A Career in Health after A-Levels

For those who have recently received their A-level results, they’re probably thinking about what they’ll do next. Read the useful information from Health Careers about different options available to students, particularly if they don’t get the results they’re hoping for.

Going to university to take a vocational clinical-related course.

If your students have passed at least 2 A-levels (ideally 3) at moderate to high grades or have equivalent level 3 qualifications, they will likely still find vacancies through Clearing in subjects including:

Going to university to take a non-vocational/academic course

Although these degrees don’t usually train students for a specific job in health, they can study a subject in more detail and often keep options open for lots of different careers in the future. Get them to take a look at opportunities for graduates in the health sector

Taking a year out (‘gap year’) to try something new, travel, take a break from education and consider your options

Re-taking one or more subjects to try and improve grades

Getting an apprenticeship – a job with training – learning while earning

New apprenticeships are being developed all the time – for example, we’ve already seen a few degree apprenticeships being advertised this summer on the NHS Jobs and Find an Apprenticeship websites. Examples of apprenticeship opportunities in the health sector include:

The availability of apprenticeship vacancies depends on where students live, so they should check out the National Apprenticeships and NHS Jobs websites above.

Getting a paid job either full-time or part-time

Getting one of these obviously provides experience and confidence in a work setting. Get them to look out for apprenticeships too – many of these are aimed at students leaving full-time education.

Consider volunteering

A great way to try something, learn new skills and gain experience.

Where can students find more help about their options?

Local school or 6th form college – to discuss re-taking A-levels and other options, including getting into university.

UCAS Exam Results Helpline – 0808 100 8000 – to help them make decisions about college, university, and other education choices (including Confirmation, Clearing, and Adjustment); skills, qualifications, and subject choices, general information about resits and re-marks; gap years; vocational learning routes including diplomas, apprenticeships, and NVQs; careers and employment and funding.

National Apprenticeship Service – visit the Find an apprenticeship website to find out about apprenticeships, what they involve, what you can get out of them and to search for apprenticeship vacancies.

National Careers Service – 0800 100 900 or web-chat online via the National Careers Service website for further help and support by speaking to an impartial adviser from 8am to 10pm daily.

NHS Jobs – visit the NHS Jobs website to search for job and apprenticeship vacancies in the NHS.

Health Careers – contact us on 0345 60 60 655 or email advice@healthcareers.nhs.uk to find out more about career options in the health sector or visit the other sections of the Health Careers website.

Allied health professional careers – watch the WOW show videos to find out more about a career in one of the allied health professions.

Interested in a career in the health sector but unsure what might interest you? Try our Find your career in health tool to get some ideas!

Good Luck!

About The Author

Health Careers, run by Health Education England, offers careers information and advice for those wanting to make a difference with a career in health through a range of channels including a website, helpline and a suite of careers literature and other resources. It also runs the Step into the NHS website and annual national schools competition.

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