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14TH DEC 2023

College or Sixth Form? Why College Might Be Your Best Bet for a Successful Future

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College Or Sixth Form
College Or Sixth Form

We’ve rounded up some of the top reasons to consider college over the traditional route of sixth form, with the help of a current student who made the most of his time at GC!

If you're on the brink of making that big choice between college and sixth form, we’re here to help. From picking the right courses to making sure you have the opportunities you want to get ahead, we know there are lots of things to weigh up.  
We’ve rounded up some of the top reasons to consider college over the traditional route of sixth form, with the help of a current student who made the most of his time at GC! Charlie studied Level 3 Forensic Computing and Cyber Security at the Forest of Dean campus and is now completing a degree level apprenticeship with one of our employer partners.  


Course Choices and Flexibility:

We cover a huge range of courses that you won’t find in sixth form. They go into more detail and allow you to really delve into the subject. If you already know which area you want to work in, then college can help you specialise even further and see where your passions truly lie. 

“I started with learning Python, and it all went from there. Computer science was something I could see myself building a successful career in. I enjoyed its complexity, and it was all new.  
“My teachers really pushed me to pick A Levels but I knew I wanted to work in computing, and the Level 3 course covers computing as a whole. The modules meant I had a lot of options for whatever course I wanted to do.”


Level 3 Courses are Equivalent to A Levels:

It’s a myth that A Levels can help you achieve more than Level 3 courses. The practical skills and industry knowledge you can gain at college can give you that vital stepping stone to get ahead with UCAS applications for university or interviews when it comes to finding a job. At GC, you’ll continue to study core skills in relevant areas, too – giving you extra UCAS points and qualifications!“I was told college wouldn’t take me very far, but the Level 3 course is equivalent to A Levels. My course also offered AS Maths alongside the college course, so I got extra UCAS points.  

“I’d definitely recommend the course if you know you want to get into computing, and if you want to go to university to study computing. Before I started my apprenticeship, I had applied to other courses through UCAS, and was accepted into all the universities I applied to.”  

Charlie Taylor

Study on your doorstep and access new opportunities:

If you live in Gloucestershire, choosing to study at GC means you have access to a huge range of options and opportunities on your doorstep. We have 3 campuses across the county, and lots of links and support to meet employers and make your next move.

“I’m definitely happy I did the college route because it was local and there was the course I wanted to complete. I don’t think I’d have gotten the degree apprenticeship I have now if I’d done A levels.   

“The college and company work together to recruit apprentices. My tutors invited the company in, and they presented it to my class. I just had to put my name down and send a CV. I had a group meeting and interview. It made it really easy.”


Flexible Timetables, Fewer Exams:

Moving out of the structure of school can give you a lot more freedom, too. At college you’ll find your timetables are a lot more varied. You may not start classes until 1pm. You may be on campus 3 times a week. By their nature, college courses have fewer exams too, and a lot of work is assignment-based to reflect working in a real setting.

“I enjoyed the flexibility of my timetable as I had lots of free time to study and develop my skills. I liked that it was mainly assignment based so I did very few exams. I also preferred the style of learning where you can do your own research and listen to lectures.”

Real-world Ready:

With industry-focused assignments, dedicated Student Mentors and an Employability team, you’ll have lots of support at college to make sure that you’re ready to take your next step.

College gives you a great chance to build confidence and prove your skills if you’re ambitious to succeed. We’ll help you to find work experience and create a strong CV to stand out from the crowd.  

“College has set me up better for working – work is project based and not final assessment based, so it led nicely into working life. You need a genuine interest in what you’re applying for, to show you want to be there and want to be a part of it.” 

My advice is to have work experience if you’re applying for things. I had 4 jobs worth of experience by the time I applied to uni. I had some part time jobs and a computing-based job, and volunteering.” 

With industry-focused courses, strong employer partnerships and hands-on experiences, college can be a great choice for you if you’re looking to succeed in a huge range of industries.  

At GC, you’ll benefit from dedicated support to find new opportunities and make a smooth transition from college into university or the world of work. Charlie’s now diving into the fast-paced world of cyber security and looking forward to helping people and learning more from his degree apprenticeship.  

Where could a course at GC take you? 

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