Can I mix A-levels and vocational qualifications?

This article was first published in August 2018.

Once you’ve passed your GCSEs, there are several routes you can take.

You might think you have to choose between an academic path (e.g. A-levels), or a vocational one. But did you know you can actually mix A-levels and vocational qualifications? Our experts explain.

In this short film, our team of experts explain why mixing A-levels and vocational qualifications might be right for you.

Are you thinking of mixing?

  • In general, when you take a vocational qualification you will be studying that subject on its own over the one or two years you’re at college. This is very useful if you’re 100% sure that is the career for you

Find out more about switching to a vocational pathway

  • But if you’re not sure, or if you simply want to keep your options open, you can mix your vocational qualifications with A-levels. By doing that, you keep a wider range of options open
  • The great thing is that universities are very open to this option
  • You could mix core A-level subjects (also called facilitating subjects) like Maths, English or Chemistry, with something more vocational, for example IT. This means you’re keeping your options open while getting excellent skills and qualifications for future study and work
  • Ask yourself: How do I work? What method of being assessed do I prefer? Do I enjoy academic study and can I cope with exams, or would I prefer to be more hands-on and to be assessed mainly through coursework?
  • You could also consider T-levels, which launched in 2020. You can find more information on these here

Advice on decision-making and forging your own path

  • And don’t forget to talk to your teachers and career advisers – they know their stuff and will be happy to help.
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