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 16
You need to stay in education or training after you’re 16, but how you do this is up to you. Further Education includes any study after secondary education that is not part of higher education (i.e. is not studied as part of an undergraduate or graduate degree). Courses range from GCSEs to Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) and now include T Levels, visit the government website for more information on T Levels.
There are lots of choices and you need to pick the one that will help you get the future you want.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything about exams in 2021. GCSE, A-level and vocational exams have been cancelled and your grades will be decided by your teachers and tutors. We have information to help you on results day and the options available to you on the link below.
16+ Choices: Department for Education resources
The Department for Education has put together a couple of simple and handy guides to inform young people about all of the post-16 options open to them.
Here you will find:
- A route comparison grid which shows all of the routes available after GCSEs, along with additional information on each route such as the level of study, entry requirements, duration of the course, where it can lead etc.
- A 2-minute animation showcasing and explaining each choice.
- Explore your choices whether you know where you’re headed in the future or not, knowing the work and study choices available to you is a great place to start, visit the Gov website to explore all options.
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.
Higher Education refers to qualifications beyond level 3 (A level) and provision can be accessed in a number of ways;
- Higher Education Institution (University) which offer a wider range of undergraduate and post graduate qualifications usually but not always on full time courses
- Further Education College which offer qualifications from level 4-7 often in partnership with universities. They often offer more part time programmes and include Access to Higher Education courses intended for adults without level 3 qualifications to enable them to enter a degree or higher level qualifications
- In the workplace through in-house or training provider led training programmes for professional qualifications, or in the workplace through higher and degree apprenticeships delivered by training providers and universities
- Distance learning via courses such as the Open University or Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs).
There is more information and some useful videos on the benefits of Higher Education on the WIN website.
Wiltshire College and University Centre offers a variety of degree level apprenticeships.
A growing number of employers in the Swindon and Wiltshire area are offering higher and degree level apprenticeships in partnership with universities and training providers.
Where to study and courses
There are a huge variety of courses that you can study at Higher Education and choosing which one can be difficult. Have a look at what interests you and what qualifications you might need in the future.
Visit University Compare to see what Higher Education settings are in your area or use the UCAS search tool to see what Universities offer the course you would like. UCAS’s ‘what to study’ page also has more advice and information.
Some Higher Education courses can be studied online or studied in flexible ways; therefore it is worth checking if your course offers distance learning; UCAS has more information on their distance learning and part time study page. Alternatively you could study at the Open University which is an online University and most courses have no formal entry requirements.
If you are not sure if university is for you, why not check out Not Going To Uni and see what alternatives there are.
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 to :