Post 16 Pathways

What's your next move?

Young people must stay in some type of education or training until the age of 18. There are many options available when you turn 16, look at what option best suits you and your situation, strengths and interests.

Some courses keep your options open by giving you the chance to study different subjects or you could take a work-related course that will give you skills and work experience. You may need specific qualifications for your career choice, so always do some research.

Continue your studies

A levels
Description: Study a subject you took at GCSE in greater depth or choose a new one like economics, law or psychology. You could take 3 broad subjects you are interested in to keep your career options open or choose ones you need for a specific career.
Duration: 2 years
Assessment: Mostly exams at the end of the course
Level of study: 3
Entry requirements: Typically 5 GCSEs Grade 9-5 (including English and maths), some subjects have additional entry requirements (many require grade 6 in certain subjects)
Work experience: Usually 1 week during year 12
Leads to: University/college, higher and degree apprenticeships, work
Find out more: UCAS Information about A levels

T Levels
Description: Designed in partnership with employers to give you the skills and knowledge to get on in the workplace. Combines classroom learning with industry placements to prepare you for skilled work or higher level study. 1 T Level is the equivalent of 3 A levels.
Duration: 2 years
Assessment: Exams, projects and practical assignments
Level of study: 3
Entry requirements: Course dependent
Work experience: At least 45 days on industry placement
Leads to: University/college, higher and degree apprenticeships, work
Find out more: information about T Levels

Technical and vocational qualifications
Description: Qualifications which teach you how to do tasks specifically related to the industry and role you want to be involved in.
Duration: Course dependent
Assessment: Can include coursework, skills tests and exams
Level of study: 1+
Entry requirements: Course dependent
Work experience: Course dependent
Leads to: Apprenticeship, work, college or university
Find out more: Speak to your local provider or talk to an adviser

Applied qualifications
Description: Qualifications that give you a broad overview of working in a specific sector, like business, media, engineering, leisure or science and technology. A mix of classroom-based learning with the chance to get some practical skills.
Duration: Course dependent
Assessment: Course dependent (coursework and exams)
Level of study: 3
Entry requirements: Yes, course dependent
Work experience: Course dependent
Leads to: University/college, apprenticeship, work
Find out more: Information about applied qualifications

College websites

Follow the links below to take you directly to the college websites to view the courses available.  College prospectus are available in the careers room.

newcastle college logo2     reaseheath2      6th form stoke   sot college    st josephs     CCSW

Combine work and study

Description: Intermediate, advanced higher and degree apprenticeships combine practical on-the-job skills training with off-the-job learning. You'll get training that is relevant to your job and be paid a salary. Start at a level to suit you, with support if you have special needs or a disability.
Location: You’ll spend 80% of your time in the workplace and 20% off-the-job with some study in a college or training centre 
Duration: A minimum of 1 year
Entry requirements:  Will be dependent on the industry, job role and apprenticeship level
Qualifications: apprenticeship certificate, diploma, degree and masters depending on level
Leads to: Work, next level of apprenticeship, further education, higher education
Find out more: information about Apprenticeships

Description: A course that includes a work placement that will get you ready for an apprenticeship or a job. You’ll get work experience and some help to apply for your next steps. You can also improve your maths and English skills. 
Location: You’ll spend a minimum of 70 hours in a work placement with the rest of your time in college or a training centre
Duration: 6 weeks to 1 year
Entry requirements:  You need to be aged between 16 to 24 or up to 25 with an Education Health and Care Plan with no higher than a level 3 qualification
Qualifications: English, maths, digital and work-related qualifications
Leads to: Apprenticeship, further education, work
Find out more: ask your local college or training provider or speak to Janet Kemp (careers adviser)

Useful websites

Follow the links below to find out more about apprenticeships and to view the opportunities available.

apprenticeships-logo-black       Everything you need to know about becoming an apprentice, including a search                                        feature which allows you to search for current apprenticeship vacancies.

about ASK Amazing Apprenticeships            A leading organisation in the education sector, founded to tackle                                                                 misconceptions about apprenticeships and promote the benefits.

 HH        All-About-Apprenticeships             Higher-and-Degree-Apprenticeships-Explained 

Take a look at the Subject Specific Apprenticeships guide to see where your favourite subjects could lead to.

 Apprenticeship opportunities at college

NSCG Apprenticeship         ccsw        Reaseheath apprenticeship       sot college

 Apprenticeship & Training Providers

pm        martec       equality       juniper

Career opportunities in the armed forces


Continue to university

If you are thinking of going to university, you need to consider your KS5 pathway.  Some university courses have specific entry requirements so you need to do your research to ensure that your decision making in Year 11 allows you to progress to your chosen university or degree.  The links below will help you to make those informed decisions.

Higher Horizons+ are part of the Uni Connect Programme, funded by the Government to deliver free and impartial higher education outreach to schools and colleges across Staffordshire.  They have resources available for students, parents and carers, which include, the benefits of university, tips on your UCAS application and personal statement, and the facts about student finance.

The Russell Group is a collection of the twenty-four highest ranking universities in the UK.  They maintain the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivalled links with local and national business and the public sector.

UCAS support young people making post-16 choices, as well as those applying for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.     

Local Universities