Introduction to A-Levels

The majority of students enrol onto an A-level course at the age of 16-18 as a prequel to application to a university. This is due to the high standard of entries to each university, meaning the institution requires a certain academic grade and subject of A-level in order for them to offer a student a place.

A-levels are most well-known in the UK, with the exception of Scotland, however there are a number of countries worldwide that also use the A-level as a grading and course structure in academia.

It is interesting to note that there are several countries within the Commonwealth and British territories, i.e. Gibraltar, Malta and New Zealand, which have adopted the A-level system, though the content and structure of the courses vary with each country.

As well as the traditional academic courses such as mathematics and English, students can choose to go to tertiary colleges to sit a wider choice of A-level, which tend to be more vocation based.

Studying A-Levels

So you've finished your GCSE's and now what do you do? With so many opportunities such as going out into the working world, training as an apprentice, going to college or joining the forces it may seem overwhelming, especially at your young age, to make such a huge decision regarding your career and life.

Studying A-levels is one of the better options in this scenario and has its many benefits. Studying A-levels at your school means you already know your teacher and their teaching methods, you know the people you will be working with and you can have another two years at school, which you would not get back again once you had left, whereas college, work, apprenticeships and the forces can all be accessed after completion of your A-levels.

You can pick three-four subjects that really interest you and the grades you get and being in these academic surroundings will benefit you if you should apply to university or college, or even work! There are hundreds of A-level subjects to choose from, encompassing the arts, science, health and social care as well as others so you can mix and match your choices to discover what you really want to do.

After your two years of A-levels are up and you have your grades you can begin to assess where you want your career to go, and you will be better equipped and in a better state of mind then you would be making this decision after your GCSEs. So when deciding upon your future seriously consider A-levels for the leg up onto your chosen career ladder.

A-Levels for Adults

As an adult wanting to return to education, or just wanting to start a great career, you may find that your chosen institution requires you to have a certain grade in a certain subject at the A-level level. You quite possibly think that the boat has sailed and you are unable to take A-levels, however there are a number of possibilities that you can utilise to your advantage.

For example, the Open University offers A-levels in certain subjects. Failing that, you can apply through a school to simply pay for and sit the exam and learn the curriculum in your own way and at your own pace. Many colleges offer A-levels or A-level alternatives, which is a great option if you have the free time. Alternatively you can opt for distance learning A-levels.

A-Levels via Distance Learning

If you want more out of your life and feel that your qualifications let you down, why not look into full time study of A-levels? You're probably thinking right now that you would like to, but your busy schedule and current job makes it impossible for you to enrol onto a college course in education.

Luckily in today's modern world you can study for your A-levels from the comfort of your own home. Distance learning courses aim to provide you with the same quality and experience as you would benefit from in a classroom environment, but to best suit your needs at home. Whether you are in full time employment, a full time parent or carer, have a disability or anything else, you could gain your A-levels in your own home with professional tutors guiding you throughout the course.

One of the major benefits of distance learning is that you can study at your own pace and in your own time, but still encompass all of the curriculum's criteria. There are a broad range of institutions offering you the chance to gain your A Levels in a distance learning environment both online, via phone and mail and they include a huge range of subjects from art to mathematics to English and science.

Don't waste your time doing something you don't enjoy when you could benefit from having some academic qualifications and starting your own dream career in several small and simple steps.

A-Level Funding

After all of this you're probably wondering how you will pay for your A-level qualification. Luckily, if you are unemployed and in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance and this is your first attempt at this level of qualification then you may be eligible for your fees to be paid.

There are also a number of organisations offering grants such as the Adult Learner's Grant (ALG) where you can receive a weekly allowance if this is the highest level of qualification you are studying for.

If you are 16-18 the cost of your A-levels are covered in your schooling fees, so there is no need to worry. But you can be eligible for the Educational Maintenance Allowance, where you can receive a weekly grant to help towards your equipment and living costs.

There are a number of companies willing to support you, so it is definitely worth sourcing all of the option available to you, then you can look forward to getting the qualifications you need to fulfil your life's ambitions.