General qualifications including A levels
Include a wide range of general subjects that are not directly related to a job area, for example subjects such as history and science. Many of these general subjects are asked for by employers as part of entry requirements for jobs, for example lots of jobs ask for English and maths at GCSE level.
There are also some applied or work-related subjects on offer at GCSE, AS and A Level such as accountancy, applied science, photography and IT.
GCSE and AS/A level courses are often taken as a mixture of general subjects to give a broad general education - for example four or more AS levels in different subjects.
You may be thinking about taking re-takes of your GCSEs - but why not take them as part of one of the main learning pathways? For example you may be able to do a few GCSEs as part of a Diploma or work-related course.
Some sixth forms and colleges only offer re-takes in English and maths and most of them will only allow re-takes of subjects if you have already got D or E grades in some of your GCSEs.
AS/A levels are a way of studying a subject in detail. In the first year, you usually choose 3 or 4 AS levels. In the second year, you can continue with the same subjects and get full A levels, or start more subjects by taking more AS levels. Alternatively, you could start a different course altogether.
You can choose from a wide range of about 80 subjects, including some applied (work-related) subjects. You can take subjects you studied in year 11 and/or start new ones. A levels are graded at A* - E.
Extended projects can be taken as part of the new Diploma at Advanced level, or as a separate additional qualification that can be studied alongside A levels. You will plan, research and evaluate a topic of your choice as part of a project. The end product - which may be a dissertation, findings of an investigation or field study, a performance or something you've made - will be assessed.
Extended projects have been introduced so that you'll better prepared for independent learning at higher education level.
Interested? Find out more about general qualifications such as A/S or A levels:
Talk to your:
- Personal tutor or careers co-ordinator at school or college
- Personal Adviser from Connexions Worcestershire
- You can find out more information about all the 16+ qualifications including general courses such as A/S and A levels on www.direct.gov.uk/en/EducationAndLearning/QualificationsExplained/index.htm
- Find out more about jobs by using the Next Steps job profiles
What can A levels lead to?
A levels lead to the same opportunities that are on offer to students doing other courses at level three such as the Advanced Diploma. So, for example, you can go on from A levels, to a Degree or other level 4+ course, or into an apprenticeship or employment.