Courses for 16 to 18-year-olds


With hundreds of unique, exciting and inspiring programmes to choose from, everything you need to create your brighter future is waiting for you at Weston College.

From the minute you walk through the door, the experience and the environment that we create is all about maximising your potential. It’s about preparing and motivating you for a fresh and focused career pathway.

Every Weston College student becomes part of one of our exciting new Career Excellence Hubs. This means you will take part in a study programme with lots of career boosting benefits, all with the aim of help you to go further, giving you the opportunity to become career ready with the skills, knowledge and expertise you need to be successful in your next step and reach your ultimate goal - whatever that may be!

Whether you are looking for the next step after school or the next step in your career, we're bound to have a programme for you. Take a look below at the different types of qualifications available for school leavers and young people between 16 and 18 years old.

Did you know we also run English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)?

Start your brighter future by selecting a subject you're interested in below, and don't forget - you can apply online and it only takes 5 minutes!


Discover our range of courses for school leavers aged 16-18 using the search options below...

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You can progress onto degrees and higher apprenticeships with UCW...

Qualifications Explained

At Weston College we know that everyone learns differently. That’s why we deliver a variety of different qualification types - to give you the chance to learn in the way that suits you the most.

A Levels

A Levels develop the knowledge, skills and study habits to excel at university, as well as the attributes recognised by employers. Your academic studies will be complemented with enrichment opportunities such as trips, mentoring and work experience, providing the perfect springboard for your future career. A Levels are assessed through exams at the end of two years of study. Most learners study three subjects - some choose four.


Check out A-Levels Here


With an apprenticeship you’ll go straight into the workplace and be shown clear routes to progress straight into employment within a specific occupation. You can achieve nationally recognised qualifications, earn a wage, and gain skills that will see you get ahead. On average you will spend 20% of your learning time in the college and 80% within the workplace..


Check out Apprenticeships Here

Professional and Technical Qualifications

Professional and technical qualifications are designed to provide you with the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to gain employment within specific industries or occupations. They provide a balance between theory and practical skills development. They are suited to those who want to get hands-on experience within a particular vocational area. These programmes include work placements. Assessment is more varied and will include exams, coursework and practical work.


Traineeships are a great way for 16 to 24-year-olds who haven’t yet gained the skills and experiences necessary to apply for jobs and apprenticeships. They are taught mostly in the workplace and include a mixture of personal and social development, and employability skills. The aim of a traineeship is to train you within a company so that you are more likely to be offered an apprenticeship or a job.


Check out Traineeships Here
T-Levels Logo

T Levels give you the chance to learn what a real career is like while you continue your studies. T Levels have been designed with leading businesses and employers to give you the knowledge and skills you need, including a minimum of 45 days on an industry placement – this means you will spend 80% of your learning time in College and 20% within the workplace.


Check out T-Levels Here


We are all about CAREERS NOT COURSES and pride ourselves on being able to offer a huge range of programmes to ensure you develop the skills and knowledge employers and universities are looking for. As the only education provider in North Somerset that enables you to work your way up from an entrylevel programme to a degree, we’re here to help you choose the right programme for you.

We can help you choose your study programme or apprenticeship by accessing the following support:

School Liaison Team

Working with local schools we help you find out about college life and programmes of study, and we provide you with advice and guidance about what programmes will best suit you. We will either visit your school, attend careers fairs and parents’ evenings or coordinate campus and virtual events such as our taster days, holiday workshops and tours.


We put on a number of events over the year, which will be a mixture of face-to-face and virtual events. These provide you and your family with the opportunity to explore our facilities, speak to our lecturers, find out about the support on offer and choose the right programme for you. Our events also give you the opportunity to engage with a number of employers to find out about careers in their industry and why they value the calibre of candidates that come from Weston College.


  • On our website you can access a wealth of career guidance, such as:
  •  All the programmes you can study.
  • What our alumni have gone on to achieve.
  • Labour Market Intelligence (LMI) that will help explain what relevant careers and jobs are available, including salaries.
  • NEW – Subject careers roadmaps, so you can map your journey with us and ensure it will get you into your chosen career. Also, check out Career Coach - this provides you with the opportunity to:
  • Take an assessment that matches you with careers.
  • Explore broad career pathways that match your strengths and interests.
  • Compare careers within a pathway - including salaries, required education and more.
  • Explore our programmes that will set you on the path to your desired career.
  • Take a career assessment - and receive an in-depth report that can help you identify the best programme and career path for you!

We’re here and happy to help – if you would like more advice and guidance, contact our school liaison team by emailing schoolteam@weston.ac.uk. - they you can arrange a one-to-one careers appointment with our specialist staff.


