Your choices at 16
Thinking about a degree in the future?
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All three pathways you can choose at 16, (academic, vocational and work-based) offer opportunities for progression to higher level study when you are 18 plus. You can read more about your future options for higher level study here.
If you have a particular degree or subject in mind, now is the time to check out the entry requirements on the UCAS site, so that your post 16 choices are the right ones to ensure you get where you want to go post 18!
If you really don't know what you want to do at 18, but you think higher education might be of interest then choose a broad range of subjects at 16 so you have maximum choice of university subjects later.
There are some A-Level subjects regarded by virtually all universities as being acceptable. These are sometimes known as ‘facilitating‘ subjects such as Maths, English, Physics, Biology or Chemistry, History or Geography or a language. Some universities are stricter than others on this issue, this article from the Russell Group of universities may help.
When making your post 16 choices, if you are thinking of higher education later, bear in mind the following:
Degrees for a specific job
Some careers require a specific degree (like nursing or architecture) so you will need to have the right qualifications to gain entry to that degree course. Degree courses often specify which qualifications they want - sometimes this can be specific A-Levels. You need to check this out by looking at course requirements on university websites.
Degrees for general employment
Many employers welcome people with the higher level skills that degrees develop, irrespective of the subject studied. So, the A-Level/BTEC route to university can be a good way to carry on learning and developing higher level skills, even if you are not absolutely sure what job or career you want to do in the future.