Course Levels & Study Programmes
When you are thinking about coming to College you need to decide which subject you are interested in, but also which level of study is right for you.
It's not where you start, it's where you finish
It doesn't matter which level you start at because, as long as you pass the course, you can move up and on to the next level of study.
Take a look at the information below and choose the description that applies to you.
Our Course Information Team and our Lecturers are all on hand to give you information and advice to help you make the right choice.
No formal qualifications? No problem
Look out for Entry Level courses. You should be enthusiastic about developing your skills.
At least 2 GCSEs at grade E or above or an Entry Level qualification
You should be aiming for a Level 1 course.
At least 2 GCSEs at grade D or above or a Level 1 qualification
You should be aiming for a Level 2 course. Some courses will specify English and Maths at GCSE.
Your Level 1 qualification will need to be in an appropriate subject.
At least 4 GCSEs at grade A* - C or a Level 2 qualification
You should be aiming for a Level 3 course - look out for the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (1 year) and the BTEC Extended Diploma (1 year). A BTEC Extended Diploma is equivalent to A Levels and is accepted by many univiersities as entry onto a degree programme.
Your Level 2 qualification should be in a subject which is appropriate to your Level 3 course.
Study Programmes for students age 16 - 19
Study Programmes are designed around you, your achievements so far and where you want to go. They give you the skills and experiences you need to succeed and to help you progress onto an Apprenticeship, further or higher education (a degree or post-graduate degree at university), employment, or even starting your own business.
There are 4 essential elements to your study programme:
Main qualification: Completing a technical or professional qualification as part of your study programme allows you to develop your understanding of the subject at different levels.
Work experience: This is an important part of your study programme to help you develop the employability skills employers are looking for, linked to your career aspirations.
Enrichment & Personal Development: There are a wide range of opportunities designed to help you develop new interests, work in different environments with different people, boost your confidence and your employability skills. These range from tutorials, clubs and societies, events, volunteering, leadership and sporting activities.
English & Maths: you will continue to develop and build on your English and Maths skills throughout your Study Programme. This may range from a stepping stone qualification, functional skills, GCSE English and maths, core maths (Level 3) or an advanced English and Maths programme. No matter what your chosen career, whether you want to move on to university or straight into work, good English and Maths skills are essential.
Are you aged 19+ and not sure if you have the right entry requirements?
Please don't worry. Your previous work experience, enthusiasm and motivation to succeed and to progress will be taken into account when you apply for your college place.
Access granted: open the door to university
If you are planning to move on to university, but do not have the necessary A Levels, you may wish to consider an Access to Higher Education Diploma.
And, if you are not quite ready for the Access to Higher Education Diploma option and need some time to get back into the swing of study, choose a one year Diploma in Preparing for Further Study at Level 2.