Options at 16 plus

For any questions about careers, university or generally about your future you should contact our Careers Team.  We will refer you to an independent careers advice and guidance professional if you need it.

Choosing the right Sixth Form courses for university

A common question from Year 11 students is: “What options should I take in Sixth Form?”  Well, with over 30,000 courses listed on UCAS (the centralised university admissions facility), it’s impossible to know the entry requirements for each one!  However, choosing the right courses can be critical for some career paths and it’s important to not unintentionally close off paths that you may wish to pursue later on in your career.

Don’t panic – help is at hand!

  • See Mr Turner from the careers team.
  • Use the course search facility http://www.ucas.com/ to research course entry requirements
  • Check university prospectus or website
  • Contact the university’s Admissions office

In addition, you may find the Informed Choices publication useful. The Russell Group of 20 leading UK universities, which are among some of the most selective universities, has published its first ever guide to post-16 subject choices.

Informed Choices, produced in collaboration with the Institute of Career Guidance, is aimed at all students considering A-level and equivalent options. It includes advice on the best subject combinations for a wide range of university courses as well as advice on the best choices if you don’t know what you want to study after school and need to keep your options open.

What does The Bulwell Academy Sixth Form offer?

To find out more, come along to our Open Evening usually held in November each year.

For information on courses at The Bulwell Academy, please click on the link below:
Making Learning Choices at Sixth Form,

For further information discuss your choice of study with your subject teacher or with Ms Yarnall, Head of Sixth Form.

A level Options

AGCE or Applied? What’s the difference?

A levels are generally split up into either AGCE or Applied.

Some subjects such as Business Studies offer an AGCE and an Applied in Business – and it’s important to recognise which is best suited for you.

This link to the QCA website explains in detail the distinct differences between these types of A levels.

Below is a brief summary of what the website explains.

Instead of having one exam session right at the end of the course, A levels are now split into two sections, the AS and A2. AS (Advanced Subsidiary) is literally the first year of a two year A level course. It has 3 units, is valued as a stand-alone qualification, and counts as exactly half of a full A level. A2, the second part of a full A level qualification, also has 3 units and like the AS level, counts as 50%. They combine to form a full A level qualification.

Most of these units are assessed by examination, but some are assessed by coursework. In most A levels the coursework equates to between 20% and 30% of the marks.

AS covers the less demanding material in an A level course, whereas A2 covers the more demanding work. In A2, students combine knowledge, understanding and skills from across the A level course.

Applied A Level & Level 3 BTECs

These higher level skills enable you to develop skills, knowledge and understanding in the vocational area you are studying, preparing you for both the world of work and progression into higher education.

The curriculum is designed to equip students with up-to-date knowledge, skills and understanding of processes and principles in the subject they are studying. Learning these vocational subjects is more student-led and active although being supported and directed by teachers.

The coursework for these qualifications is assessed by a combination of internal and external assessment.

Modern Apprenticeship Options

What is a Modern Apprenticeship?

A Modern Apprenticeship is a course in which you learn while you work. Knowledge, skills and qualifications are gained, and at the same time as earning money.

There are two levels of Modern Apprenticeship: Foundation (FMA) and Advanced (AMA). Both of them lead to National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), Key Skills qualifications and Technical Certificates.

If you would like more information about this, look at the National Apprenticeship Service website. 

For local job opportunities, take a look at the Nottingham City Council’s apprenticeship vacancies.

For a guide on how to make a successful Apprenticeship Application, please click on the image on the left.

Contact The Careers Team for more information.

More Information

What if The Bulwell Academy doesn’t offer me the course of study that I want to do?

Obviously there are lots of different courses available to students looking to either stay on at school for 6th Form or leave and go to college. Colleges offer a range of other courses that you may be interested in if you find that The Bulwell Academy does not offer you the one you want to do. Other courses may include animal care, car mechanics, law, sociology or photography.  It is a very different learning environment in a college and you may find more self-motivation is required.

There are many different colleges in the Nottingham area. The links below will take you to their individual home pages.

Is it best to choose A levels that I need for the future or that I enjoy?

Ideally it is best to balance out these two factors.

If you find you are choosing the A levels you think that you need, but that you find very boring, it is probably pointing to the fact that you will find the employment you are planning to go into dull as well.

You do need to consider what A levels may help you achieve your ideal career, or at least A levels you think may be useful to you when you are older.

Enjoying that you are doing is very important though while also trying to include those A levels you need, as it promotes self-motivation for the course and you will find it fun.

The best bet is combining a mixture of these two as then you will find attending higher education both a useful and interesting experience.

Help on choosing your A level Subjects will be assisted by the careers team.  Contact Mr Turner for more information.

Useful Websites

Click here to visit our Careers Advice and Guidance page where you will find links to lots of useful websites.