Careers – A-Level

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A - Levels

What is an A-level? 

Advanced level qualifications (known as A levels) are subject-based qualifications that can lead to university, further study, training, or work. You can normally study three or more A levels over two years. They are usually assessed by a series of examinations.  

What grades do I need to take A levels? 

You normally need: 

  • at least five GCSEs at grades 9 to 5 
  • at least grade 6 in the specific subject(s) you want to study 

However, the specific requirements needed to study A levels will vary across schools and colleges. It is important to check what you will need with the school or college you are looking to study at. 

Who are they for? 

  • If you are thinking about going to university, most higher education courses require specific A levels or combinations of A levels (or alternative level 3 qualifications). 
  • If you are not sure what career or job you want to do, studying a selection of A levels in subjects you are interested in can be an effective way of keeping your options open. 

Choosing A level subjects 

The most important criteria for choosing A levels subjects are: 

  • Looking at what you are likely to enjoy and be good at. If you enjoy a subject or have an ability in it already, you are more likely to do well. 
  • Are there any subjects and/or grades you may need? If you have a particular career, job, or further study in mind, you may need to choose specific A levels to meet entry requirements. 
  • How open do you want to keep your future study and career choices? 

What you can do after A levels 

Many people ask, ‘What can I do with my A levels?’, here are some answers: 

  • Continuing to university – A levels are the most common qualifications studied to get into higher education. 
  • Keep your options open if you are unsure about what you want to do in the future.
  • Look for employment – they are valued by employers because they show a good level of education. 
  • Go on to vocational or work-based qualifications, such as an apprenticeship.