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Qualifications Explained

A Levels (GCEs) – Level 3

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 second year). 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 and those students with an average GCSE points score of 6.5 and above will be able to study 4 A Levels.

Progression from 1st year A Level to 2nd year

A 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 end of year exams.

Subsidiary Diplomas/90 Credit Diplomas/Diplomas/Extended Diplomas (BTEC/CACHE/C&G/OCR/UAL Qualifications) – Level 3

These courses 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 exams. They are geared towards particular career paths and attract the same UCAS point as traditional A Levels however they are graded Distinction, Merit or Pass.

1st Year

  • Subsidiary Diploma consists of 60 credits and is equivalent to 1 A Level
  • 90 Credit Diploma consists of 90 credits and is equivalent to 1.5 A Levels

2nd Year

  • Diploma consists of 120 credits and is equivalent to 2 A Levels
  • Extended Diploma consists of 180 credits and is equivalent to 3 A Levels

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 reflect the subject being assessed.

Progression from 1st to 2nd year

This will depend on your performance throughout the year. You will also need to be up to date with all your coursework. 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 to the next year. Generally, you will require a Merit overall to proceed and will have at least passed all your units.

Certificates/Diplomas (BTEC/CACHE/C&G/OCR/UAL Qualifications) – Levels 1 and 2

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 vocational 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 course. Many of our students have followed this route, arriving at college with disappointing GCSE results but successfully completing all levels through to university entry.

Certificates/Diplomas in Construction Crafts and Catering (NVQs) – Levels 1, 2 and 3

These courses are generally practical and designed to prepare you for work of a vocational 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. Progression to higher education is also an option. Assessments are mainly practical or portfolio based although there are some short answer tests. Functional Skills will be taught and assessed during the course.


An apprenticeship is a real job with training allowing you to gain recognised qualifications. You will be employed in a job role that is relevant to your apprenticeship and also undertake training and qualifications in the workplace and at college. This will vary depending on the type of apprenticeship but typically includes:

  • Competence-based training
  • Knowledge-based qualifications
  • English, Maths and IT qualifications
  • Employment rights and responsibilities
  • Personal learning and thinking skills

We offer apprenticeships in a broad range of sectors including arts and media, business and administration, construction, planning and the built environment, engineering and manufacturing technologies, health and care, information technology and leisure. You can find out more about our apprenticeships and current vacancies or by telephoning Training Solutions on 020 8607 8306.

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

RuTC recognises that qualifications and skills in English and Maths are highly valued by employers, which make them a necessity for your future prospects.

We actively support students who have not yet achieved 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 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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