With the help of Blackburn College we explain A-Levels, technical qualifications and apprenticeships and speak to students about their experiences

Choosing what to study after your GCSEs, and how to study it, is a big decision. You need to consider your strengths, what you enjoy and how it will help you reach your ultimate goals.

A-Levels are now assessed predominantly by one final exam at the end of two years of study and some, not all, include coursework.

They suit learners with a keen academic interest in a subject who relish the pressures of final exams.

Lotte Neil achieved three A* and B in her A-Level grades and is progressing to study Midwifery at Sheffield Hallam University: “I decided to study at Blackburn College because the atmosphere was so unlike other colleges – in a good way.

“The tutors at Blackburn College were the most important factor in helping me achieve what I have achieved.
I really enjoyed doing an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) – where I conducted independent research and produced a dissertation about the over-medicalisation of midwifery.”

Blackburn College is celebrating some of its best A-Level results, with the numbers of high grades increasing.

Students achieved a two per cent increase in the numbers of A* and A grades and an increase in A* to B grades compared to the previous year.

The college is celebrating 100 per cent A-Level pass rate in 23 A-Level subjects with students progressing to leading universities.

Technical qualifications
Technical qualifications or vocational qualifications, allow students to combine academic learning with hands-on skills and work experience and can be used to gain UCAS points for entry to university – like A-levels.

Zara Stanworth, 18, studied a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care and is progressing on to the University of Salford to study BSc (Hons) Children and Young People’s Nursing. She gained a Triple Distinction Star – worth the same UCAS points as three A*s at A-Level – enabling her to get to university but through a different style of learning.

Zara said: “I really enjoyed the Level 3 Extended Diploma because it was a great mix of practical and academic modules – providing us with lots of experience, which helped to increase my confidence.

“As part of the Level 3 Extended Diploma students were encouraged to complete hours of practical experience and I really enjoyed working at the Royal Blackburn Hospital in a real-life setting.”

93 per cent of students from 2016/17 went directly into further study or employment after completing their qualifications at Blackburn College.

Apprenticeships are the third route. These allow students to earn money while they gain a qualification.

They are ideal for students who know what career they want to pursue and are keen to get working. You can move from an Apprenticeship to a Higher Level Apprenticeship or a Degree Apprenticeship.

To find out more about the options available and which one could be right for you, with help and support from the team at Blackburn College, attend one of our Open Events

Further details can be found at:



Tedd Walmsley

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Tedd Walmsley managing director of Live Magazines shares his views on the latest topics in media.

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