Children in the UK normally start school at the age of five, sit for the GCSE Examination or Scottish Standard Grade at 16 and GCE A-level Examination or Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher level at 18. Many continue to pursue higher education provided at universities and colleges.
These schools provide education for students aged between 5 and 18. There is a strict age limit and students normally sit for GCSE, Scottish Standard Grade or Intermediate 1 and 2 at 16 and GCE A-level or Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher level at 18. Some schools offer International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma as an alternative to GCE A-level. Most independent schools have boarding facilities that are available for students over the age of eight.
These are private colleges and accept students aged 16 or above. Teaching is carried out in small groups. Boarding facilities are sometimes available.
These colleges offer a full range of academic, vocational and professional courses for students aged 16 or above. Qualifications include: GCSEs, Scottish Standard Grades or Intermediate 1 and 2, Scottish Higher / Advanced Higher level, GCE A-levels, BTEC / OCR certificates / diplomas, foundation degrees, professional courses and access / foundation courses. Boarding facilities are available at some colleges.
Undergraduate, postgraduate, foundation courses, foundation degree as well as Higher National Diploma courses are offered in these institutions.
Both undergraduate and postgraduate courses are offered at universities.