Nearly all students at SWC study a vocational course because they specialise in areas of learning linked with work that they are interested in. You can build your confidence because you are developing practical skills that could help you secure a job in the future. Answers to assignments may be in written form but it is just as likely they will be in other forms too, such as film clips, project proposals, business plans and structured databases.
Vocational courses are often referred to by the name of the exam board who award the qualification – for example, BTEC (which stands for Business and Technology Educational Council, who used to issue the award before Edexcel and Pearson, who currently issue them), City & Guilds.
We are continually developing our vocational courses in response to the needs and skills required by employers. This ensures that you gain maximum benefit from your work while qualifying and that the qualifications stay relevant. Vocational courses are specifically designed to help you get into the workplace, but they also give you UCAS points to be able to study at university.
They are available at a range of levels, depending on your current level of knowledge and experience:
– Entry Level & Level 1
If you don’t have any qualifications, studying an Entry Level / Level 1 qualification is the best place to begin your journey.
Once you’ve completed your course, you’ll have practical skills for work and independent living, and a qualification, which can help you progress to the next level. If you are new to a subject and would like to improve your basic knowledge, this is the best place to begin.
Once you’ve completed your course, you’ll have skills for work and daily life, work experience, personal development and an introduction to your subject, that will help you progress to a Level 2 course.
Check out our Entry Level & Level 1 courses
– Level 2
Many students go straight to a Level 2 course after achieved four GCSEs at grade 3 or higher; for many subjects, you can enter as a beginner at this stage.
Once you’ve completed your course, you’ll have many transferable skills such as problem-solving and study skills, enabling you to progress to a Level 3 course or an apprenticeship.
Check out our Level 2 courses
– Level 3
A Level 3 qualification is usually studied over 2 years and is the usual route to higher education, offering a vocational equivalent to A Levels. For most subjects, you will need five or more GCSEs at grade 4 or higher, including English Language, or a level 2 qualification.
Once you’ve completed your course, you’ll have many transferable skills, such as independent thinking, problem-solving and business knowledge, enabling you to progress to higher education or the workplace.
Check out our Level 3 courses
– Level 4
A Level 4 qualification is often seen as equivalent to the first year of university-level study. They focus on a particular job or profession and are intended to increase your professional and technical skills, helping you to begin, or progress in, your chosen career. (See HNCs)
Check out our Level 4 courses
– Level 5
A Level 5 qualification is often seen as equivalent to the second year of university-level study. They focus on a particular job or profession and are intended to increase your professional and technical skills, helping you to begin, or progress in, your chosen career. (See HNDs)
Check out our Level 5 courses