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Further Education System


When students reach the age of 16 and have completed their GCSE's they have a few options to choose from:

If students opt for carrying on with their education this will take two forms, either by pursuing further academic qualifications or by following a more vocational pathway.

Academic Qualifications

Most schools in the UK have what is called a "6th Form" for students to enter after they have taken their GCSE's. As an alternative, there are many "6th Form Colleges" that will offer the same courses from students at schools that do not have a 6th form. Here students typically study A-levels, further academic qualifications required of students before they enter higher education and a degree program.

A-levels, like GCSE's, follow a two-year program and there are two components to them, full A-levels and half AS-levels. Generally A-levels comprise of 6 modules, and an AS-level 3 modules.

Students will generally take between two to three A-levels, but depending on your academic ability and drive you may take more. Students at independent schools may take anywhere up to 5 A-levels.

The International Baccalaureate is also now offered by more schools in the UK as an alternative to A-levels, however this is still ve

Vocational Qualifications

For students who are not so academically minded, they still have the option to further their education by studying a vocational course that will provide them with a more hands on experience and education.

The most popular vocation programs include:

As most international students coming into the UK will be taking academic programs with the aim of gaining admittance to a degree program we will not provide that much information here but please see the links above to learn more.


Please note that Scotland has a separate education system and does not conform to the above structure. Please learn more about the Scottish Education System.

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