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Post-16 education and training

Staying in full-time education

You can choose whether you want to go to a further education college or stay on at your school’s sixth form, if it has one.

Colleges and sixth forms offer a wide range of study options including:

  • academic courses, for example, A levels, the International Baccalaureate (IB) or GCSEs
  • vocational courses, for example, BTECs or T levels
  • ‘stepping stone’ qualifications in maths and English
  • courses which combine study with on-the-job training or work experience
  • Life Skills courses to help you prepare for post-education life, work, and participating in the community

Some colleges in Buckinghamshire and surrounding areas provide specialist courses, such as motorsports, farming and sports therapy.

The difference between colleges and sixth forms

Find a post-16 college or sixth form

Choosing a college or sixth form

When you are choosing where you will go, you should consider:

  • the courses available
  • the grades you need to meet their entry requirements
  • whether the college or sixth form specialises in the area you are interested in
  • the links they have with employers, companies or other education providers
  • student reviews
  • the location and how you will get here

The types of courses and the subject choices vary between different colleges and sixth forms. For some career paths you need to study specific courses or subjects. You can find out more about what you need to do different kinds of jobs. Both colleges and sixth forms offer a range of sports, arts and leisure activities.

Some sixth forms have entry requirements, meaning you have to get certain grades at GCSE to get in.

From around September each year, colleges and sixth forms publish prospectuses and update their websites with details about the courses they run.

It’s a good idea to start researching as soon as you can. Many hold open days, so you can look around, meet teachers and find out more about the courses they offer. You can follow colleges and sixth forms on social media to find out when open days and other events are coming up.

If you’re having trouble finding a college or sixth form that’s right for you, speak to a teacher or an advisor at school, or you can contact Adviza for information.

At the end of your course, your college or sixth form will provide information and advice to help you decide what to do next. If you want to go to university, they will help you with the UCAS application process or they can help you get an apprenticeship or find a job.