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How to Choose a Course

You should not be deterred by a lack of formal qualifications or by not meeting our entry requirements. Tell us what you want to do and we can find the most appropriate course. There are lots of courses available, work focused, practical or academic, so it’s important to think about the future whether you want to go to university, move onto another course or get a job. If you are still not sure, don’t worry, just speak to one of Student Advisors and they will help. Call Student Services on 01422399367.

Qualifications - What does it all mean?

BTECs are vocational and occupationally relevant courses which help you gain knowledge and vocationally specific skills. They are well recognised by employers and universities. 

Achieving a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma over two years is the equivalent of doing 3 A Levels grade A-E. Achieving a BTEC Level 2 Diploma is the equivalent of doing 5 GCSEs Grade A*-C. Achieving a BTEC Level 1 Diploma is the equivalent of 5 GCSEs Grades D-G. 

All courses are primarily taught through assignment work and case studies and are tested through assignments and time-limited assessments. 

Accreditation for completing some units can be recognised.

Functional Skills

Functional Skills are intended for everyone from learners in colleges to Chief Executives of large companies. Key Skills are the skills most commonly needed for success in a range of activities at work, in education and training and life in general. They are Application of Number, Communications, Information Technology, Improving Own Learning and Performance, Working with Others and Problem Solving. These skills are common to all jobs and are transferable between vocational areas.

Functional Skills are essential components of Apprenticeship training
Employers stress the importance of key skills for employability
Universities include key skills in their undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Functional Skills achievements collect UCAS points for admissions to Higher Education. Developing your skills will raise your potential, not only in the key skills themselves but also in all the subjects you study.

Levels of study range from basic skills (working towards Level 1) to those needed at a strategic or management level (Levels 4 and 5).

What Are NVQs?

NVQs are job-specific, competence based qualifications. NVQs reflect the skills and knowledge needed to do a job effectively. They are available to anyone at any age or stage of their career development.

The central feature of NVQs is the National Occupational Standards (NOS) on which they are based. NOS are statements of performance standards that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do. They cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future requirements and the knowledge and understanding that underpins competent performance.


Young people aged between 16 and 24 can earn while they learn on an Apprenticeship and there is a wide range of training opportunities to suit your ability and job preferences. By working to a structured training plan and gaining work experience you will achieve an apprenticeship framework that reflects your ability.

Special Entry Requirements

Some courses require special entry requirements, such as:
A Criminal Records Bureau Enhanced Disclosure, references, the completion of a dexterity test, attainment in a pre-course diagnostic assessment (including testing for colour blindness), age criteria (over 18, under 24 etc), for you to be in training in a job, or be successful at an audition or interview.

The Admissions Officer can help you identify whether you meet the entry requirements and the College can advise prior to an Admissions Event, what evidence may be required. Should you be interviewed at an Admissions Event and not be successful in receiving an offer for the course you applied for, you will be directed onto an alternative level that will prepare you to progress.

Contact Us

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Calderdale College,
Francis Street,
Halifax, HX1 3UZ

+44 (0) 1422 357 357

Course Information:

+44 (0) 1422 399 399

Admissions Team:

+44 (0) 1422 399 316