Non-Uni Options

There are plenty of options to start a great career without going to university. There are three main paths open to you:


If you have a clear idea of the career area you want to get into, apprenticeships are a good way to get qualifications, work experience, and develop skills at the same time. They are available in over 150 different career areas.

Entry requirements will depend on the apprenticeship you want to do. There are three levels available:

  • Apprenticeships (equivalent to five good GCSE passes)
  • Advanced Apprenticeships (equivalent to two A level passes)
  • Higher Apprenticeships (lead to qualifications at NVQ Level 4 or, in some cases, a Foundation Degree)

For more information, use the following weblinks: (use the keyword search for apprenticeships)


Many large companies offer training jobs for A-level leavers. These often lead to nationally recognised qualifications, as well as good long term prospects. Most require applicants to apply direct through the company website, but many advertise in the national press, or at

Boutique recruitment agencies are worth looking into for jobs aimed at A-level leavers: (for London-based companies) (for local work)

Courses at local colleges of further education, or specialist colleges.

There is a huge variety of courses available, usually in areas related to specific careers. If you are considering this option, it is very important to speak directly to lecturers involved in the course, to get an accurate idea of course content and your chances of employment afterwards.

For further information, contact local colleges, or consider these specialist colleges:

Oxford Business and Media College, for PA and business courses (
Sparsholt College, for rural and equine courses (
The Fashion Retail Academy, set up by Sir Philip Green, (
Chiltern College, for training in childcare, (,
See also and