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What do I do after Y9?

If you're in year 9, you get a chance to choose what you want to study in years 10 and 11 - this is what's commonly called your year 9 options.

The choices you make in year 9 may affect the choices you make in the future so it's important that you allocate some serious thinking time to your options.

You can:

  • use the options booklet that your school will give you. You might also be given a learning community booklet which will tell you about courses that you can do at other places 
  • attend any year 9 options events that your school might be holding.

If you need help making choices, speak to a careers adviser in school.

What do I have to study?

There are some courses that you have to take in years 10 and 11. These are: 

  • English 
  • Maths 
  • Science 
  • Information and communications technology (ICT) 
  • Physical education (PE) 
  • Citizenship 
  • Religious education (RE)
  • Work-related learning 
  • Careers education 
  • Sex education.

Your school will give you a list of courses in an options booklet or prospectus. You can also look at the courses you can do in Year 10 and 11 on YouthInc Search & Apply.

What can I choose to study?

You're in control! This will be the first time that you get to have a say in what you want to study. There are lots of subjects you can choose to do.

Examples include: 

  • Art subjects like art and design, drama and music 
  • Humanities like geography, history and religious studies 
  • Languages like French, German or Spanish 
  • Technology subjects like food technology or resistant materials 
  • Engineering subjects 
  • Care subjects including health and social care and childcare 
  • Subjects in leisure, like travel and tourism.

Not all schools offer the same courses. Most schools will give you an options booklet that tells you what your choices are.

Some schools group subjects together under option blocks and you will need to choose a subject from each block. This can limit the choices you have and may make choosing your subjects a bit trickier - especially if two subjects that you wanted to study are in the same block! Ask your school for more info about this.

Things to think about. When you're deciding what to do, remember: 

  • You may need to study certain subjects or qualifications for some careers. Ask yourself what sorts of careers and job families interest you. If you already have an idea, you need to find out if you need any particular subjects or qualifications to get into that area of work. You can find this out by visiting Job Profiles
  • Think about picking the subjects or qualifications you might need when you go on to further or higher education. 
  • To study some subjects at A level, you will need to have a GCSE in the same subject, for example, history. If you have an idea about what you want to go on to after Year 11, talk to your tutor to see if you're making the right subject choices. 
  • If you don't know what you want to do, later on, choose a broad range of subjects that will help you to keep your options open. Even if you do know what job you want to do in the future, it's OK to change your mind over the next few years. 
  • The subjects you pick don't have to relate to a specific job - it's okay to choose some just because you enjoy them or are good at them.