• T: 0800 074 0099

Study Options – 16 to 18 year olds

If you are worried about the choice you have made or about your upcoming GCSE Results, the first thing to do is not to panic! It is not too late for you to make a decision or change your mind about the choice you make and whether you do better or not as well as you expected to do, there is an option for your post-GCSE training and/or education. We are still taking applications for September, so if you would like to apply or discuss your options, we are here to help.


Call us on 0800 074 0099 or email enquiries@blc.ac.uk. We are here 9am to 5pm every week-day.


Which courses and levels are right for me?

There are lots of options available for young people when they finish their GCSEs to suit the learning style they prefer, whether it be on Campus or in the workplace, academic or practical. There are also different options available to suit what prior qualifications have been achieved.

If you are unsure about which direction to take, it might help to look at the subjects you enjoy. All of our subject pages show which courses are available and the types of jobs and careers that could be open to you. The next step is to decide which level and which course type would really suit you.

Course levels 

Click here to find out more information about the course level to suit you.

Course types


An apprenticeship is a way of learning whilst you are in a job. You build up the knowledge and skills you need to gain your qualifications while you are working, by coming to college one day a week.

Our apprenticeships are offered at Leek and Buxton campuses and Harpur Hill Training Centre.

Find out more about apprenticeship courses and vacancies.

BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council)

BTECs are career-based and practical qualifications, designed to give students the skills they need to move on to higher education or go straight into employment. More employers and higher education institutions than ever before are choosing BTEC qualified candidates for their academic and practical knowledge and skills.

The BTEC Level 2 Diploma usually takes one year of full time study.

The BTEC Level 3 Diploma is an advanced, level 3 qualification roughly the same as two to three A levels. It usually takes two years of full time study.

NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications)

NVQs are designed by employers who know which skills they want their employees to have. During an NVQ you will practise work related tasks and develop the skills and knowledge to do a job effectively.

CACHE (Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education)

These are qualifications in childcare and education. They range from beginners' courses to advanced qualifications for care and education professionals.

Foundation Services

Our Independence & Living Skills and Working Towards Independence programmes are for students with complex learning difficulties or disabilities and our Developing Skills (formally Pathways to Progression) programmes help those who didn’t gain GCSEs or were disengaged with school.

Your College experience is made up of more than just your qualification. The course type that you choose is just one part of your study programme, whether it is a full time Campus based course or an Apprenticeship in the workplace. All study programmes and apprenticeship frameworks are tailored to the individual learner and are designed to support learning, development and growth leading to employment or further education. Find out more here.