What is it?
AS and A levels are used for entry to higher education and professional training as well as being viewed as high-level, general educational qualifications, well regarded in the job market. In schools, many young people progress from GCSEs (if they have the right grades) to A Levels, especially if they are already thinking about progression to higher level study at 18/19.
You can choose from a wide range of academic subjects, as well as some 'applied' (work-related) subjects. If you want to do a specific higher education course in the future you might be advised to check which A levels are needed for the course.
Where could I study?
Most young people do these in school or at a local further education college. Some adult education services offer AS/A level courses in the evenings, or part-time during the day, as well as through a full-time course. Distance learning/correspondence and open/flexible learning options may also be available.
How long will it take me?
If you undertake more than one subject they normally take two years to complete full-time. In school or college, you might do four or five AS levels (1st year of A Levels) and then specialise in three or four of your subjects in the second 'A' level year. If you study an A Levels after you leave school they are also available to study part-time and might only take one year to complete if you only take one subject.
Options after the course?
A and AS levels are one of the main routes into higher education, but they can also be useful if you want to go straight into a job, such as office administration or trainee accountancy.