It's VQ Day!Posted: 10th of June 2015 by
Let’s celebrate all that’s great about vocational qualifications
Led by the Edge Foundation, VQ Day recognises and celebrates the importance of vocational training and the value of vocational routes to learners, employers and to society on the whole.
Hundreds of schools, colleges, employers, teachers, students and learning providers will be getting involved with the celebration. They will be putting on events, nominating providers, employers, teachers and learners and recognising the great work done.
Vocational qualifications include NVQs and BTEC certificates and diplomas. These range from level one to five for NVQs and one to eight for BTECs. One of the main differences between academic study and vocational is that studying for A-levels involves study across and variety of different subjects whereas studying for a vocational qualification, although made up of a variety of components, is all aimed at one subject.
Another difference is that where A-level assessment comes at the end of the course, vocational qualifications include continuous assessment. Vocational subjects are a combination of theory and practical work, sometimes with work experience. Vocational subjects also form part of apprenticeship programmes.
Vocational qualifications are well respected by universities and offer a pathway to a full time degree course in the same way that A-levels do. In fact, some universities welcome students from the vocational pathway onto degree courses, particularly those courses that are practical in nature, as students from a vocational background have learned a great deal about using the equipment already.
Entry onto vocational qualification courses ordinarily will be as follows: entry level require no previous qualifications, level one will require some GCSES mainly at grade E, for a level two course you will need four GCSES (A*-D) and for a level three qualification you will be expected to have 4- 5 GCSES (A* - C) including maths and English, which is much the same as you will be expected to have to study A-levels.
Vocational qualifications are not the easy option; they are simply different to academic study in that the way that you learn and the way that you are assessed on a vocational course differs from A-levels or other academic courses at levels three to eight.
Vocational courses at level three in particular offer a great way to learn the skills that you need for higher education or a specific field, such as childcare. One thing to consider, if you want to study for a degree in Fine Art for example, is that choosing the vocational route can see you go straight onto a degree course compared with a student of A-levels who will probably have to undertake a foundation course prior to beginning their degree.
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