QUALIFICATIONS? Your questions answered!

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1 QUALIFICATIONS? Your questions answered!

2 Welcome to the Qualifications Guide from Swindon College This booklet explains just what qualifications are available at the College (and other institutions) and helps to make sense of the different levels and names! Swindon College s main focus is on providing vocational that is work-related courses in its state-of-the-art campus at North Star. The college has, uniquely in the region, real industry-standard facilities so students train on the equipment and in the environments that they will experience when they start work. But our qualifications are not only for those who intend to work immediately after studying with us. Every year, hundreds of our students progress on to university or other institutions to study for higher level qualifications and then go on to careers in their chosen fields. Alternatively, students can remain with us to study at university level as the College is one of the largest providers of HE courses in Wiltshire with around 500 students at any time studying on HNC/D, Foundation Degree, Honours Degree and Masters Degree programmes as well as other professional qualifications. You are very welcome to come and see us at our campus at any time and we can assure you of a warm welcome.

3 This chart shows which qualifications are available at each level... Level Entry Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) AS/A2 Level or International Baccalaureate BTEC First Extended Diploma Diploma Certificate BTEC HND Year 2 Foundation Degree (FdA, FdSc) BTEC HNC BTEC Nationals Extended Diploma Diploma Subsidiary Diploma Certificate Pre-Access Diploma Year 1 Foundation Degree (FdA, FdSc) Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Postgraduate Diploma (PGDiploma) Year 3 Honours Degree (BA/BSc) Access to HE Diploma Apprenticeship Year 2 Honours Degree (BA/BSc) Year 1 Honours Degree (BA/BSc) Advanced Apprenticeship QCF NVQ / GCSE other Level 2 qualifications Higher Apprenticeship Higher Apprenticeship Masters Degree (MSc/MA) QCF NVQ / Other Level 3 qualification QCF NVQ / other Level 5 qualification QCF NVQ / other Level 4 qualification Relevant Experience Foundation Learning: A range of Entry Level and Level 1 qualifications from Awarding bodies e.g. BTEC Vocational Qualifications (Entry and Level 1) English Baccalaureate If you d like further advice, please contact our Student Services Team Tel: (01793) How you could progress...

4 Qualifications BTEC Introductory / First Diplomas and BTEC Nationals Levels 1-3 All these courses lead to specialist vocational qualifications combining academic and practical elements. The programmes include assignments based on real work situations and often involve relevant work experience. A BTEC Level 3 Qualification - which can lead to a place at University: BTEC National courses are split into the following four parts, each being a qualification in its own right: The BTEC National Subsidiary Diploma is a 6 unit programme equivalent to one A Level. The BTEC National Diploma is a 12 unit programme equivalent to two A Levels. BTEC 90 Credit Diploma - This new qualification gives learners the opportunity to gain a substantial chunk of achievement in their first year that can be more easily recognised by employers, or built on with further learning. It is equivalent to three AS Levels. The BTEC National Extended Diploma is an 18 unit programme equivalent to three A Levels and qualifies you for university entry or to get a job. (There are other similar Level 3 qualifications, including OCR National Diplomas and CACHE Level 3 Diplomas). National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) Levels 1-5 NVQs are work-based qualifications meeting standards developed by industry and commerce and lead to different skills in particular occupations. NVQs are available at many levels in a number of specialist areas and may lead to enhanced career prospects and further study. A/AS Levels Level 3 A Levels are qualifications which prepare you for university or to get a job. Students usually study for an AS qualification in one year, taking examinations or assessments at the end of this first year. Completion of the second (A2) year of study achieves the full A Level qualification. A BTEC National Extended Diploma is equivalent to three A Levels and attracts UCAS points in the same way.

