Next Steps

Are you thinking about your educational choices?

This section is full of information about your choices in education and learning, ranging from how qualifications have changed, further and higher education, local provision, apprenticeships and other avenues you may be considering.

Your Choices at 18

There are lots of choices for what you do after you turn 18, and you need to pick the one that will help you get the future you want. Click on the tabs below to view some of the options.

College/Further Education

Colleges offer a wide variety of courses including apprenticeships.

You need to find a college that offers the courses or subjects you are interested in studying, or the best route to the career you are interested in.  If you have specialist educational needs or other support needs, you will need to talk to your chosen provider to ensure they can support your needs.

There are 2 colleges within Wiltshire. These are:

There are also 2 colleges located in Swindon:

For other colleges outside Wiltshire borders visit


If you have a career sector or path in mind and want to start earning money as you learn, an apprenticeship could be for you. You’ll do a real job for a real employer; training on the job and working towards an industry-standard qualification.

An apprenticeship combines hands-on work with the opportunity to train and obtain qualifications.  Apprenticeships, which must last for a minimum of 12 months are open to anyone aged 16 and over who is not in full-time education, there is no upper aged limit!

As an apprentice you’ll be employed and will study for a qualification with the full support and commitment of your employer, at least 20% of your working hours are set aside for learning, often at a college, university or training provider, however there are lots of ways to undertake learning depending on your organisation and job role.

Visit our apprenticeship page for more information

Additional information on Apprenticeships can be found on the UCAS website and the Amazing Apprenticeships websites

People are encouraged to find and apply for apprentices using the Find and Apprenticeship Service

Higher Education

Offers a range of different programmes which are available to study depending on your situation. Foundation Degrees, Higher National Certificates (HNC) or Higher National Diplomas (HND) can all be studied at a college or university. Higher level and degree apprenticeships are also available.

Undergraduate and postgraduate degrees are accessible through higher education institutes such as universities or through distance learning, for example through the Open University or online through massive online open courses (MOOCS).  As well as studying for professional qualifications at level 4 and above  at work, more opportunities are becoming available via a degree or higher apprenticeship in the workplace.

Wiltshire College and University Centre also offer a variety of degree level apprenticeships.


UCAS is an independent charity providing information, advice and admissions services to inspire and facilitate educational progression. UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry to Higher Education. UCAS services support young people making choices after their GCSEs, as well as those applying for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Visit the UCAS page for more information on

  • What to study
  • See what universities offer the course you would like
  • See what courses offer distance learning.

See what Higher Level and Degree Level Apprenticeships are available in the area

Local programmes for young people

There are lots of free courses and opportunities on offer with organisations across the county that will support you into education, employment and training.

These range from courses like Get Ahead which helps you to progress to education, employment an apprenticeship or traineeship with incentives to providers offering mentoring support.

A directory of this provision is located below.

List of local programmes for young people