If you want to stay on in full-time education after 16, there are lots of courses to choose from and many different qualifications.

You could study for academic qualifications such as AS or A levels, or go for work-related qualifications such as BTECs, City and Guilds or the new vocational qualifications on the Qualifications and Credit Framework. Selected colleges also offer the new Diploma qualification for 14-19 year olds.

In addition, you can take qualifications in Key Skills - these are the essential skills that employers look for. Many of these qualifications can help you get into university or higher education.

Many colleges also require you to complete a General Studies course alongside your other courses (typically A-Levels). General studies courses aim to equip young people with a greater knowledge of the world around them that will help with their academic and professional careers. General studies are usually short courses.

You will find good explanations of all the qualifications from BTECs to postgraduate degrees at Direct Gov. We also recommend the information on qualifications provided by the National Careers Service. 

Funding Education UK provides good information on funding for further education courses. This is a useful portal site for articles from experts on funding further education and other wide ranging issues. Information for both students and parents alike, breaking down individual costs associated with colleges and universities including tuition fees, top-up fees, loans, grants and bursaries.

LearnDirect are a well respected training and education course site dedicated to all aspects of training and qualification from adult literacy to university level learning. Covers private and public courses and institutions with their associated costs.