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qualification guide

At Truro and Penwith College, you can choose a variety of subjects that interest you, with a Level 3 A Level programme or the IB Diploma. Or specialise on a T Level, Extended Diploma or Level 1-3 Technical course. You may decide classroom-based learning isn’t for you and start an Apprenticeship, learning while at work.

The College also offers Entry Level, Level 1 and Level 2 programmes for those with no prior qualifications, who are looking for a job or a pathway to full-time education.

A graphic explaining the different types of courses available at Truro and Penwith College.

How long is it?

  • Preparation for Employment: 2 Years
  • Preparation for Adulthood: 3 Years
  • Preparation for Independence & Employment: 3 Years

What do I need?

  • Preparation for Employment: Entry 3
  • Preparation for Adulthood: No prior qualifications required.
  • Preparation for Independence & Employment: Entry Level qualifications

Where will it take me?

  • Preparation for Employment - Following a successful programme of vocational tasters and preparation for employment skills, you will be ready for paid employment. You may also decide to progress to a Vocational Course at Level 2 if you have achieved the necessary entry requirement.
  • Preparation for Adulthood - Your course will focus on developing the skills you will need when you move on from college. Staff will support you in transitioning from college onto your desired outcome, determined in your Education Health Care Plan.
  • Preparation for Independence & Employment - You will have developed the skills required to gain supported or paid employment within your local community. The focus on independent living skills will enable you to live in and engage with your community with or without support. You may also wish to explore further opportunities provided by Adult Social Care.

How long is it? Various durations.

What do I need? No prior qualification required.

What is it? These programmes put an equal emphasis on qualifications and work experience leading to an Apprenticeship, Further Education or paid employment. You will be able to develop your skills to ensure that you are ready and able to obtain a full-time job or an Apprenticeship. Alternatively, you may decide that after your work placement, further education is required to obtain your career aspirations; as a Truro and Penwith College student you will have access to all of the relevant courses that the College has to offer.

How long is it? A minimum of 12 months.

What do I need? There are no formal requirements as Apprenticeships are not just based on previous academic achievement. Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16. Some start in September but many start throughout the year. You will need to be committed, motivated, enthusiastic and reliable. Applicants will typically be interviewed prior to starting an Apprenticeship programme.

What is it? As an Apprentice you will be working for a local business, earning a real wage, gaining practical skills and completing nationally recognised qualifications. Choosing the Apprenticeship route gets you straight into the career of your choice. After finishing, the majority of Apprentices (85%) will stay in employment, with twothirds (64%) staying with the same employer. You will be employed for at least 30 hours per week and take part in a mixture of taught courses, workshops, work-based assessments and e-learning. You will also have a dedicated training adviser who will help and support you throughout. For further details please call 01872 242711 or email apprenticeships@truro-penwith.

How long is it? Various durations depending on subject and level.

What do I need? Hair, Beauty and Catering Level 1: Three GCSEs at Grade 2 including English Language (or English Literature) and/or Maths.

Hair, Beauty and Catering Level 2: Three GCSEs at Grade 3 plus either English Language (or English Literature) and/or Maths at Grade 4.

Construction Level 1: Two GCSEs at Grade 2 including English Language (or English Literature) and/or Maths.*

Motor Vehicle Level 1: Three GCSEs at Grade 2 including English Language (or English Literature), Maths and a Science.*

* These grades are desirable but all will be considered following a successful interview.

Level 3 Technical courses require successful completion of a lower level qualification in an appropriate subject.

What is it? Technical courses involve studying the theory and practical elements of your chosen subject. These will enable you to develop occupational knowledge and progress into industry.

How long is it? One year.

What do I need? Progression 1: No prior qualification required. Progression 2: You are required to achieve three GCSEs at Grade 3 including English Language (or English Literature) and/or Maths.

