Study options

Choosing what to study

Deciding what to study is an important part of your son or daughter’s future prospects.

Our courses are designed to give your son or daughter the best possible route to work or further study, and it can seem daunting deciding which level is right for them. A lot will depend on their learning style and their aspirations for the future. 

Options at age 16

All young people must stay in education or training until at least the end of the academic year when they turn 18. They have many choices; some thrive in academic environments and study A Levels while others make better progress studying vocational qualifications.

Options at age 18

Once they have completed their studies at age 18 young people are free to go out to work. However, many choose to stay in education. Degree Level remains a popular choice, but increasingly they are turning to Apprenticeships.

Guide to qualifications

Find out more about the types of courses available at The College and how they can help your son or daughter progress up the qualification ladder.

Full-Time courses
Courses are generally 600 hours of study over a year. How these hours are spread out depends on the course. You could be doing 16 hours a week, for 36 weeks, over 3 days a week. Or you might do 5 days a week for 20 weeks, with work experience for the remainder.
Part-Time courses
Courses can last for as little as one day or as long as two years. Part-Time courses are particularly suitable for adults looking to return to education or wanting to develop their work skills and knowledge.
Apprenticeships and Higher/Degree Apprenticeships
Apprenticeships and Higher Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with study. They're a great way to get practical workplace experience and nationally recognised qualifications. Even better, you earn as you learn.
Access to Higher Education
Access to HE Diplomas can offer a quick route into Higher Education courses for adult learners who haven’t been in education for a while. They offer a credible alternative to A Levels with an emphasis on building the confidence and skills students need to get back into academic study.
Degree Level
Typically for students who have completed their A Levels but increasingly also for adults who are looking to gain new qualifications, Higher Education study enables people to complete a BA/BSc (Hons), Foundation Degree, Higher National Certificate (HNC), or Higher National Diploma (HND).
Academic courses
Post GCSE studies that are mostly theoretical and conducted primarily in a classroom based environment. The courses focus on studying single subjects. The courses are particularly suited to those looking to continue their studies perhaps at university.
Professional and technical courses
A professional and technical course prepares students for jobs in specific trades and crafts, perhaps a position in engineering, hairdressing, bricklaying, accountancy or as a chef. It focuses on a particular career path and can lead to higher level qualifications or directly into a job.