What is a Vocational Course?

If you prefer to learn through a mix of practical application and classroom theory, studying a vocational course with us is the perfect option.

You could study a Vocational Course in:

  • Art & Design
  • Barbering/Hairdressing
  • Catering
  • Construction
  • Engineering
  • Games Development
  • Health & Care
  • Media
  • Photography
  • Science
  • Sports
  • Travel & Tourism

And many more.

Why choose a Vocational Course?

Vocational qualifications help build real-world skills, knowledge and experience. It gives a great edge in the competitive job market, as you will have experience in your chosen career before you reach it.

They are more hands-on than A Levels, for students who like to balance practical assessments with the classroom theory.

Assessment is usually by both written and practical examinations.

What level of Vocational Courses are there?

South & City College Birmingham offer a range of vocational qualifications, including BTECs, City & Guilds and Diplomas. These qualifications go all the way from Entry Level (equivalent to GCSEs/A Levels) to a Level 8 (equivalent to a PhD).

See our Qualifications explanation below to know where you’re going.

What are Vocational Courses at the college like?

Because of the need for industry-ready facilities for each area, if you are interested in a certain area you will have a certain campus that specialises in that. Each campus is different in feel but will have the same benefits.

For example, Music is available at Digbeth and Longbridge, but both have professional studios, access to software, tutors with industry experience, local opportunities and events. It will likely come down to the area and community you prefer.

Studying Vocational Courses at South & City College Birmingham will bring a lot of the benefits of college lifestyle, with relaxed and closer relationships between staff and students, lots of hands-on facilities, and more independence to manage your life.

What can I do after a Vocational Course?

Professional qualifications can lead to employment and even higher education. Level 3 professional qualifications, such as BTEC, earn UCAS points for higher educannoytion, in the same way as those awarded for A Levels.

Qualifications explained

Qualifications explained

Choose a level

Choose a level

  • Entry
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6

Entry Level qualifications can assist you in developing your abilities, expanding your knowledge, and increasing your confidence. They’re called ‘certificates’ or ‘awards,’ and they’re available to anyone who wants to earn a recognised qualification. There are no entry requirements. They are available in three different sub-categories, which get progressively more difficult: Entry Levels 1, 2 and 3.

Please note: If you are an International student you can only study from Level 3 and above. 

Level 1 qualifications are the first formal rung on the numbered system of qualifications. They are frequently studied at secondary school in Years 10 and 11. If you’re looking for an introduction into general work and practical hands-on activities, these foundation level courses allow you to gain skills that will help you to earn a job or qualification. Examples of Level 1 qualifications include GCSEs at grades 3, 2 or 1 (previously D, E, F or G), Level 1 Functional or Essential Skills, or Level 1 ESOL.

Please note: If you are an International student you can only study from Level 3 and above. 

See level 1 courses

These qualifications are a step up from Level 1. They provide a more in-depth understanding of a subject. Examples of Level 2 qualifications include GCSE grades 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 or 4 (previously grades A*, A, B or C), Level 2 awards, diplomas, or certificates and intermediate apprenticeships.

Please note: If you are an International student you can only study from Level 3 and above. 

See level 2 courses

If you’re planning on going to university, you will need Level 3 qualifications. Study at this level is more advanced, as it prepares you for your future career or further and degree level study. Examples of Level 3 qualifications include: A and AS Levels, Access to Higher Education Diplomas, Advanced Apprenticeships, T Levels and BTEC Level Award/Certificate/Diploma and Extended Diplomas.

Please note: If you are an International student you can only study from Level 3 and above. 

See level 3 courses

A Level 4 qualification could be seen as the equivalent of the first year of a bachelor’s degree. Examples of Level 4 qualifications include: Higher National Certificate (HNC) Certificate of higher education (CertHE), Accounting AAT Diploma, and Higher Apprenticeships.

See level 4 courses

A Level 5 qualification is equivalent to the second year of a bachelor’s degree. Examples of qualifications at Level 5 include: foundation degrees, Higher National Diploma (HND), Chartered Institute of Personnel Development Intermediate Certificate in HR Management, and DET in Post-Compulsory Education and Training.

See level 5 courses

Level 6 refers to qualifications gained at degree level. Examples of Level 6 include: a bachelor’s degree with or without honours, or a degree apprenticeship.

See level 6 courses

How do I apply?

You can apply on this website, by searching for a course that you want to do. What is important is that you disclose your needs on your application form so that we can assess you and arrange your support before you start your course.

Apply now