Vocational qualifications e.g. BTEC, City and Guilds, OCR, Diplomas.
What is it?
BTECs, City & Guilds and OCR Nationals are particular types of vocational qualifications, available in a wide range of subjects. You can take one if you are interested in learning more about a particular sector or industry. They have been designed in collaboration with industry, so they can equip you with the skills and knowledge that employers are looking for. The qualifications offer a mix of theory and practice, and can also include an element of work experience. Many of these have now been updated and are available as qualifications on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). Some Apprenticeships also involve this type of qualification.
Where could I study?
Vocational qualifications can be available to young people through school at age 14 and 16. They are also available both full-time or part-time at college, mainly for those who are 16+ years.
How long will it take me?
The length of these courses varies from 3-4 months for short and specialist courses to around two years for a larger qualification.
Options after the course?
These qualifications can lead to a job or further study. For example, you could progress from a qualification at one level to higher levels in the same or related area of study. This could eventually lead to professional qualifications. You could also use a level 3 qualification as a route into higher education as many attract UCAS tariff points.