Aged 16-18 and looking for
the right course for you?

Although you have to continue studying until you’re 18, that doesn’t mean you need to stay in school. Once you’ve achieved your GCSEs, you can unlock a new world of further education opportunities which will set you up for your future career, or higher levels of study.

The experience of going to college is very different from school. You can choose what – and how – you want to study. As one of the largest colleges in the West Midlands, South & City College Birmingham offers hundreds of courses in a wide variety of subjects. Our post-16 options include A Levels, apprenticeships, vocational courses, and T Levels, with courses ranging from Level 1 to degree level.

And, most importantly, we develop our courses in conjunction with employers. This means that when you study with us, you’ll develop the skills they require – giving you a competitive advantage when it comes to applying for jobs.

T Levels

South & City College Birmingham are offering new T Level qualifications. This Level 3 qualification brings classroom and industry placement together, combining theoretical learning and practical learning to prepare you for higher education or employment.

One T Level is equivalent to three A Levels and is gained over a course of 2-years full-time study. T Level students spend 80% of the course in the classroom, learning the skills that employers need. The other 20% is a meaningful industry placement, where they put these skills into action. This will add up to 45 days of on-the-job work placement.

Our T Levels cover a vast range of industries such as construction, catering, digital, finance, hairdressing, health, business, science and so much more.

We can also offer a one-year T Level transition programme, preparing you for T Levels if you need to perfect your maths, English or workplace skills.

See our T Level courses
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South & City College Birmingham offer a range of vocational qualifications, including BTECs, City and Guilds and Diplomas.

Vocational qualifications offer hands-on learning courses that relate to specific roles or job sectors, such as hairdressing, accounting, professional cookery or plumbing. If you prefer to learn through a mix of practical application and classroom theory, studying a vocational course with us is the perfect option. Assessment is usually through both written and practical examinations.

There are many different types of professional qualifications in a wide range of subjects at all levels, from Entry Level to a PhD at Level 8.

Professional qualifications can lead to employment and even higher education. Level 3 professional qualifications, such as BTEC, earn UCAS points for higher education, in the same way as those awarded for A Levels.

See our Vocational coursesRead more

A Levels

The Advanced Level qualifications (A Levels) are subject-based qualifications. These Level 3 qualifications can provide access to university, further learning, training, or employment.

You usually study three or four A Levels over a period of two years and they are usually assessed by means of examinations.

You can study A Levels in a college environment if you want a change from school life. Many of our students go on to pursue a wide variety of opportunities after they complete their A Levels with us.

See our A Level coursesRead more


If you’re aged 16+ and are looking for a career that suits your skills and interests, an apprenticeship qualification could be the right choice for you.

If you are employed as an apprentice, you can expect a dedicated programme of training to give you skills and experience, along with at least the national minimum wage for apprenticeships.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to progress in your current role, there are so many routes that training for an apprenticeship can take you down – from full-time work, to a higher-level apprenticeship, to university. The choice is yours.

Apprenticeship Vacancies
See our Apprenticeships
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Foundation Learning

Foundation learning offers courses for students to achieve an Entry and Foundation Level qualification. The courses allow students to build on essential skills and general education and get experience in vocational areas.

These courses are great as a preparation for students who feel they are not quite ready to commit to a full vocational course or to go into employment. Students who feel they have not got the grades they needed at school will be able to take further development in English, maths and Information Technology (IT).

See our Foundation Learning coursesRead more

Qualifications explained

Qualifications explained

Choose a level

Choose a level

  • Entry
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6

Entry Level qualifications can assist you in developing your abilities, expanding your knowledge, and increasing your confidence. They’re called ‘certificates’ or ‘awards,’ and they’re available to anyone who wants to earn a recognised qualification. There are no entry requirements. They are available in three different sub-categories, which get progressively more difficult: Entry Levels 1, 2 and 3.

Please note: If you are an International student you can only study from Level 3 and above. 

Level 1 qualifications are the first formal rung on the numbered system of qualifications. They are frequently studied at secondary school in Years 10 and 11. If you’re looking for an introduction into general work and practical hands-on activities, these foundation level courses allow you to gain skills that will help you to earn a job or qualification. Examples of Level 1 qualifications include GCSEs at grades 3, 2 or 1 (previously D, E, F or G), Level 1 Functional or Essential Skills, or Level 1 ESOL.

Please note: If you are an International student you can only study from Level 3 and above. 

See level 1 courses

These qualifications are a step up from Level 1. They provide a more in-depth understanding of a subject. Examples of Level 2 qualifications include GCSE grades 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 or 4 (previously grades A*, A, B or C), Level 2 awards, diplomas, or certificates and intermediate apprenticeships.

Please note: If you are an International student you can only study from Level 3 and above. 

See level 2 courses

If you’re planning on going to university, you will need Level 3 qualifications. Study at this level is more advanced, as it prepares you for your future career or further and degree level study. Examples of Level 3 qualifications include: A and AS Levels, Access to Higher Education Diplomas, Advanced Apprenticeships, T Levels and BTEC Level Award/Certificate/Diploma and Extended Diplomas.

Please note: If you are an International student you can only study from Level 3 and above. 

See level 3 courses

A Level 4 qualification could be seen as the equivalent of the first year of a bachelor’s degree. Examples of Level 4 qualifications include: Higher National Certificate (HNC) Certificate of higher education (CertHE), Accounting AAT Diploma, and Higher Apprenticeships.

See level 4 courses

A Level 5 qualification is equivalent to the second year of a bachelor’s degree. Examples of qualifications at Level 5 include: foundation degrees, Higher National Diploma (HND), Chartered Institute of Personnel Development Intermediate Certificate in HR Management, and DET in Post-Compulsory Education and Training.

See level 5 courses

Level 6 refers to qualifications gained at degree level. Examples of Level 6 include: a bachelor’s degree with or without honours, or a degree apprenticeship.

See level 6 courses

Student Life

There’s more to life at South & City College Birmingham than training and studying. We also provide a complete college experience where you can meet friends, learn new skills, and build your future career.

There are loads of ways to make the most of your time at college and get involved with our community. Whether you enjoy playing sports, performing music, or just spending time with friends, we are proud of our friendly environment and wide range of activities.

At South & City College Birmingham, you’ll gain more than a qualification – you’ll also gain some of the best experiences of your life.

See our Student life page


Events & Open Days

We run several events throughout the year that allow you to explore your options both in-person and online.

What’s on

Read our student blogs

Catch up on all the latest news, blogs and exciting announcements from across South & City College Birmingham.

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How do I apply?

You can apply on this website, by searching for a course that you want to do. What is important is that you disclose your needs on your application form so that we can assess you and arrange your support before you start your course.

We have put together this flowchart to help guide you through the process.

Apply now