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Choosing your next step after GCSEs

25th July 2019 – Tags: GCSE Results

With GCSE results day just around the corner, it's time to celebrate your accomplishments and hard work. 

Once you've received your results, you can begin to plan your next step - but what are your options? And how do you choose which route to take? We've outlined several of the options available to you below. 

A Levels

Paston students in science class, one student looking through microscope

A Levels at Paston College

Many students choose to study three or more A Levels (advanced level) after their GCSEs. These are subject based Level 3 qualifications which are taken over the course of two years. You can choose the A Level subjects you are most interested in, and decide whether you want to take subjects that are mostly assessed by coursework, examinations, or a mixture of both. 

A Levels allow you to keep your options open. They are valued by universities and employers, and you can even choose to follow up your A Level qualifications with an apprenticeship. 

We offer over 20 A Level courses in wide range of subjects. You will be taught by experienced A Level subject specialist teachers, have access to fantastic facilities and the opportunity to follow your passion and interests outside of the classroom. 

View A Level courses


If you prefer hands on learning, you may wish to consider an apprenticeship after your GCSEs. As an apprentice, you work for an employer whilse training to do a specific job at the same time.   

Apprenticeships can take between one to six years to complete (depending on the type you choose). The current minimum wage for an apprentice under 19, or in their first year of their apprenticeship, is £3.90 per hour. If you are over 19, or have completed your first year, you must be paid at least the minimum wage for your age. 

You can find out more about apprenticeships at City College Norwich.

Career focused courses

Student drawing on sketchpad with pencil and ruler

Vocational Courses at Paston College

Our career-focused courses are a perfect hands-on alternative to A Levels that allow you to focus on one subject. These vocational courses will suit you if you enjoy practical lessons and like a mixture of coursework and exams. 

Courses are available from Level 1 to Level 3 in a wide range of subjects. You can choose from Art and Design, Business, Childcare, Information Technology and Computing, Creative Media, Health and Social Care, Performing and Production Arts, and Sport.

View courses

Need help making your next step?

If you are unsure about where to go next, the City College Norwich Advice Shop is open throughout the summer. This expert service offers impartial advice and guidance for anyone considering their career, education, and training options.

Simply drop in to the Advice Shop at City College Norwich, Ipswich Road, Norwich, between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday or call 01603 773773.