In the UK, compulsory education is up to GCSE’s - General Certification in Secondary Education. Most individuals will then go on to pursue A-Level’s (Advanced Level) which is the standard route to follow to pursue and gain admission into university. Most individuals will complete 3 to 4 A-Levels that are relevant to the university course choice and ultimately they must achieve the grade criteria to succeed and gain a place at their chosen university. You can complete A-Levels at a sixth form or college, at the colleges you can be accepted as a mature student should you need to take any of these examinations as a requirement to pursue future studies. A- Levels take two years to complete, the first year is what is called AS Level ( Advanced Subsidary Level), this is the first level and you must pass this year to move onto the second year, which would give you the full A-Level qualification. If you fail, dependant on the educational facility, you may be able to retake these examinations the summer before the second year or you may be required to repeat the entire year. Even if you do this via public school, the retake process may incur additional costs. If you fail the second year, you can repeat the examinations but also may be required to repeat the year also may incur additional costs.
After completion of GCSE’s you may have decided not to pursue A-Levels however further education is encouraged and there are many other options available. By no means is this a reflection of intelligence, as academia is not the only representation of intelligence. This is why the UK has many other alternative forms of further education and training, such as college courses e.g. BTECH, Diploma’s and apprenticeships that are available through independent organisations and companies. As you can see there are many advantages to pursuing education and career development in the UK.