Where to study?
In Norfolk you can study full time:
- In your own school's sixth form or sixth form centre (if it has one)
- In a sixth form at another school
- At a sixth form college
- At a further education college
- With another provider, sometimes known as a training provider
Don't forget you can find details of Norfolk's post-16 education providers and their courses here on Help You Choose in the 16-18 Full Time Education section.
- Do I want to stay on at my own school (if it has a sixth form) or go somewhere new?
- If I want to go to college, would I feel happier in a large college or a small one?
- Will I need to travel to do the course I'm interested in?
All post-16 course providers have open events and evenings giving you the chance to have a look around and speak to teachers, tutors and current students. Don't forget to ask questions to help you make the right decision.
Which is right for me?
School sixth forms/centres mainly offer academic courses like A levels, and possibly some vocational courses. If your school has a sixth form:
- stay somewhere you know with teachers you know and other friends who stay on
- some have arrangements with other local schools and colleges so they can offer a wider range of choices
- some offer subject specialisms such as science and maths or engineering
- Norfolk has approximately 30 sixth forms/centres
If your school doesn't have its own sixth form or if you wish to change schools, then you can apply to go to a sixth form in another school.
Sixth form colleges offer an extensive range of A Levels and vocational courses such as BTECs, OCR Cambridge technicals and nationals. Some may offer GCSEs and personalised programmes. Sixth form colleges:
- are bigger than sixth forms so usually offer a larger choice of subjects and courses
- provide a young adult environment for 16-19 year olds with no younger or older students
- attract students from a number of schools in the area giving you the opportunity to start somewhere new and make new friends
- Norfolk has one sixth form college: East Norfolk Sixth Form College
Further education colleges offer a wide range of courses including academic, vocational and specialist occupational courses.
Further education colleges:
- give you a fresh start with new teachers and new friends from different schools
- are usually very large with students of different ages including adults, doing full and part-time courses
- have the widest range of subjects,courses and facilities
- Norfolk has four further education colleges: City College Norwich, College of West Anglia, Easton College and East Coast College
- further education colleges often have more than one centre, for instance:-
- Paston College and Easton College are part of City College Norwich
- the College of West Anglia has campuses at King's Lynn, Wisbech and Cambridge
- East Coast College has campuses at Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft
Other Norfolk providers - there are several providers in Norfolk who offer full-time Level 2 and Level 3 courses in specialist areas such as art and design, music, musical theatre, media, creative IT and computing. Others offer study programmes for young people who haven't achieved 9-4 grades at GCSE which give you the chance to try out various vocational options including engineering, childcare, performing arts and many more.
Colleges outside of Norfolk - Outside Norfolk, there are some specialist colleges, such as dance and drama schools, or colleges offering courses for students with a disability or learning difficulty. If you want to find out more about specialist colleges speak to your school's careers leader or adviser.
All providers of post-16 education provide help and support for their students, but you are expected to take on more responsibility for your own learning.