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Qualifications Explained

A Level reform

AS and A levels General Certificates of Education (GCEs) Level 3

From September 2015, the Government introduced major changes to the delivery and assessment of AS and A levels. Most subjects changed at this time with the last set of A Levels changing to the new linear model in 2017. This reform is a national Government initiative which aims to better equip students for university and employment.

AS levels

AS levels are completed in one year and are freestanding qualifications (i.e. they will not contribute to your overall A level grade). AS Levels are now linear qualifications - this means that they will be assessed at the end of the course (end of year) AS levels are graded A*-E.

A Levels

A Level qualifications are completed over two years. A Levels are linear qualifications – this means that they will be assessed at the end of the course (end of year). AS Level grades do not contribute to the final overall grade. Most A Levels are assessed through exams only however, some subjects will be assessed with up to 20% coursework (only in subjects where there is recognition that certain skills cannot be assessed in an exam). A Levels are graded A*-E.

All students will enrol on 3 linear A Levels from September 2017. Those students with an average GCSE points score of 6.5 and above will be able to study 4 A Levels.

Progression from AS level to A level (A2 level)

Progression will not be automatic – it will depend on several factors. You will need to have attended regularly and punctually and completed all your homework/coursework during the year. You will need to have demonstrated that you are serious about your studies and you will need to have obtained an appropriate grade in the AS Level exam. Our normal requirement is a minimum D grade in your AS Level exam if you wish to progress to A Level.

BTEC/CACHE/C&G/UAL Qualifications Level 3

All Extended Diplomas consist of 18 units (except UAL = 14 units) and are equivalent to 3 A Levels, the Diploma has 12 units and is equivalent to 2 A Levels, while the Subsidiary Diploma has 6 units and is equivalent to 1 A Level. They attract the same UCAS points as traditional A Levels but are graded Distinction, Merit or Pass. Unlike A Levels these courses are geared towards particular career paths. They are an excellent choice if you are sure of your career plans, prefer a more practical approach to studying and have found difficulty in demonstrating your true potential in traditional examinations. These courses allow you to research, investigate and present your findings. The method of assessment is via internally assessed portfolios which could consist of reports, practical observations, drawings and production of objects. The method of assessment will be geared to reflect the topic being assessed.

Progression from 1st to 2nd year of BTEC Level 3 Extended Diplomas and Diplomas

This will depend on your performance throughout the year. You will need to be up to date with all your coursework of which there is a considerable amount. In order to progress to year 2 you will need to have attended regularly and punctually and to have demonstrated that you are serious about your studies. Your teachers will need to be sure that you have coped with all aspects of the course. Towards the end of the first year you will have your progress reviewed to ascertain your suitability for continuing with the Extended Diploma course or alternatively being transferred to a Subsidiary Diploma programme. This qualification will be completed by the end of the first year.

BTEC/CACHE/C&G/UAL Qualifications Level 2 and 1

If you have not achieved 5 GCSEs at grade C there are several levels of technical courses available to you, depending on the grades you have achieved. These one year courses are also geared more towards a specific area of employment. They rely heavily on coursework and assignments which will be set regularly throughout the year.

Progression to the next level

All technical courses are designed for progression. You will need to have attended regularly and punctually and completed all your homework and coursework during the year.

If you meet college criteria from your programme you can progress from a Level 1 Diploma to a Level 2 Diploma and then on to a Level 3 Diploma/Extended Diploma. From these you may gain entry to university for a degree, foundation degree or HND Diploma course. In fact many of our students have followed this route, arriving at college with disappointing GCSE results but successfully completing all levels through to university entry.

GCSE Pathway Level 2

We also offer a GCSE Pathway programme which is a one year intensive course designed to enable students who narrowly missed their GCSE passes at grade C and are unsure which technical Level 2 course to choose.

Construction Crafts Diplomas and NVQs

These courses are generally practical and designed to prepare you for work of a technical nature. Students usually go straight into a job from college, although it is possible to move on to another course provided you have the entry qualifications. Assessments are mainly practical or portfolio based although there are some short answer tests. Functional skills will be taught and assessed during the course.

Entry Level and Supported Learning Courses

These courses are designed to give you the confidence and practical skills for work – or to move on to a higher level course in college. Entry level students will also study the Functional Skills qualification in numeracy and literacy.

English and Maths

We recognise that qualifications and skills in English and Maths are highly valued by employers, which makes them a necessity for your future prospects.

We actively support students who have not yet achieve a grade 4 in GCSE English and Maths with scheduled classes of a suitable level. Prior to starting your course, we will give you an initial assessment to evaluate your current skills so that we can give you the best support for your capabilities. After this assessment you will either be enrolled on to a GCSE or a Functional Skills programme. Your tutors will be available to help you every step of the way.

Regardless of which course you are enrolled on or what career you have in mind, it is so important that you can demonstrate good levels of English and maths. RuTC is dedicated to this cause and will continue to support your success in achieving these crucial qualifications.

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