Vocational Diploma Courses: 2016

A Vocational Diploma is a full-time course that provides a more practical approach by applying learning to real life situations. Many of our vocational courses feature a work experience placement, designed to provide you with the opportunity to further develop your knowledge and skills.

Progress is measured throughout the course, allowing you to monitor your performance on an ongoing basis, just like in the workplace. For many students the ongoing assessment provided by the Diploma route can be a preferable option to exam based courses.

An Extended Diploma (Level 3) is equivalent to three A Levels and will appeal to a student keen to pursue their chosen subject at a higher level and/or as a career. A Diploma (Level 2) is a one-year course, designed to provide students with the confidence and skills to progress to a Level 3 Diploma.

How we assess you

You will be continuously assessed through classwork, homework and coursework which is externally moderated. There are no formal exams. As well as written-based assignments your assessed work might include digital or multimedia outputs, a composition or performance, project or business plan, work placement activities, or a piece of artwork. Vocational Diplomas are graded distinction* - pass.

Entry Requirements

Level 3 Diplomas
You will need at least 36 points, which must include at least four grade Cs in appropriate subjects, or a
Level 2 Diploma at merit or distinction. We would also expect at least grade C in GCSE Maths and
English (i.e. English Language or English Combined). Further advice will be given at interview. Some
subjects have additional specific requirements.

In order to progress to an Extended Diploma in your second year, we would expect you to have achieved an overall grade of at least MP (Merit Pass) in your 90-Credit Diploma in the first year.
See further information.

Level 2 Diplomas
You will need at least 24 points, which must include at least 3 grade Ds in appropriate subjects. See further information.


Last year the overall Vocational Diploma pass rate was over 90%, with our students among national award winners. A large number of our vocational students continue onto university. See further information.

University and Careers

Our level 3 Diploma courses are an accepted qualification for entry into university. A high proportion of our vocational students go on to study at university, with many deciding to pursue the same subject at degree level. Destinations have included a wide range of leading universities including Bath, Cardiff, Exeter, Kent, Loughborough, Southampton and Surrey.

Some students prefer to enter employment straightaway when they leave College. Destinations range from full-time roles spanning a wide range of industries to places on in-demand training schemes with leading organisations.

Your College Timetable

You will spend an average of 14 hours per week in lessons, which are each one hour and 25 minutes long. You will be expected to dedicate at least 12 hours per week to private study and further reading.

Tutorial (one hour) takes place on a Wednesday and Enrichment (one to two hours) time follows in the afternoon. Timetabled study periods provide valuable opportunities to visit the Library and Learning Centres, complete work and discuss your course with friends.


This is an example timetable. Your individual timetable will depend on your chosen course and the group you are placed in.

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