What next?

The end is in sight and the world’s your oyster! Take a minute and see where your language GCSE adventure can get take you next.

GCSEs are nearing the end and the last few weeks at school are quickly flying past you. Life is a whirlwind of revision, last minute learning and doing endless mock exams. But wait! Take a minute and see where your language GCSE adventure can get take you next.

The language skills that you gain from learning a language at GCSE can be really handy in all types of jobs. There are many exciting opportunities at your fingertips as you have skills and talent which stand out to employers. You don’t need to specialise in a language in order to continue with them after GCSE; you could enter the world of work, volunteer, travel abroad, and continue to study at college or sixth form. Here is a bit of information about some of the options available to you after you finish your GCSEs:

Top tip:

“You don’t need to specialise in a language in order to continue with them after GCSE; you could enter the world of work, volunteer, travel abroad or study at college or sixth form.”

College or sixth form

At college or sixth form you can study for A-levels, as well as more vocational qualifications such as NVQs or evening classes. The best thing about further study is that you can take languages in any of these qualifications to suit your future career prospects.


A-levels are generally the next step for those who are thinking of going to university. There is a big difference between GCSE and A-level...but don't let this put you off. The classes are just as fun, exciting and varied as they were for GCSE, but they are also more relaxed and smaller. This is a perfect environment for feeling confident and learning new things. You learn more about the language and how to use it in different situations.

If you're thinking of continuing a language onto A-level then read why it's a great subject and find out what it's really like. You can have a look through our videos of students chatting about how they found the transition from GCSE to A-level.


This is a perfect qualification if you want to use a foreign language in your daily work, because your job takes you abroad or brings you closer to different languages and nationalities right here in the UK. A language NVQ is perfect if you fancy working in hotels, catering, travel and tourism, airline cabin crew and many other areas. In all these jobs you will need to know a foreign language.

Evening classes

If you are torn between wanting to enter the world of work but want to continue learning a foreign language don’t fret...why not do both? Evening classes at a local school or college are a fantastic way to work in the day and learn in your spare time. You can gain great qualifications that are equivalent to GCSE and A-level standards or you can just learn for fun.


If you decide that full time work is the best option for you for now then you can still use your language knowledge; you never know when your language skills may come in handy! Your ability to speak to a client will certainly impress your boss and colleagues. Knowing another language makes you a huge asset to any employer, so it’s in your best interest to keep your skill level up to help you get further in the future.

Volunteering abroad

If you are still unsure about what to do when school is finally over you could always volunteer abroad for a few weeks over the summer through a volunteer organisation. There a plenty of great volunteer companies around - and what's more there are volunteer placements aimed especially at 16-18 year olds - so you can be with people who are like you. Volunteering abroad is a great addition to your CV; you can go to different countries all over the world and put your language skills to very good use, either to talk to people you are working with, or to explore the area in your spare time.


This may seem like a long way away, but it’s worth bearing in mind that there are plenty of opportunities to continue learning languages at university. You can find out more on our Studying languages at university website but just to give you a quick idea, at uni you can:

  • Study a language as the main part of your degree.
  • Study something else and combine it with a language.
  • Start a completely new language from scratch.
  • Take an optional module in a foreign language.
  • Further your language in a lunchtime or evening class, completely separate from your degree.