What do the qualifications mean?

GCSE Level

This stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education. GCSEs are highly valued by colleges and employers and very useful whatever you're planning to do afterwards. You'll study the theory of a subject plus you will do some investigative work. GCSEs are at levels 1 and 2 on the National Qualifications Framework, depending on the grade you get. We offer part-time day and evening courses.

See course details for GCSE English, GCSE Maths

Vocational Qualifications on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF)

Vocational qualifications on the Qualifications and Credit Framework are work-related qualifications.  They are designed to allow you to learn in a way that suits you and give you the skills that employers are looking for.  There are lots to choose from, in a wide range of subjects.  They are made up of units:


An award is the smallest type of qualification on the QCF. It is worth between one and 12 credits. This means it takes between 10 and 120 hours to complete.

Access to HE

Access to HE (Higher Education) courses are suitable if you would like to study at university but you left school without the usual entry qualifications, such as A levels. We offer daytime courses.

See course details for Access to HE (Health Related), Access to HE (Nursing).

Foundation Degrees

These are Higher Education qualifications that combine academic study with workplace learning. They've been designed jointly by universities, colleges and employers and are available in a range of work-related subjects. Foundation Degrees are at intermediate level in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. We offer part-time courses.

See course details for Foundation Degree in Early Years.

See course details for Foundation Degree in Engineering