What is it? These courses are focused on progression, either to further study, an Apprenticeship or into employment. You will develop knowledge and understanding by applying your learning and skills in a work-related context. Progression 1 pathways include Functional Skills English and Maths up to Level 1 and a Work Skills qualification. Achievement at Level 1 is essential for progression onto Level 2 courses. The Progression 2 pathway encompasses specific vocational qualifications, Level 2 Maths and English courses and prepares learners for the world of work. Learners have the opportunity to progress to Level 3 courses including Extended Diplomas, and the programme also prepares learners for Apprenticeships and employment. Assessment will be through a combination of external examination and coursework.

How long is it? Two years - In year one you will complete a Level 3 Foundation Diploma before progressing to gain the full Extended Diploma at the end of Year 2 unless otherwise stated.

What do I need? Four GCSEs at Grade 4 to include either English Language or Literature and/ or Maths. A Merit on a Level 2 Diploma in an appropriate subject can also be considered (plus English and/or Maths).

What is it? Previously known as the National Diploma, the 180-credit, 13-unit qualification is referred to as the Extended Diploma. This Diploma is equivalent to three subjects at A Level. It is an excellent route if you have decided on the broad area of employment you wish to pursue. The combination of a range of specialist modules with the depth of knowledge acquired enables you to progress successfully into higher education or into employment. You will also be required to undertake several hours of independent study. Assessment is through coursework, external written exams and evaluation of practical skills.

How long is it? Two years.

What do I need? Four GCSEs at Grade 4 or above or a Level 2 Diploma in appropriate subjects.

What is it? The Level 3 Extended Certificate/Diploma are an excellent addition if you are studying A Levels. They can add breadth to an academic programme of study and provide a vocationally relevant dimension. The six-unit qualification is equivalent to one A Level. Assessment is through coursework and evaluation of practical skills including a final major project.

How long is it? Two years.

What do I need? Five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above in appropriate subjects, to include English Language or Literature and/or Maths at Grade 5 or above and with specific relevant subjects related to your A Level choices at Grade 6 and above.

What is it? Advanced Level programmes consist of formal lectures, class activities and assessments, set homework and problem solving. For each subject, you will also be required to undertake several hours of independent study. Modern study facilities are available in the College and successful students use these effectively. We strongly encourage a broad programme for A Level students. Most subject specifications are assessed by examination but some include coursework assessment. All A Levels at the College will be delivered in the new linear format with no qualification at the end of year one. Academic assessment for Linear A Levels will take place at the end of two years of study. Students must study a minimum of three A Levels.

How long is it? Two years.

What do I need? Five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above in a broad range of subjects, including English and Maths at Grade 5. Grade 6 is required in subjects appropriate to Higher Level options.

What is it? The IB Diploma (International Baccalaureate) is an excellent alternative to A Levels. It will be attractive if you have enjoyed studying a range of subjects at GCSE and want to continue doing so at an advanced level. You will study three subjects at Higher Level and three subjects at Standard Level. You will also follow a Theory of Knowledge course, produce an Extended Essay and undertake Creativity, Action and Service-based projects. Specialised forms of assessment are used as appropriate to each subject as well as written examinations, all reflecting the balance and educational diversity of the IB programme. The IB is fully recognised by all UK universities.

How long is it? Two years.

What do I need? Four GCSEs at Grade 4 to include either English Language or Literature and/or Maths. A Level 2 Diploma at Merit in an appropriate subject can also be considered (plus English and/ or Maths).

What is it? T Levels are equivalent to three A Levels. T Levels combine classroom theory, practical learning and a three-month industry placement with an employer to make sure students have real experience of the workplace. T Levels have been developed in collaboration with employers so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work. They provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door to highly skilled employment, an Apprenticeship or higher level study. Around 80% of your time will be spent at College with the remaining 20% being spent at your placement. This differs to an Apprenticeship, which is typically 80% on-the-job and 20% in the classroom.

Experience with a real employer in a real workplace will allow you to apply the skills and knowledge you learn in the classroom to the job, giving you a taste of the world of work you can expect once you complete your studies.

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