Maisy Hatcher working on her laptop and smiling

<p>Hey! I'm Maisy, and I recently completed my Digital Marketing Level 3 apprenticeship with Weston College, working for Visit Somerset.</p>

<p>After completing my apprenticeship in March, I was offered the role of Social Media Manager at Visit Somerset, which wouldn’t have been possible without my apprenticeship.</p>

<p>Let me take you through my apprenticeship journey, the highs, the lessons learned, and the growth I've experienced along the way.</p>

<p><strong>Choosing the Apprenticeship Path</strong></p>

<p>Why did I choose an apprenticeship? Simply put, I wanted to learn by doing. I've never been the most academically inclined, so the idea of working on the job while learning was the perfect balance for me. It allowed me to reach my full potential without the pressures of traditional education.</p>

<p><strong>Gaining Unique Skills</strong></p>

<p>One of the most significant benefits of my apprenticeship was developing my interpersonal skills. I had the chance to interact with customers and partners regularly, which boosted my confidence and communication abilities.</p>

<p><strong>Memorable Moments at Visit Somerset</strong></p>

<p>The highlight of my journey with Visit Somerset was an unforgettable trip to Noah's Ark Zoo.</p>

<p>There, I got to try out new animal experiences and help with filming and social media promotion. Feeding lions, bears, and armadillos was an experience of a lifetime that I'll cherish forever.</p>

<p><strong>A Special Project: 'Dog-Friendly Somerset'</strong></p>

<p>One project that's very close to my heart is 'Dog-Friendly Somerset.' I took it upon myself to showcase how pet-friendly our region is by creating a video at The Eastbury Hotel. The project was a massive success and continues to thrive.</p>

<p><strong>Support from Weston College</strong></p>

<p>I can't emphasise enough the support I received from Weston College during my apprenticeship.</p>

<p>My assessor was exceptional. She guided me, ensured I stayed on track, and relieved any worries about deadlines.</p>

<p><strong>Advice for Future Apprentices</strong></p>

<p>If you're considering an apprenticeship, my advice is simple: go for it!</p>

<p>You'll learn, grow, and get paid for doing what you love. I emerged from my apprenticeship more confident and equipped with skills I wouldn't have gained in a traditional job.</p>

<p>My journey from an apprentice to a Social Media Manager has been incredible. It's shown me the power of hands-on learning and the endless opportunities that come with it. So, whether you're starting your apprenticeship journey or just curious about it, remember that it could be the key to unlocking your full potential, just as it did for me.</p>

<p><em>Maisy, Social Media Manager, Visit Somerset</em></p>

<p><a href="https://www.weston.ac.uk/what-can-i-study/apprenticeships?utm_source=ma… you’d like to follow in Maisy’s footsteps and become an apprentice, you can do so by clicking here.</a></p>

<p><a href="https://www.weston.ac.uk/30DayChallenge?utm_source=main-menu&amp;utm_me… you’re an employer that would like to recruit talented new staff through apprenticeships, you can do so by clicking here.</a></p>


Paul staring at the camera for a professional headshot

<p><img alt="Paul Skudder, actor in Wolf" class="ec-img" data-align="right" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="290da59f-9dc6-41f5-a243-07f154da3e7a" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Paul%20Skudder%20Web_0.jpg" /></p>

<p>As we explore the incredible journeys of our University Centre Weston (UCW) alumni, we turn our attention to Paul, a talented performer who embarked on his educational voyage with a UAL Extended Diploma in Performing Arts, specifically in the Acting pathway.</p>

<p>His dedication and passion for the craft led him to UCW's BA Hons Performing Arts course, where he continued to hone his skills and develop as an artist. Join us as we dive into Paul's experiences, highlights, and aspirations as he continues his journey in the world of acting.</p>

<p><strong>The Beginnings:</strong></p>

<p>Paul's journey in the performing arts began with a UAL Extended Diploma in Performing Arts at Weston College, where he excelled, earning a well-deserved Distinction. He then progressed onto UCW's BA Hons Performing Arts course.</p>

<p><strong>Lecturers with Distinct Teaching Styles:</strong></p>

<p>One aspect that truly stood out for Paul during his time with us, was the diverse set of lecturers he encountered during his time at UCW. Each lecturer possessed a distinct skill set and teaching style, which not only kept students engaged but also broadened their horizons.</p>

<p>Paull added on his experience: “Due to the patience and people around me, it meant I was able to learn at my own pace. Combined, I believe both courses supported the development of my understanding of the industry I want to break into, but, they also supplied me with the confidence and skills on how to realistically do that.”</p>

<p><strong>Memorable Highlights:</strong></p>

<p>Reflecting on his time at Weston College and UCW, Paul cherishes the memories of various performances: “My highlight at Weston College comes from the end of my first year, when we performed ‘The Wonderful World of Dissocia’, as I wasn't sure if I wanted to do acting when I started the course, but at the point of ‘Dissocia’ I had so much fun that I just knew my answer.</p>

<p>“UCW's highlight on the other hand is a hard one to pick, as I poured my heart into a lot of performances from ‘The Dumb Waiter’, ‘Angels in America’, ‘Tomcat’ and others.</p>

<p>“But the real highlight came just the night before my class’ performance of ‘The Castle’, in which we had raised all the money ourselves to go the Manchester Fringe, perform and stay there for 4 days. We all shared accommodation together and spent the night before playing silly games, laughing and reflecting on everything we had accomplished across the course. We all knew that this would be our last show on the course, but we were all prepared to give our all to round us off.”</p>

