Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

What Will Be the Next Step?

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

What Will Be the Next Step?

Article excerpt

FOR school-leavers who are still deciding on their course of action, here is a rough guide to some of the most popular routes.

A-LEVELS: The A-level course is a traditional academic qualification. Students now have the opportunity to study for up to five or six AS-levels in their first year and specialise in their three best subjects in their second year. Students must have a minimum of four GCSEs at C grade or above, or their equivalent, to follow A-levels.

APPRENTICESHIPS: These offer a mix of onthe-job experience and classroom-based training, which usually involves being released from your place of work for one day a week to attend college. Apprentices are paid while they learn. The courses can run from one to four years.

FOUNDATION DEGREES: These are usually two-year courses, with many offered on a parttime or flexible basis. Rather than general subjects, foundation degrees tend to cater for a specific career route, such as tourism, occupational health and safety or financial management.

NVQs: National Vocational Qualifications are jobbased programmes that can be taken at a number of levels. Entry requirements differ for each NVQ, so prospective students would have to contact the course provider directly for details.

GNVQs: Can be studied at foundation and intermediate level. A General National Vocational Qualification is designed to teach students the knowledge and skills that can be applied to broad career paths. Each level takes a year to complete and enables students to go on to AVCEs.

AVCEs: Formerly known as advanced GNVQs, Advanced Vocational Certificates in Education are equivalent to two A-levels and are advanced level qualifications in practical subjects. Single award AVCEs take one year and the full course takes two years.

BTEC FIRST/NATIONAL DIPLOMA: The BTec First certificate is a one-year qualification which prepares students who do not have the appropriate entry qualifications for the BTec National Diplomas. …

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