At the end of Year 13 the main options available to you are:
  • Go to University to study towards a degree
  • Get an Apprenticeship to further your studies whilst earning
  • Go to another Further Education provider
  • Get a Job
  • Take a Gap Year

Whatever you choose to do, make sure it is something that you will enjoy and that will benefit you in the future. Your choice for beyond Year 13 may be influenced by several factors: your grades at A Levels, the subjects you want to study, your career aspirations or whether or not you want a more hands-on education.

If you want to get a degree, there are several ways you can do this:

  • Go to university to do a full-time degree
  • Go to university part-time. This will free up your time to work or volunteer
  • Do an Open University degree course – you study online in your own time
  • Many further education colleges also offer degrees and other higher education courses
  • Go to university abroad

The following websites are great places to start:


The last few years has seen a lot of interest in these opportunities and many companies have developed new and updated entry programmes for pupils with A Levels, or equivalent, qualifications. Many companies offer Higher Apprenticeships or School Leaver Programmes which enable you to get qualified whilst earning a wage; or Sponsored Degrees where you work and get paid while working towards a degree which the company pays for. If you don’t get the grades to get onto an Advanced Apprenticeship or Sponsored Degree you can still do an Apprenticeship – you normally need a few GCSEs (usually English and Mathematics) depending on the subject/company. The best way to look for and apply for apprenticeships is to use the following apprenticeship websites:

Further education (FE) includes any study after secondary education that’s not part of higher education (that is, not taken as part of an undergraduate or graduate degree). Courses range from basic English and Maths to Higher National Diplomas (HNDs). FE also includes 3 types of technical and applied qualifications for 16 to 19-year-olds:

  • Level 3 tech levels to specialise in a specific technical job
  • Level 2 technical certificates help get employment or progress to another tech level
  • Applied general qualifications to continue general education at advanced level through applied learning

There are a lot of FE providers in the Solihull and Birmingham area. Have a look at some of their websites to view courses and find out more information:

At the end of Year 13 you may want to leave education and start your journey in the world of work. This can be daunting at first, with a competitive market and current high demand for jobs, but you can find plenty of help and advice on the websites below. There are a lot of jobs that do not involve training but remember, you will be going for these jobs up against a variety of competition – graduates, apprentices and professionals looking to change roles. Think carefully about the type of job you want to do and what the company’s careers development/job prospects are. You will have to go through a full application and interview process for most jobs so get preparing your CV, covering letter, and application form writing skills soon!
The following career websites are good for helping you decide on a career, researching jobs, producing a CV and covering letter and much more.

Whether you want to learn a new skill, raise your cultural awareness or buy yourself some thinking time before making the move into work or further study, a gap year could be the answer. Traditionally, the phrase ‘gap year’ meant a period taken out by pupils after leaving college and before starting university. Now, gap years can happen at any stage, by anyone, and for varying amounts of time. You can fly off to sunnier climates and experience different cultures or stay closer to home and sample what the UK has to offer. Whatever your destination some examples of gap year activities include:

  • Conservation work
  • Adventure travel programs
  • Summer schools
  • Internships

Visit these websites for more information or to get more ideas: