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Vocational qualifications, technical routes and apprenticeships

There are many paths to finding an exciting, fulfilling career in physics, and they don’t all involve going to university. Some routes will even let you earn while you learn.


From BTECs to Cambridge Technicals, from physics apprenticeships to building a career as a technician, find out more about what’s possible, where physics could take you – and hear from people who have chosen to follow these less well-known pathways.

Students in classroom

Vocational qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Love physics but don’t think A-levels are right for you? Don’t worry – you still have options. Learn how physics can form part of a BTEC or Cambridge Technical.

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Older man showing younger man machinery.

Apprenticeships explained

Apprenticeships are real, paid jobs with training programmes attached. Interested? We have all the information you need right here.

Find out more and watch our film
Emily Martin Leonardo apprentice

Meet the apprentice: Emily

Emily is a technical apprentice at Leonardo in Scotland, working at the forefront of the defence industry in the UK. She explains why she chose the apprentice route and what the benefits are. 

Meet Emily
A man wearing a medical mask, gloves and gown leans over a piece of equipment.

What is a technician?

Technicians play a vital role in our society and work in virtually every sector and industry. They are the linchpins of the economy, driving innovation, productivity and generally keeping things running smoothly. The important work that technicians do is as diverse as their career paths.

Find out more and watch our film