You might be thinking about your next steps after your GCSEs and it can be a confusing time to make such important decisions about your future, especially when there are so many study options available. You might also be having second thoughts about a study route you have chosen. The Careers Team at Leicester College want you to know that you are not alone; we speak to many young people who are unsure or undecided about which courses to choose from and it’s important to remember that you should choose the route which is right for you and aligned with your learning and assessment style. It’s also a really good idea to have a back-up option. As well as A levels, BTEC qualifications can help you to achieve your career goals.
At Leicester College, we specialise in offering a variety of BTEC qualifications in different subject areas from art and design to uniformed public Services. BTECs allow you to focus on a specific subject which is of interest to you and you might find it more productive to put all of your energy into studying one subject as opposed to three different subjects. A BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma studied over a period of two years is equivalent to three A Levels and will give you UCAS points, so if you want to go to university in the future, this qualification will enable you to do so. Many students who have studied BTEC Level 3 qualifications at Leicester College have progressed onto university afterwards in fields ranging from engineering, pharmacy, forensic computing, nursing, midwifery and physiotherapy right through to games animation, fashion and architecture. You can use the UCAS calculator to calculate how many points you can potentially achieve depending on your final Level 3 BTEC grade.
Typically, A Levels are exam-based qualifications which involve a lot of written work. A BTEC qualification allows you to learn through a combination of theory (you might have some exams) and practical work. For example, if you are studying a BTEC Health and Social Care qualification, you will undertake work experience in a relevant field where you will have the opportunity to engage with service users, residents and children so that you can put your learned theory into practice. If you want a career in the health professions in the future, this work experience is essential to demonstrate to universities and employers that you have the necessary practical skills required for these demanding roles. It also gives you a competitive edge.
Not everybody will achieve the GCSE grades required for A Levels and this is where a BTEC qualification will provide you with another opportunity to pursue your career goals. BTECs are offered at different levels ranging from Entry Level, Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 courses. Each level of BTEC qualification will have its own GCSE entry requirements which you can check on the Leicester College website. Every year, the Careers Team at Leicester College meet many students who have either tried studying for A Levels but which did not suit their learning and assessment style, or didn’t get the GCSE grades needed for A Levels. We don’t want you to give up on your career goals and a BTEC qualification will offer you an alternative route to fulfilling your ambitions whilst achieving a fully recognised qualification.
If you would like to talk about BTEC qualifications, it’s a good idea to speak to a Careers Adviser who can answer your questions and assist you with the application process. The Careers Team at Leicester College have a wealth of experience helping students to make an application for a course at Leicester College, so if you would like support, get in touch. And don’t worry, it’s not too late to apply for a BTEC course now. Check out our courses here. Good luck!