Finishing Year 11 at School? Here’s some options for your next step

If you’re in Year 11 at School, you’re probably thinking about what you’re going to do when you hang up your school shirt for the very last time.

There’s lots of choice out there, ranging from A-levels and apprenticeships to vocational (work-related) courses in a huge variety of subject areas.

In this post, we’ve outlined some of the options available to you.

At Hugh Baird College we have one of the widest range of courses for school leavers in the region! We're accepting applications for September, and you can apply online via this page.



A-levels tend to focus on academic subjects and are a great way to prepare for University-level study or even a Higher Apprenticeship. The courses usually take two years to complete, and you sit your exams at the end of the course.

At our Sixth Form Centre, based at our South Sefton Campus, we offer a wide choice of A-levels which are delivered by specialist teachers in a modern campus with outstanding facilities. We have a 99% pass rate at A-level and have been ranked in the top 10% of colleges in the country for A-level progress, in league tables published by the Government in 2019.

Find out about A-levels at Hugh Baird College

Vocational courses

Vocational courses

Vocational qualifications are more practical and provide you with the knowledge and skills needed for certain jobs and types of work.

You can study different levels of vocational courses, and a Level 3 is equivalent to two or three A-levels. Because of the more technical and applied learning involved in a vocational course, it is a perfect stepping stone into a job, career or apprenticeship.

At Hugh Baird College, we have vocational courses in over 20 different subject areas ranging from Hairdressing to Catering, Nursing and Construction Crafts and we have courses to suit everyone’s needs, from Entry Level to Level 3. Each subject area has great links with employers and boast specialist real working environment that reflect what you’ll find in industry. These include labs, studios, workshops, garages, kitchens, and more to help you get the training you need.


T-levels are a new type of qualification that focus on high-level technical study and work-ready skills. They have been developed to offer a quality alternative to A-levels and provide clear route to skilled employment, as well as progression to higher or degree Apprenticeships, or degree-level study at university.

A core component of the T-levels qualification is a 45-day industry-based placement, where you will apply the theory they learn in the classroom to the workplace and develop the essential work-ready skills that employers are looking for.

Hugh Baird College is the only education provider in the Liverpool City Region delivering T-levels from September 2021.

Find out about Vocational courses at Hugh Baird CollegeFind out about T-levels at Hugh Baird College



Apprenticeships are a great opportunity for you to earn a salary while you gain a qualification at the same time.

How you study can vary from apprenticeship to apprenticeship, some require you to attend college one day a week, others require you to do all your studying at work, whilst some are a blend of the two. Apprenticeships are available from Level 2 through to degree level; it typically takes one to two years to complete however some may take longer due to the nature of the programme.

Find out more about Apprenticeships

Re-sitting your GCSEs

Re-sitting your GCSEs

If results day comes around and you don’t receive the GCSE results you had hoped for, or you need certain grades to move onto a course or chosen career path then there is the option to re-sit them.

Dependent on personal circumstances there may also the option to re-sit a GCSE subject alongside your chosen College course.

Need some advice?

Do you need help exploring your career options? Are you struggling to know where to start when looking for a relevant course? Whatever your need, the College’s impartial Careers Advisors can help. Request a career advice appointment by calling 0151 353 4444 or email

Go back