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What qualification will you gain?
Find full details on different course levels.
A levels are a well trusted option at Level 3 and will suit you if you prefer to work in a traditional, academic way. AS level is the first year of the two-year A level course. You will normally choose four different AS subjects to study, three of which you would then be able to continue to A2 level in the second year. A levels are assessed by examination and assignments and are well regarded by higher education institutions.
An Apprenticeship is a training programme for people in paid employment , so you will need to find a job that includes Apprenticeship training. It involves the employer working together with the college or training provider to give you the skills and qualifications that will benefit both the business and your own career progression. Much of your learning is on the job and you are likely to attend college as well, usually for one day a week. Apprenticeships are available in many areas of work at Level 2 to Level 4 and can lead to higher education. The Apprenticeship programme is made up of job related qualifications and also English and Maths.
Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQs)
BTECs and other VRQs are career-focused and prepare you to go into work or on to higher education. They are commonly available from Entry Level to Level 3 (equivalent to A levels) and the qualification you gain will be an Award, Certificate or Diploma depending on the number of units you take. Assessment is by assignments. Almost all vocational courses include elements of English and Maths to ensure you develop the skills employers are looking for.
There are clear progression routes to allow you to move through the VRQ levels as far as you want to go. The higher the level of vocational course, the greater the emphasis on developing higher level specialist or technical skills and knowledge. You will also demonstrate the ability to work independently, applying learning to complex workplace situations.
National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)
NVQs prove you have the practical skills to perform a job well so most are gained in the workplace, often as part of your Apprenticeship. Some NVQs can be gained at college.
These are the practical English, Maths and ICT skills you need for everyday life, work and further study. Functional Skills are studied alongside your main programme and can significantly boost your chances of successful employment.