Tameside College


Your Guide to Vocational Qualifications

Vocational qualifications help you to develop knowledge, skills and understanding in an area of work (e.g. Business, Art and Design, Caring for Children).

You will also develop the skills you will need to prepare you for employment or progression into Higher Education.

Listed below are some of the types of vocational qualifications offered by Tameside College


BTEC Introductory, First and National Qualifications

BTEC courses offer a mixture of practical and theoretical work and are assessed mainly through coursework. They can be taken at Level 1 (Introductory), Level 2 (First) and Level 3 (National). A BTEC National Diploma is equivalent to 3 A levels.


NVQs are aimed at students who wish to develop skills, knowledge and understanding for a specific type of career (e.g. Carpentry, Engineering, Administration or Catering). They focus on the skills and knowledge expected by employers. They are assessed through real work situations and student portfolios. NVQs can be studied from Level 1 to 5. You might train for an NVQ through full-time college or through an Apprenticeship or Advanced Apprenticeship.

Technical Awards and Certificates

Technical awards focus on what you need to know for a specific type of career. They are available at three levels, Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced. Like NVQs they can be studied full-time as a preparation for entry to an Apprenticeship or employment, or as part of an Apprenticeship.

Other Vocational Qualifications

Other qualifications are also available. These can offer you an opportunity to get started on a vocational route or show knowledge in a very specialised area such as Legal Secretarial or Cabin Crew and Resort Representatives.