What subjects can you study in sixth form?

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quackeda
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So I'm currently coming up on my GCSE's, and my teachers have been putting a lot of pressure on us to think/decide what we want to do after. I really want to go to university. We have NEVER had any of this explained to us, so I didn't even know how I was meant to go about getting into university before I asked my nan.

She said I have to go to either sixth form or college to get my A-levels, and I feel like sixth form would be better for me. But, again, we have never had any of this explained to us, so I have a question;

What subjects can I actually study in sixth form? And following that, university?

What I mean is, do I have to take a subject that I studied for GCSE? For example, I picked art and music for their GCSE's, but we picked our subjects when we were 13. So, of course, things have changed, and I've recently discovered my love and talent for computer science.

This IS a subject that my school provides at GCSE level, but they refused to let this me pick it because my grades in English were "too low" (considering I was in top set, and achieving very high, this was a blatant lie, but okay). So even if I had realised that I wanted to do computer science way back then, I wouldn't have been aloud to take it.

So now I'm kinda worried. I really do want to go to university for computer science, but I don't know if I will be able to take it in sixth form. Maybe this is a stupid question, but our school never even explained WHEN WE ARE MEANT TO TAKE OUR GCSE'S, so we really do have no information about this stuff, and if we ask our teachers, they just tell us it's "not important yet".

Thanks.
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userhep
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Hi,
I'm sorry it seems you've been denied so much information.

Different colleges and sixth forms will, naturally, have different A-level options on offer. I'd recommend looking into all the local ones you could viably go to in order to get a grasp of what subjects are available to you. I thought I'd stay at my secondary school's Sixth Form but ended up going to college in a nearby town because they had a History A-level I was more interested in.

As for whether or not you can do subjects you didn't do at GCSE - as far as I know most A-level providers will allow you to pick any subject regardless of how experience you are in it. The only caveat being that they may want certain grades in English + Maths (essentially you'll just need to pass them at GCSE in most cases) in order to let you in for any course.
A lot of students can't do subjects at GCSE that they do at A-level - for example, Politics wasn't an option for me at GCSE but I was still able to take it at A-level. So, I wouldn't worry about having not done a subject at GCSE - odds are you'll be able to do it at A-level.

So basically, I'd be pretty confident that you'll be able to get onto a Computer Science A-level course. Especially since, as you've said, you're talented and enthusiastic about it.

Hope this helps clear a few things up! Let me know if I've ended up raising any other questions and I'll gladly try to help answer them.
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dylgeo
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Most sixth forms willl let you take an A-Level without having done it at GCSE, except languages. Sixth forms, sixth form colleges, and college are three very different things.

Sixth form: Situated in a school, generally offers A-Levels and a few BTEC's. The most formal of them all.
Sixth form college: Self-contained, 16-19, generally offer much more A-Levels and BTEC's. Less formal than a sixth form but more formal than a college.
College: 16+, most of the time offer only BTEC's and vocational courses, generally informal.
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quackeda
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(Original post by dylgeo)
Most sixth forms willl let you take an A-Level without having done it at GCSE, except languages. Sixth forms, sixth form colleges, and college are three very different things.

Sixth form: Situated in a school, generally offers A-Levels and a few BTEC's. The most formal of them all.
Sixth form college: Self-contained, 16-19, generally offer much more A-Levels and BTEC's. Less formal than a sixth form but more formal than a college.
College: 16+, most of the time offer only BTEC's and vocational courses, generally informal.
Thank you for the info! I didn't even know there was a difference between a sixth-form college and a normal college, so this is really helpful. I knew colleges and sixth-form were different, but I didn't really know about the differences in formality, so again, thank you!
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quackeda
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(Original post by userhep)
Hi,
I'm sorry it seems you've been denied so much information.

Different colleges and sixth forms will, naturally, have different A-level options on offer. I'd recommend looking into all the local ones you could viably go to in order to get a grasp of what subjects are available to you. I thought I'd stay at my secondary school's Sixth Form but ended up going to college in a nearby town because they had a History A-level I was more interested in.

As for whether or not you can do subjects you didn't do at GCSE - as far as I know most A-level providers will allow you to pick any subject regardless of how experience you are in it. The only caveat being that they may want certain grades in English + Maths (essentially you'll just need to pass them at GCSE in most cases) in order to let you in for any course.
A lot of students can't do subjects at GCSE that they do at A-level - for example, Politics wasn't an option for me at GCSE but I was still able to take it at A-level. So, I wouldn't worry about having not done a subject at GCSE - odds are you'll be able to do it at A-level.

So basically, I'd be pretty confident that you'll be able to get onto a Computer Science A-level course. Especially since, as you've said, you're talented and enthusiastic about it.

Hope this helps clear a few things up! Let me know if I've ended up raising any other questions and I'll gladly try to help answer them.
Thank you so much! This is a huge help, not to mention a big weight off of my shoulders.

I hope you don't mind me asking, but someone I know raised a question in a group chat a few minutes ago that I just thought I'd ask; How many A-levels can you take in sixth form? Is there a minimum/maximum as to how many you can take?
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ReadingMum
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most people take 3 as that is what unis will be looking for.
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userhep
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(Original post by quackeda)
Thank you so much! This is a huge help, not to mention a big weight off of my shoulders.

I hope you don't mind me asking, but someone I know raised a question in a group chat a few minutes ago that I just thought I'd ask; How many A-levels can you take in sixth form? Is there a minimum/maximum as to how many you can take?
As @ReadingMum has said, most people do take three. I know at my secondary school's sixth form, which some of my friends stayed at, most people took three. A few people, usually ones considered to be the 'most intelligent' were allowed to take four but I'd really recommend three. The workload definitely increases between GCSE and A-level and you'll be going into your subjects in so much more detail that three is definitely the best number to make sure everything is manageable.

Essentially, it's usually three but sometimes you can take four if you're certain you can cope with the extra workload.
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V℮rsions
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Look up local colleges and see what they offer, they should have the requirements with them on the website. You can either do 3 a-levels or 1 BTEC, or a mix of both. Apprenticeships are available too - or you could go straight into work (personally wouldn't recommend). But really, your local colleges are your best bet for accurate information what A-Levels are available to you
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rgwatwormhill
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Don't panic, it is not too late to do computer science.

It is possible to study computers at sixth form even if you have not done it at GCSE.
It is also possible to study computers at university even if you have not done it at sixth form.

Different sixth form colleges might offer different computer science courses, and different courses might have different rules about what you need to have studied already.

Some subjects are much more rigid about the prerequisites, but even the rigid ones can sometimes to persuaded to be flexible if you are prepared to do extra work. If you wanted to do A-level French without ever having studied it before, then you would find it very hard work, as everybody else in the class would be way ahead of you. It still wouldn't be impossible, so you might be able to persuade a college to let you take it. If you wanted to do A-level Japanese, you would probably find that most of the class were beginners.

If you really, really want to study a specific A-level subject, but you can't find a sixth-form to let you take their course, then it is still possible to study the subject by yourself, and to take an A-level in it. You would have to pay exam fees. There are lots of online courses that might be helpful, many of them free.

To find out about university courses, you can look at each university's website. Note that different universities offer different courses, and often have different prerequisites.

See eg Wikipedia for a list of UK universities https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...alphabetically
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ReadingMum
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If you think you might like to go to uni then it is worth looking online at a few courses that might interest you and seeing what A levels they require for entry. For uni you will have more choice if you do A levels compared to doing BTEC
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