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Post-16 Pathways


  • Depending on the college, a specific grade may be required to enrol onto a specific A level course, with many requiring at least a B grade in the chosen subject.
  • Usually split into AS-Levels and A2 levels.
  • Studied over a duration of 2 years with exams at the end of second year to determine grade. Students generally choose to study four AS-Levels, and Three A2 Levels.
  • Mainly exam based with little focus on coursework.
  • After completing, it is possible to apply for an Advanced or Higher Apprenticeship; these are top level apprenticeships and guarantee work after leaving.


  • You must be 16yrs old to start an apprenticeship.
  • An apprenticeship generally takes between one and five years to complete
  • All apprenticeships are real jobs so all apprentices earn a salary. You must be paid at least the national minimum apprenticeship wage – and many employers pay significantly more.

EXAMPLES: (https://www.gov.uk/topic/further-education-skills/apprenticeships)


  • BTEC Nationals are classed as a 'vocational' qualification which offer a mix of practical (work experience) and theoretical (personal study) tasks. They are usually specific to a certain sector of industry and produce specialists in the given field of interest.
  • Assessment is more focused on coursework with little exams (if any at all)
  • They can be taken in conjunction with A-Levels or they can be taken on their own. BTEC Nationals carry UCAS points which can be used to apply for University after completion.

NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications)

NVQs do not have to be completed in a specified amount of time.

  • They can be taken by full-time employees or by school and college students with a work placement
  • Or part-time jobs
  • That enables them to develop the appropriate skills. There are no age limits and no special entry requirements.
  • NVQs work by testing your abilities in the workplace. To complete an NVQ you need to prove that you can do certain work-related tasks. NVQs are assessed in a combination of ways: By portfolio - you build up evidence of what you've done at work; and by observation - an assessor watches you work and checks that you can do the tasks.
  • Candidates produce evidence to prove they have the competence to meet the NVQ standards. Assessors sign off units when the candidates are ready. The assessor tests candidates' knowledge, understanding and work-based performance to make sure they can demonstrate competence in the workplace.