Level 3 college, what next?

What to do next

If you've had a chance to read the information for Level 3 students you should now be aware of the types of qualifications available and know the key things to think about when making your decision. The next stage is to put a plan of action in place to achieve your goals and below are some suggestions about how you can do that. 

Where you start on the list below will depend on how far you have already got with making your decisions.

Eight things you can do to make the next step

1. Check you know the qualification details

Having found out about the different qualifications you can do, make a list of anything you are not sure about to prompt you to find out e.g. if you aren't sure about the level of a certain qualification. 

2. Do your course/apprenticeship research

Now you know about the different qualifications it is time to narrow it down to what, where and how to study or which type of employer you want to consider if you're interested in apprenticeships. There are over 50,000 different higher education courses and over 10,000 apprenticeship vacancies in the UK so this part is really important. 

Use the Lifepilot course and apprenticeship search tool and see if you can make a list of your top 5 course or apprenticeship options.

3. Make a list of any potential barriers

Write down anything that could prevent you or make it difficult for you to progress onto your next steps to see if they can be overcome. You might want to look at the Lifepilot video stories where adults talk about how they overcame barriers.

4. Make a list of anything you need to do 

Write down anything you need to do, how you are going to do it and when you need to do it by e.g contact the admissions department of a college or university to clarify entry requirements, arrange work experience, find out about how to improve your maths or English, update your CV.

Don't forget we also have a handy 'to do list' within career tools if you have registered to the site for free.

5. Ask for advice

If you need any help with any aspect of progressing beyond your Level 3 qualifications or you just want to confirm your plans with someone don't be afraid to ask. You could talk to a teacher, careers adviser, family member or a friend you can trust. The National Career Service also provides some free advice sessions

6. Gather all your information together

In preparation for making any applications it's useful to get organised and have everything to hand that you might need including, previous exam certificates, details of current qualifications you are taking, details of previous employers, names of people who have agreed to be your referee.

7. Make an application

So now you should be ready to take the plunge and start your application. Lifepilot has a whole section on making course applications but it's useful to know that the college where you are studying your Level 3 course will usually provide you with support to write your personal statement, write your UCAS reference for you and oversee the process of completing your UCAS application. You can also apply through UCAS independently if you wish but you will need to ask someone from college to write you a UCAS reference. 

Lifepilot has a full section on applying for full time and part time courses where you can find further information.

If you are thinking of applying for an apprenticeship you can get lots of help and tips on Lifepilot in the Finding and applying for apprenticeships section.

Applying to University as a mature student

8. Keep track of your application

  • Make sure you keep a record of when you sent your applications and who you sent them to.
  • Follow up with an email or phone call if you think you should have received some information or acknowledgement of your application by a certain date.
  • Keep a note of any replies and further actions you may need to take such as providing more information.

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