try out several different vocational areas

Explore college websites to find out what they offer.

Find out more about Further Education Colleges and what they offer.

Find out more about studying a Higher Education course in a Further Education College near you.

Education free until 19

Be aware that free education in Further Education is only available up until you are 19 unless you are doing your first Level 3 course. Check the level of your current qualifications here.

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