One of your options after Year 11 is to study at a College, Sixth Form College or School Sixth Form


offers courses for everyone – whatever your age or academic ability



Sixth Form College

is for young people aged 16 – 19 and mostly offer Level 3 courses (some do a few Level 2 courses)



School Sixth Form

you can stay on in your school sixth form or apply to join a sixth form at another school. Most courses are Level 3 (some offer Level 2)


Birmingham and the surrounding areas have a wide choice to choose from




Spend time researching online or reading prospectuses, to find out about the Colleges and Sixth Forms in your local area. Also talk to your family, friends and Careers Adviser about the different options.

Attend Open Days/Open Evenings and be sure to find out

What are the standard entry requirements?

What qualifications do they offer – Diplomas (eg BTEC, C&G, CACHE), A’levels, T-Levels

What subjects do they offer – Criminology, Psychology, Brickwork, Health & Social Care etc

Ask yourself

How long will it take me to travel there?

Do I want to do lots of exams?

Do I prefer doing coursework/assessments?

Do I want to do a work placement?


Ask the Tutors

Will the course help me to get into my chosen career?

What are my progression options after the course?


Ask Student Services/Tutors

Can I get additional support with my studies?

Can I get a free bus pass?

Can I get any financial support from the 16-19 Bursary Fund?

What is the deadline for applying for these funds


Most Colleges ask you to apply through their website. Register your details (create a username and password) and complete the online application form. You will need to add your personal details, GCSE courses, GCSE predicted grades.

School Sixth Form applications vary check the application process on the school’s website.

Apply for 2 or 3 different Colleges and/or School Sixth Forms. Always have a backup option. For example, choose a course with lower entry requirements, i.e. BTEC Diploma in Applied Science as a backup option for ‘A’ Level Chemistry and Biology.


Most Colleges and Sixth Forms will invite you to attend an interview. This meeting is an opportunity for the school or college to learn more about you and to make sure you are suited to the course or courses you’d like to study.

Depending on the course you have applied for, you may need to do an assessment or audition at your interview, e.g. play a piece of music, act out a scene, do online maths and English tests. For art courses you may need to show a portfolio of your artwork.

The interviewer will also need to see a reference from your school to check you have good attendance and punctuality, a good attitude to learning and the required predicted grades.

It also gives you the opportunity to ask your interviewer some questions. It may be a good idea to prepare some questions in advance.

After the interview you may receive a Conditional Offer. This means to take up your place in September you still need to meet the entry requirements – for example, specific exam grades.

Accept all your Conditional Offers so that you have a range of options to choose from after Year 11.


On GCSE results day you need to enrol at one of your chosen Colleges or School Sixth Forms. They will already have sent you instructions on how to enrol. At enrolment, Colleges and School Sixth Forms will check that you have the right grades for the course you have applied for. If you have lower grades than you need, don’t worry because most Colleges can offer you an alternative course. If they can’t, then you can enrol at your backup choice.

If you have achieved better grades than you expected, don’t be afraid to contact other Colleges or School Sixth Forms on GCSE results day, that have higher entry requirements. It is likely that they will still have places available.

Birmingham Careers Service are here to support you with applications to further education. If you are aged 16-19, or up to 25 with a disability, you can contact us by phone, text, WhatsApp, or Email