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Course specifics

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade D/3 (including English Language) of which only one can be a Level 2 vocational qualification (e.g. BTEC/OCR) at Pass grade or above.



100%100% 2016 Pass Rate. 86% achieved high grades.

This one-year vocational course is suitable for students with a general interest in the work of the Public Services, and those who are aiming to pursue a career in any of the uniformed public service organisations, including the Emergency Services and Armed Forces.



The course requires participation in a variety of activities including a residential trip, desk based scenarios and other team building tasks. You will develop many work-related skills, including teamwork, problem-solving, communication, planning, decision-making, presentation skills and report writing.

The course is made up of seven units. The first three core units are compulsory. The remaining are specialised units. These are as follows:

Mandatory units

Public service skills


Career planning for the public services


Improving health and fitness

Specialised units

Expedition skills


Land navigation by map and compass


Sport and recreation for the Public Services


Employment in the Uniforned Public Services

Methods of Teaching and Learning

The courses are taught by well-qualified and experienced members of staff. Students will learn through a variety of methods including whole-class lessons, group and individual work including presentations, mock interviews and scenario-based role play. There will be practical sessions as well as outside speakers from the Public Services.  All students must complete a compulsory personal fitness programme.


The course includes visits including a one day and a three-day expedition. There will also be guest speakers from several public service organisations.

Methods of Assessment

There is no final exam with this course.  Each unit is assessed by several written assignments contributing to a portfolio of evidence which will form the final grade or either Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction*. This course typically has around 24 written assignments for students to complete across the 6 units.

Team Work Skills Task

Team Work Skills Task


Students will have full use of library resources which includes text books, journals, DVDs and eBooks. There is also a well-equipped gymnasium for fitness training which students are expected to use. The Careers Centre is available for more career specific information in many of the uniformed services.


The skills and knowledge acquired through studying this course provide a sound basis for students who wish to progress to a level three course, including the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (one A-level equivalent) and BTEC Diploma (2 A-level equivalent). It is also a suitable course for those who wish to take up employment immediately from College as it prepares the individual for work within the community, or with their chosen public service.

Entry Requirements

Four GCSEs at grade 3 or above including English.  It is also imperative that students have an interest in the Uniformed Public Services and are prepared to undertake a lot of physical activity both indoors and outdoors.

Additional Costs

Occasional contribution to travel costs may be required for day visits. The final expedition has typically cost in the region of £90 per student. Other trips and visits may cost an additional £40.

This course would form part of your Access to Level 3 Programme – click here to find out more.