BTEC Level 2 First Extended Certificate in Public Services

BTEC Level 2 First Extended Certificate
1 year
Curriculum Manager: 
Nicola Maxfield

What is the BTEC Level 2 First Extended Certificate in Public Services?

This is a one year course for anyone who is interested in a career in one of the Public Services such as Police, Fire, Ambulance (paramedics), Prison Service, HM Customs and Revenue, the UK Border Agency or the Armed Forces. The course involves both practical and classroom based activities. It is equivalent to four GCSEs at A* - C. You will study a variety of topics including The Role and Work of the Public Services, Crime and its Effects on Society and Individuals, Land Navigation by map and Compass and Sport and Recreation.

This is a challenging course which will require you to take on responsibility for your own learning and skills development including personal fitness. You will need to be well organised and be able to demonstrate that you have a responsible attitude to dealing with a variety of practical situations.

In many public services situations, teamwork is an important part of the job and so you need to enjoy working in a group. Some aspects of the course will involve visiting Public Services organisations and participating in off-site activities where you will be ambassadors for the College. Students studying on similar courses over the past few years have appreciated the different relationships they have with the teachers at College and the amount of individual support they get. Probably the most important challenge for students is learning how to take more responsibility for organising their own time so that they balance college work, part-time jobs and other commitments.

In Public Services you will learn 9 modules:

  • The Role and Work of thePublic Service
  • Working Skills in the Public Service Sector
  • Citizenship, Society and the Public Services
  • Crime and its Effects on Society and Individuals
  • Adventurous Activities in the Public Services
  • Sport and Recreation in the Public Services
  • Land Navigation by Map and Compass
  • Employability Skills in the Public Services
  • Security Procedures in the Public Services

How will I learn?

Lessons in the classroom will include a mixture of formats including group work, individual activities, guest speakers, role plays, using case studies and some formal note-taking sessions. Some study support is provided in College to help students with their assignments and other homework. Students should also expect to spend up to ten hours per week outside of lessons on homework. Outside of the classroom you will take part in fitness training and a variety of practical teamwork activities which may involve getting wet and muddy.

How will I be assessed?

You will study a total of nine units during this one year course. Two of the units are assessed by exam and seven of the units are assessed by coursework. The evidence of work may include the production of portfolios, exams, presentations, practical projects and staff observations.

For each unit you complete you will be awarded a Pass, Merit or Distinction grade. You will also be awarded an overall grade which will be at Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction*.

We are aware that Edexcel is currently evaluating the assessment process and there may be the introduction of an examined unit. Further information is unavailable at the current time.


After the course, many students who achieve a Merit or Distinction grade will have the opportunity to go on to study the BTEC Level 3 course in Public Services. Some students may choose to look for employment at the end of the course and support with this process will be given during the course.

Entry requirements

You would normally have achieved a Grade D profile at GCSE. For GCSE English and Maths where a new grading system has been introduced, a Grade 3 is equivalent to a Grade D. To study this subject you should have an interest in working with people.

Course costs

All students will be expected to provide their own textbook, stationery, computer disks and calculators (where appropriate). Students will also need suitable sports clothing and footwear for fitness training. Any further costs are outlined below:

Essential: £20 for textbooks, about £15 for course specific clothing, £450 for trips to Public Services organisations and adventurous training activities such as paintballing , a week residential trip to Wales and many other activities linked to your development.

In addition you may need to pay for a DBS check, if you have not already had one.

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.