What are Vocational Study Programmes?

Vocational Study Programmes equip you to carry out jobs in certain industries, so that you not only learn the classroom theory behind your subject area, but also essential work skills and practical skills as well as undertaking work experience.

How are Full-time Vocational Study Programmes taught?

In addition to taught classes, lectures and seminars, you will also have practical hands on experience of your chosen vocational area using our industry standard equipment, training facilities and workshops plus access to our virtual learning environment and self-directed study periods. Your course may also include visits and trips both in the UK and overseas and will include a period of work experience.

Who would suit Vocational study?

Vocational Study Programmes are most suited to those who prefer a more practical approach to studying and who prefer coursework to exams (although exams do feature in some Vocational Study Programmes).

How are Vocational Study Programmes assessed?

Assessment is through project work, assignments, case studies and presentations. Some vocational course assessments now include examinations.

What is a Vocational Study Programme worth compared to A Levels?

An Extended Diploma can be worth the equivalent of 3 A Levels and carry equivalent UCAS points. The amount of UCAS points is dependent upon the grade (pass, merit or distinction) you are awarded at the end of your course.

Does choosing a Vocational Study Programme mean committing to a career too early?

In short, no. You will learn about a broad range of careers in your chosen subject and many of the skills and qualities you will develop during the course are general and valued by all employers and universities, so your options are not restricted and you can change to another career path in a similar way to A Level choices. At Level 3 you can choose 2 vocational study programmes over your 2 year study period. For more information, view our Personalised Pathways.

What do employers think of Vocational Study Programmes?

Vocational Study Programmes develop skills that are highly valued by employers and, in fact, employers have been involved in the development of the courses themselves to ensure that students come out with the skills required for industry.

Can I get to university with a Level 3 Extended Diploma?

Yes. Diplomas and Extended Diplomas carry UCAS points and can be excellent preparation for Degree courses. Your careers advisor will give you information about the entry requirements for your chosen career or degree course.

Why do I have to continue to study English & Maths?

If you are aged 16-18 and on a full-time programme funded by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) you are required to continue to study English and maths if you have not already achieved GCSE A*-C in these subjects. Depending on the grade you have already achieved in English and maths you will be entered for the appropriate level of Functional Skills or GCSE. If you do not attend English and/or maths classes you will be deemed to have withdrawn from your study programme and the College.

What are Entry Level Study Programmes?

Entry Level Study Programmes are for those with no GCSEs or limited formal qualifications and who potentially need support to access learning. The support could be through small class sizes and timetables based round their needs.

What is a Level 1 Study Programme?

Level 1 Study Programmes are ideal for school leavers or for those with few qualifications or who are developing a new skill, those who are unemployed and are retraining and those who are looking for a new start or may be new to a subject. To study a Level 1 course you will need to have achieved a minimum of 4 GCSEs 9 – 1 (A* – G) including English or Maths.

What is a Level 2 Study Programme?

Level 2 Study Programmes are the equivalent of GCSEs A* – C and provide an ideal route into employment or progression to Level 3 study. To progress to a Level 2 Study Programme in most cases you will need to have achieved a Level 1 Qualification or have a minimum of 4 GCSEs 9 – 3 (A* – D) with English and maths 9 – 2 (A* – E).

What is a Level 3 Study Programme?

Level 3 Study Programmes are the equivalent of A Levels. To progress to a Level 3 course you will need to have achieved a full Level 2 qualification for example 5 GCSEs 9 – 4 (A* – C) including English and maths or a Level 2 Diploma (Merit/Distinction) with GCSE English & maths 9 – 4 (A* – C). Level 3 Extended Diplomas are equivalent to three full A Level qualifications. For more information, view our Personalised Pathways.

Can I choose more than one option at Level 3?

You can choose two vocational options over your 2 year study period. You don’t have to, but you may feel that you would like a change of direction or you may want to broaden your knowledge for a certain career.

Choosing two options will not affect your career or university chances, indeed it can enhance them. After all, A Level students choose a range of subjects too.

If you have 5 GCSE 9 – 4 (A* – C) including English and maths, you will study the Foundation Diploma in the first year and either carry on with the same subject in the 2nd year leading to an Extended Diploma OR complete another Foundation Diploma as in the examples below.

If you have 5 GCSEs 9 – 4 (A* – C) but without English and maths, you will study the Extended Certificate in the 1st year to allow for extra study in English and/or maths. You will then be given advice and guidance as to progression to the 2nd year options.

For more information, view our Personalised Pathways.

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