A LEVELS

VOCATIONAL COURSES
BTECS

APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING


A LEVELS

What are A levels?

A levels are traditional qualifications offered by colleges and 6th Forms.  They mainly focus around academic subjects and are considered to be excellent general academic qualifications that are valued by employers and universities alike.

What to expect...

A Levels can give young people a chance to find out about their favourite GCSE subjects in greater depth or perhaps study one of the subjects that many schools and colleges only offer at A Level such as Law, Economics or Psychology.  Expect lots of time reading and writing assignments. A Levels are good qualifications for entry to higher education. Each A Level earns UCAS tariff points, which count towards entry for university.

How are they assessed?

A levels are assessed through examinations. Some courses may have a small amount of coursework, but this depends on the subject. You will need to ask for each subject before making your final decision.

What can they lead to?

A Level students usually intend to progress to university after their studies. This is not the only choice as the need for Higher Apprenticeships has increased along with applying for regular work.


VOCATIONAL COURSES / BTECS

What is a vocational course?

Level 3 BTECs (and OCR, City and Guilds) are vocational qualifications available in a wide range of subjects. People choose these courses if they are interested in learning more about a particular sector or industry. The qualifications offer a mix of theory and practice and can also include an element of work experience.

What to expect...

Most courses are 1 or 2 years. Level 3 vocational qualifications can be studied instead of, or in combination with, A Levels. At Level 3, many of these qualifications are awarded UCAS tariff points for entry to higher education.

How are they assessed?

A range of different assessment methods are likely to be used - such as assignments, tests, observations of learner performance, role-play, work-based assessment, production of visual or audio materials and products. Generally, assessment is less exam-based and more coursework and project focused.

What can they lead to?

Vocational qualifications prepare you for further learning and work but you can also study for higher level qualifications at University, you will need to check the entry requirements for courses as they do differ.


APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is work based learning. An apprentice is employed by a company who also provides a college education to achieve further qualifications. You can attend college from 1 day a week to block release depending on the nature of the job. Traineeships are usually approx. 16 weeks of on the job training to improve the employability of a student prior to embarking on an apprenticeship.

What to expect...

You can attend college from 1 day a week to block release depending on the nature of the job. You will be paid, normally minimum wage, and apprenticeships can be from 1 - 4 years in length.

How are they assessed?

Continual assessment during the apprenticeship both at work and college. Details will be confirmed with your employer.

What can they lead to?

Most companies continue the employment of the student after apprenticeship completion. Some companies also offer further education up to degree level.