Which training course is right for me
Choosing the right course can be a big decision, the
information below is intended as a guide.
Northumberland College are here to offer information, advice
and guidance to help you make an informed choice, if you are not
sure call our Info Zone on 01670 841200.
Vocational courses are suitable for 16-18s and Adult Learners -
they give you the skills you need for a particular career. We offer
a range of qualifications, including BTECs, NVQs, City and
Guilds and Diplomas. If you prefer to do practical assessments and
coursework assignments rather than exams, a Vocational Course may
be best for you.
When making your course choices remember it is important to
choose a subject area that you enjoy and have an interest in.
You can study from Entry Level to Level 3:
Entry Level and Level 1
Equivalent to: three or four GCSEs at grades D to G
Suitable if: you don't pass your GCSEs, or perhaps don't get the
grades you had expected, then you can make a fresh start with an
Entry Level or Level 1 course.
Equivalent to: four or five GCSEs at grades A to C
Suitable if: you gain four GCSEs at grade D or above or equivalent
at pass level
Equivalent to: two A Levels
Suitable if: you gain four to five or more GCSEs at grade C or
above or equivalent at pass level
Vocational Courses are a route to higher education; most
university-level courses accept a Level 3 qualification as
Apprenticeships are suitable to anyone aged over 16 who is in
work. If you don't have a job, we will do our best to support your
job search through our excellent links with employers. If you are
in work you can usually easily transfer to an Apprenticeship to
gain a valued and well recognised qualification.
You'll get hands-on training on the job and you'll also come in to
college to take classes for your qualification. This is usually by
day release or over a block of days.
Level 2 Apprenticeship
Equivalent to: five GCSEs at grades A to C
Level 3 Apprenticeship
Equivalent to: two A Levels
A Higher Level Apprenticeship may be availble
on successful completion of Level 3.
Access to HE
Access courses are suitable for students aged 19+ who need a
qualification to meet the entry criteria for higher education.
HNC and HND Courses
Suitable if you are aged 19+ and are looking for a work-related
qualification to help you advance your career, give you practical
skills or a step towards higher education.
Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas are
work-related qualifications that are highly valued by employers.
HNCs and HNDs are a mix of academic and hands-on practical and
vocational learning that will develop the skills you need in the
Level 4 qualification
Level 5 qualification
On successful completion of an HNC or HND course you may choose
to progress to a degree level qualification.
You will normally be aged over 18 and have successfully
completed a relevant Level 3 qualification (BTEC, A Level, Access
Foundation Degrees are vocational higher education
qualifications that combine academic and work-based learning. They
are designed with the help of employers and can usually be studied
on a full or part-time basis.
Our Foundation Degrees are offered in partnership with
universities so, upon successful completion, you will receive a
university accredited qualification.
A Foundation Degree can be taken as a stand-alone qualification
or upon successful completion you may top-up to the final year of
an Honours Degree. They are usually equivalent to the first two
years of an Honours Degree but you will need to check with your
We offer a wide range of short courses that you may be
interested in if you would like to develop a new skill, hobby or
just meet new people.
We offer a wide range of qualifications which are well
recognised by different professions in areas such as
How do I get advice or support?
Just call 01670 841 200 and ask for the Info Zone, we can arrange
an appointment or you can drop-in to the InfoZone, alternatively