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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?


Calderdale College has a set of standard entry requirements; but never be deterred by the lack of formal qualifications or by not meeting the entry requirements. Apply for the course you want to study and we will help you get there. There are a lot of courses available - work focused, practical or academic, so it is important to think about the future and whether you want to proceed to university, move onto another course or get a job.

If you’re still not sure, don’t worry, just speak to a member of the Advice and Guidance Team who will advise you. Call the Advice and Guidance Team on 01422 399367. If you are not sure which course is right for you take a look below.


A Traineeship is an education and skills training programme with work experience that prepares young people for a future career by making them ‘work ready’. This course is designed to help young people aged 16-24 who do not have the appropriate skills or experience required for an Apprenticeship programme. The course includes English and maths, interview skills and work related knowledge and skills.


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 National Qualification over 2 years is the equivalent of 3 A-Levels Grades A-E. Achieving a BTEC First is the equivalent of 5 GCSEs Grades A*-C. Achieving a BTEC Introductory 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. BTEC Awards and Certificates are accreditations for completing some units but not the full Diploma.

NVQs & Apprenticeships

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. Achieving a Level 3 NVQ is the equivalent of 3 A-Levels Grades A-C.

Young people aged between 16 to 24 can earn while they learn on an Apprenticeship; there are 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. Functional Skills are a requirement for an Apprenticeship framework and an expectation within other courses. If you have not achieved a GCSE Grade C or above in English, maths or a Technical Certificate then you will work on these skills, with help from your vocational tutor, so that you achieve at least a Level 2 in all areas. This is the level required to be effective in work and to access higher level courses.


VRQs are practical courses that are usually assessed by tests and coursework. They are available in work related subjects such as Hairdressing, and are more job specific than other qualifications. Whilst studying a VRQ you will gain knowledge, understanding and skills for a broad area of work or range of jobs.

Special Entry Requirements

Some courses require special entry requirements, such as a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate, references, the completion of a dexterity test, attainment in a pre-course diagnostic assessment, including testing for you to be in training in a job or be successful at an audition or interview.

The Admissions Team 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 enable you to progress.

Maths & English

Every 16-18 year old without a Grade C or above in GCSE maths and English will have to study these subjects at College. This can include Functional Skills and ESOL qualifications or if appropriate GCSE resits.

Contact Us

Find Calderdale College on GOogle Maps

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