Full time study

There are two main choices if you want to study full time after year 11: a school sixth form or a college.

You can choose a provider in Lancashire or outside the county. An education provider located outside Lancashire might be a better choice for you. They might be closest to your home or offer the right course for you.

You can view a map of the school sixth forms and colleges in Lancashire.

Qualifications you can study

Generally, courses tend to be classed as academic or vocational/technical and you can choose from a wide range of subjects.

Qualifications are available at different levels - the higher the level, the more difficult the course. There are 9 qualification levels and you can read more about qualification levels on GOV.UK.


A Levels – these are two year courses with an exam at the end. These courses are at Level 3. Most students take three A level subjects but you may be able to combine A Levels with another qualification. You would need to speak to your preferred school sixth form or college to see what they can offer. A Levels are one of the main routes into higher education.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme – there are six subject groups to choose from, including Language and Literature and Mathematics. Not all school sixth forms or colleges offer the IB Programme so you'll need to check with your preferred provider. The IB Programme is studied over two years and has good progression rates into higher education.


There are different types of vocational/technical qualifications in a wide range of subjects, including NVQs and BTECs. They are designed to help you learn in a more practical way about an employment sector, such as travel and tourism. Vocational/technical courses are jointly designed with industry and employers so you can gain the right knowledge and skills to help you progress into a job. Whilst the main progression route from vocational/technical qualifications is into employment, you can also progress into higher levels of study, including university.

The main vocational/technical qualifications are T Levels. These are two year courses and are at Level 3. A T Level is the equivalent to three A Levels. T Level students spend 80% of their course in technical learning and 20% in an in-depth industry placement, which is around 45 days (315 hours). The industry placement will give you a real experience of working in your chosen industry. You'll also study English and maths if you have not yet achieved a GCSE grade 4 in these subjects. They are jointly designed with professional bodies and employers and are available in a range of different job sectors. They are currently being rolled out across the country and a range of T Levels are already available across Lancashire. T Levels are assessed in different ways – including projects, tests and exams – and they allow you to progress onto an apprenticeship, skilled employment or higher education.

If you aren’t quite ready for a T Level, you may be able to do the Level 2 Foundation Year. This is designed to give you the skills and knowledge to progress onto a T Level in the future.

The SORTED website provides more details on where T Levels are available in Lancashire.

You can find more information on T Levels on the T Levels website. You can also use your postcode to search the T Levels website to find out which T Levels are available in your local area.