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The 16-19 Study Programme

The 16-19 Study Programme is an individual study programme which brings together the skills and qualifications you need to have the best opportunity to progress, whether it be further study or employment. What's in your study programme will depend on what you have already achieved and what you envisage the next step in you career to be.

If you live in England you now have to study until you are 18, however this includes working (paid or voluntary) at least twenty hours per week plus working towards a nationally-recognised degree.

Your Study Programme is tailored to your prior attainment, however it includes three key elements:

  • substantial qualifications, such as BTEC Level 3 or A Levels
  • maths and English for students who have not achieved grade A*-C GCSE in these subjects by age 16
  • work experience or other work-preparation programme

At the same time, your Study Programme will be based around one of three learning styles suited to you, each made up of different qualifications:

  • work-based learning - which takes place in a work environment. It is a practical way of learning that offers real life work experience whilst working towards relevant qualifications in the industry. 16-19 work-based learning takes the form of traineeships and apprenticeships.
  • vocational learning - which involves more practical activities and is commonly used to prepare you for a particular trade or industry.
  • academic learning - which is more formal and usually based on theory rather than practical activities.

Additionally, if you know you want to continue with studying for the time being, but are unsure whether you want to apply for university or look for a job in Upper 6th, you could combine vocational and academic qualifications and would help you keep your options open. 

Once you've decided the learning style route you are going to go down your college, training provider or employer will sit down with you and put a full programme together to suit your needs. Depending on the main course you choose, as well as your English and Maths needs, your programme may include work experience, an extended project, online courses and workshops to prepare you for employment. Study programmes are all 540 hours and all parts of your programme are compulsory.

Education Providers

The learning style you choose affects where you study and how you apply to study there. The places that let you take the 16-19 Study Programme are:

  • Training providers - a smaller group environment offering vocational subjects and often specialising in a small number of industries
  • Further Education College - a large college environment offering a wide range of vocational subjects as well as some academic subjects
  • Sixth Form College - a large college environment offering a wide range of academic subjects as well as some vocational options
  • School/Academy Sixth Form - attached to a secondary school/academy and is a smaller learning environment
 Work-based learningVocational learningAcademic learning
Training Provider  
Further Education College
Sixth Form College    
School Sixth Form    

Qualifications

What you study on your 16-19 Study Programme depends on what learning style path you choose to take. Your qualifications may include:

 Work-based learningVocational learningAcademic learning
Functional Skills    
International Baccalaureate    
BTEC (award, certificate, diploma)  
NVQ  
A-Level    
Cambridge Technicals  
EPQ    

In Wales, education between the ages of 16 and 18 is not compulsory. However, you can apply to study a range of qualifications following school. These include A Levels, BTECs, NVQs and the Welsh Baccalaureate. You can chose to take these qualifications in schools, further education colleges, adult and community education centres or through work-based learning. To find out more about the different options out there, see the Qualifications section.

studying

 

Qualifications

What you study depends on your preferences for learning and the career path you want to take, however your qualifications may include:

 Academic QualificationsVocational Qualifications
A-levels BTEC (Level 3)
International Baccalaureate NVQ (Level 3)
Extended Project Qualification Cambridge Technicals

In Scotland, schooling is not compulsory after the age of 16, however if you do choose to stay on in education you will enter S5. During S5, you'll sit their highers, after which you can, if you wish, go straight on to university in Scotland. However, most students chose to stay and complete S6 if they want to go to university. During S6, you can choose to either sit more highers or a number of advanced highers. Aside from this academic route, there are more vocational options available, such as SVQs and BTECs. To find out more about the different options, see the Qualifications section.

studying

 

Qualifications

What you study depends on your preferences for learning and the career path you want to take, however your qualifications may include:

Academic QualificationsVocational Qualifications
Highers BTEC (Level 3)
Nationals SVQs (Level 3)

In Northern Ireland, education between the ages of 16 and 18 is not compulsory. However, you can apply to study a range of qualifications following school. These include A Levels, BTECs and NVQs. Many students chose to remain at school to take these qualifications. However, there are a number of further education colleges around Northern Ireland, which also offer these Key Stage 5 qualifications. To find out more about the different options out there, see the Qualifications section.

studying

 

Qualifications

What you study depends on your preferences for learning and the career path you want to take, however your qualifications may include:

Academic QualificationsVocational Qualifications
A-levels BTEC (Level 3)
International Baccalaureate NVQ (Level 3)
Extended Project Qualification Cambridge Technicals

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