Sixth Form College

What is a Sixth Form College?
Sixth Form Colleges generally offer A-Level courses. Students would normally choose 3 - 4 A Level subjects to be completed over a two year period. Students are (usually) required to have achieved 4 Grade 4’s including English and Maths in order to secure a place. Always check with each individual institution. 

Course subjects
Subjects offered at Sixth Form Colleges are much the same as are studied in school but are of a higher level. There is also the opportunity to study other subjects such as Law, Psychology and Sociology. Some Sixth Form Colleges do offer vocational courses as well as A-Level courses and this information is normally given in their prospectus and on their College website.

FE Colleges

What is a Further Education (FE) College?
They offer a wide range of courses for school leavers, adults looking to learn new skills to enhance their careers, people in the community interested in leisure courses and people looking to return to work.
Course subjects
Courses include technical and professional, A-levels and degree level courses as well as Apprenticeships.
Each college is different, so you will need to check with your chosen college what courses are available. 
•    As a guide, the type of subjects on offer include: health & social care, accountancy, hospitality, law, vehicle maintenance, plumbing, public services, creative digital media, graphic design, business, engineering, travel & aviation, hairdressing and sport. 
If you didn’t do well at school, Entry Level Courses generally offer another opportunity to gain qualifications and enable you to go on to study further college courses at a higher level. 

FE Colleges often offer courses such as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) to help students develop their English Language skills.



Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study.
As an apprentice you will:
    •    work alongside experienced staff
    •    gain job-specific skills
    •    earn a wage and get holiday pay
    •    get time for study related to your role (usually one day a week)
Apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on the level.

Levels of apprenticeship
Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels
Name            Level        Equivalent education level
Intermediate   2            GCSE
Advanced       3             A Level 
Higher            4,5,6,7    Foundation degree and above
Degree           6,7          Bachelor’s or Master’s degree 

Some apprenticeships may also give you an additional qualification, such as a Diploma.



Traineeships are an ideal opportunity for young people, aged 16 to 24, who are motivated to get a job and don't yet have the skills and experience that employers are looking for.  Those who have been unsuccessful when applying for an apprenticeship or other job due to a lack of skills and experience are most likely be good candidates for a traineeship.

The government website explains more about Traineeships, and Traineeship opportunities are advertised regularly here.

Who can apply
You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school. To start one, you’ll need to be:
    •    16 or over by the end of the summer holidays
    •    living in England
    •    not in full-time education

How to apply
There are 3 steps to applying for an apprenticeship.
    1    Search for an apprenticeship
    2    Sign in or create an account.
    3    Complete and submit your application.

The National Careers Service has advice on writing applications and what to do at interviews.

If you’re unsuccessful
You can ask for feedback if you don’t get selected for an interview or for the apprenticeship.
You can complain if you think you weren’t successful because you were discriminated against, or your treatment in the interview or application process was unfair.
Apprenticeship helpline
Telephone: 0800 015 0400
8am to 10pm, 7 days a week
Find out about call charges


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