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Pre-Entry courses are designed for complete beginners and will move you onto the next level of study. You will gain appropriate qualifications in Literacy (reading, writing and spelling), Communications Skills, Numeracy (basic mathematics), IT and general study skills.
Entry Level courses vary in their focus but are all designed to encourage independence and teach new skills. There are no specific entry requirements for these courses but you will be required to attend a College interview.
Level 1 courses give you a practical introduction to a vocational area and prepare you to move onto Intermediate Level programmes. Entry is usually through assessment and interview.
Level 2 courses include GCSEs. These programmes develop your skills and knowledge by building on what you have laernt at Level 1 or in your personal work or school experience.
A levels: The first year of study of an A level is the AS level, and the second is A2, together making a full A level. A levels offer you the opportunity to study in several subject areas in greater depth than your GCSEs. You can choose up to four subjects and the course usually combines exams and coursework.
Access to Higher Education Diplomas are nationally recognised qualifications which can provide you with an alternative route to higher education. If you do not hold any formal qualifications, success on an Access programme is the best route to an interview for a place on a degree course at university or college. Access courses are also suitable for students who have English as a second language.
BTEC Awards/Certificates/Diplomas are vocational courses related to a broad occupational area, combining practical, hands-on activities with detailed technical study. The award is studied over one year and consists of six modules, the certificate is studied over two years and consists of 12 modules, and the diploma is studied full time over two years and consists of 18 modules.
Level 4-Level 5:
Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) and Foundation Degrees are equivalent to the first one-two years of an honours degree but are also qualifications in their own right. They are as relevant to school leavers as they are to those already in employment. You can also top up these qualifications to achieve a full degree. Foundation year courses are designed to support students onto a full degree programme and add an extra year onto a course.
Undergraduate degree qualifications allow you to specialise in a subject area at higher education. They aid your employability and help you gain new knowledge and skills in great detail. Undergraduate degrees usually take three-four years to complete depending on the subject area.
Sandwich degrees combine an extra year in the workplace, usually between years two and three.
An apprenticeship is a programme of training in your chosen field which allows you to learn whilst working full time for an employer, earning money and attending college. While at college you will learn the fundamentals of your career, which skills and knowledge are then developed and put into practice in the workplace.
NVQs are nationally recognised qualifications designed to combine practical teaching with work experience. NVQs are open to all who can demonstrate the required standard of competence and display an understanding of the knowledge which underpins your area of study, irrespective of previous academic or career achievements. Some NVQ courses may require you to be employed in the profession before you start the course, but not all.
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