5 explained... Apprenticeships Level 2+ Apprenticeships offer young people the opportunity to gain skills and qualifications through a structured programme of work and study that will lead to the achievement of a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ). Apprenticeships are split into two types: An Apprenticeship which would normally lead you to a Level 2 NVQ and an Advanced Apprenticeship which would normally lead to a Level 3 NVQ. Access to Higher Education Level 3 An Access course is normally for adults aged 19+ years, with few or no formal qualifications, who want to gain entry to higher education (university-level) study. The course develops your study skills and knowledge over a range of relevant subjects. You study Access over one year. Functional Skills Levels 1-5 Functional skills form part of all full-time programmes of study for year-olds. They are designed to enable all students to become more effective, independent learners whilst improving their ability to apply numeracy, communication and IT skills to problems. Higher Education (Level 4 and above) This level includes Masters Degrees, Honours Degrees, Foundation Degrees, HNDs, HNCs and some professional qualifications. Higher education courses can be studied at universities, specialist institutions or colleges. Swindon College is a leading provider of higher education courses in Wiltshire and offers a range of subjects at this level: MA Fine Art - Drawing for Fine Art Practice BA (Hons) in: Graphic Design Illustration (Sequential and Narrative) Education and Lifelong Learning Business, Management and Communications (Work-based Learning) Early Childhood Studies BSc (Hons) in: Engineering Systems Sport (Sports Therapy) Teaching: Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) Foundation Degrees in: Creative Arts & Design Practice Early Years Sport (Sports Therapy) Business, Management and Communications Support for Learning Health & Social Care HNC/HNDs in: Civil Engineering Construction Mechanical Engineering Fashion & Textiles (Enterprise) Interactive Media Performing Arts (Production) Media Make-up Photography For further information about higher education at Swindon College please visit our website:

6 Apprenticeships at Swindon College An Apprenticeship is the ideal way to earn and learn. As an Apprentice, you will earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills. Usually, apprentices will attend college one day a week and work four days a week to help them gain a nationally recognised qualification. Apprenticeships are open to all age groups above 16 years old whether you are just leaving school, have been working for years or are looking to start a new career. Swindon College provides the widest range of professional and industry-led apprenticeship programmes in the Swindon area which reflect the real needs of the industry sectors in Swindon. The Apprenticeship programmes available through the College include: Accounting Bricklaying Business Administration Carpentry Engineering Electrical Installation Hairdressing Hospitality & Catering Painting and Decorating Plumbing Warehousing & Storage Teaching Assistants Customer Service IT Team Leading Early Years Motor Vehicle Housing Manufacturing For more information contact The Apprenticeship Team on (01793) or You may also find the following websites useful: The National Apprenticeships Agency Young People s Agency Skills Funding Agency Interested in earning while you re learning?

7 UCAS Points? How to progress into Higher Education The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) uses a points system to set a value for a range of qualifications. To find out the entry requirements for the degree that you are interested in visit Case study: Ahmed and Emma both want to go on and apply to university. They both went to college and did a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Course. BTEC Extended National Diploma DDD* = 420 = 420 points DDD = 360 = 360 points DDM = 320 = 320 points DMM = 280 = 280 points MMM = 240 = 240 points MMP = 200 points MPP = 160 points PPP = 120 points A Levels A* = 140 points A = 120 points B = 100 points C = 80 points D = 60 points E = 40 points Ahmed s final score is 225 unit points which will get him 280 UCAS Tariff points. Emma s score is 229 unit points, only 5 points more, but her score converts to 320 UCAS Tariff points. The table below explains how unit points convert into UCAS Tariff points. With Emma s score, she has a good chance of getting a place on the university course that she wants. But Ahmed will have more limited choices due to his lower score. Every assignment point really does make a difference! Key: D*= Distinction* D = Distinction M = Merit P = Pass Ahmed s Emma s BTEC National Extended Diploma

8 Did you know... Last year OVER 350 Swindon College students successfully won places at TOP UNIVERSITIES across the country. These included: University of Bath, University of Exeter, Oxford Brookes University, University of the West of England, University of Southampton, the University of Reading, University of Wales, Leeds Metropolitan University and Kingston University. These include: University of Bath University of Exeter Oxford Brookes University University of the West of England University of Southampton The University of Reading University ofwales Leeds Metropolitan University And hundreds of students stayed on at Swindon College to study for a Degree, Foundation Degree or HNC/D last year. Swindon College Graduation Ceremony 2013 Swindon College Swindon College, North Star Avenue, Swindon SN2 1DY Telephone (01793) or visit our website

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