<p><strong>The Present and Future:</strong></p>

<p>Currently, Paul is actively pursuing acting opportunities, taking on featured roles and walk-on parts. His dedication to furthering his education is evident as he saves money to pursue an MFA at a Drama School. In addition to acting, he plans to collaborate with fellow student Craig, on writing and filming projects. Paul has also become a certified free running coach, contributing to the community by coaching at the only school offering free running in the area, Hans Price.</p>

<p><strong>Featuring in Wolf:</strong></p>

<p>Paul's journey took an exciting turn recently, when he received a text from Phoenix Casting, a company that presented him with script segments for a self-tape audition for the new BBC show, Wolf.</p>

<p>His talent and hard work paid off, and he was chosen for a role.</p>

<p>On set, he had the opportunity to interact with the cast and crew, gaining insights into their experiences and collecting valuable advice.</p>

<p><strong>The Long-Term Dream:</strong></p>

<p>Looking ahead, Paul's long-term dream is to become a recognised actor who can transport audiences on unforgettable journeys and adventures through his performances. His aspiration is to provide the same magic and inspiration that he found in the actors and movies he admired during his formative years.</p>

<p>If you would like to follow in Paul’s footsteps, and study a Performing Arts course, click the relevant link below:</p>

<p><a href="https://www.weston.ac.uk/what-can-i-study/courses-16-18-year-olds/perfo… at Weston College</a></p>

<p><a href="https://www.ucw.ac.uk/subject/performance-and-production-arts-and-music… at UCW</a></p>

Northwood University logo

<p>In an era where virtual arenas are as fiercely competitive as traditional sports fields, esports has risen to become a globally recognized and respected industry. Among those looking to succeed in the area is <a href="https://www.weston.ac.uk/what-can-i-study/courses-16-18-year-olds/compu… 3 BTEC Esports</a> learner Ciaran, who is ready to take the next steps towards his future career. But this isn't just any step – it's a leap across the Atlantic Ocean to join Northwood University's esports team in the USA.</p>

<p>The journey began with a spark of curiosity that blossomed into a well-orchestrated plan. Studying abroad had always been on the radar, but it wasn't until a past esports team manager suggested it that the idea gained serious traction. With Overwatch boasting an official collegiate circuit in the USA, opportunities to transition into pro leagues from universities abound, unlike the UK's esports landscape. These American institutions also offer scholarships to talented players, setting the stage for both academic and esports advancement.</p>

<p>Ciaran had honed his Overwatch skills for over five years, and his aspirations extended beyond gameplay alone. A desire to work in collegiate esports in the UK fuelled his ambitions, and a transatlantic education seemed tailor-made. However, the decision wasn't made lightly. The selection process was methodical, involving careful filtering of potential universities based on factors like esports courses, strong teams, and scholarship opportunities.</p>

<p>Directly reaching out to coaches, esports directors, and managers of collegiate Overwatch teams was the next strategic step. Each university had its own scouting process, which often entailed showcasing gameplay through VODs (videos of gameplay), revealing ranks, and detailing path-to-pro experiences. The standout choice was Northwood University, renowned for its robust esports program and a victorious collegiate circuit run. Surprisingly, before he even sent a comprehensive application, Northwood had already scouted this aspiring esports pro.</p>

<p>The news of selection came from none other than Cody Elsen, the Director of Esports at Northwood. Ciaran's prowess had caught the eye of this prestigious institution, underlining their talent and potential. Now came the momentous decision of accepting the offer. While the prospect of moving abroad alone was daunting, the scale seemed to tip overwhelmingly in favour of acceptance. The allure of enhancing their CV, gaining valuable experience in the US collegiate esports system, and playing alongside esports heroes became irresistible.</p>

<p>Fast forward to the present day, and preparations are well underway. Flights are booked, residence secured, and essential arrangements like healthcare and banking are being sorted. The anticipation is palpable, fuelled by the excitement of experiencing American life, excelling in a future career, and elevating esports prowess.</p>

<p>However, the journey isn't without its apprehensions. Battling anxiety and social anxiety in the past, Ciaran acknowledges the challenges of acclimating to a new environment and starting afresh. Having previously experienced living away from home for his studies, this transition is an entirely different ballgame. But with resilience honed over the years, Ciaran is ready to tackle these new challenges head-on.</p>

<p>Ciaran concluded by saying: “I'd like to thank my parents their financial and social support. My mother has helped me through the whole application process immensely (the recent decision to study abroad has made this quite the rush). She is all things esports. She might actually watch more esports in her own time than I can. My father has kept me grounded and realistic. I'm lucky to have to both of them as my parents. I'd also like to mention that my lecturers at Weston, Cam Lyes and Will Price, were excellent all throughout my time there. We said goodbye to Cam at the end of this year, I wish him the best in Bristol. Will is staying at Weston College this year. People planning to study esports at Weston are in good hands.”</p>

<p>We wish Ciaran the very best of luck with his future!</p>

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