Vocational Pathways

Academic pathways are the most common route to university. Most students take this pathway via A-levels, to an undergraduate degree and sometimes a Masters or PHD.Foundation degrees suit students who are unsure about their final destination, those who wish to study as they work and those who want more work experience as they study.

Vocational qualifications offer practical learning programmes that relate to specific job roles or employment sectors. They are designed to help young people get the skills they need to start a job, progress in a career or go on to higher levels of education.

Students gain valuable transferable skills that employers look for in the work place such as problem solving, team work, initiative and communication.

Subjects offered with vocational and work based pathways

Media and publishing
High performance engineering

Life sciences
Cyber security
Ambulance services
Quantity and chartered surveying
Civil engineering
Human resources

Chartered management
Nuclear engineering
Outside broadcast engineering
Veterinary nursing
Music production
Games design

And many more….

Qualifications explained

Wide choice offered at colleges and through apprenticeships

Earn UCAS points on BTEC Level 3 towards higher education

Takes a year to complete

Equivalent to a year undergraduate degree course

Leads to a Diploma

Takes two years to complete (or one with a Higher National Certificate)

Roughly equivalent to second year of undergraduate degree course

Work-place based style of learning

A route to university (can be the first two years of a degree)

Takes two years to complete (or one with a Higher National Certificate)

Test abilities in the workplace

Students complete training and are then assessed on work related tasks. 1) Portfolio assessment – build up evidence of what you’ve done at work. 2) Observation - an assessor watches and checks that required tasks can be done.

Levels are based on national standards of the job and each unit is signed off as and when standards are met.

Doesn’t have to be completed in a specific amount of time.


with the same employer

Choosing a Uni or College

In East Anglia alone there are five universities and eight further education colleges right on our doorstep. Your child may prefer to choose a local option rather than moving too far from home.

Find out more

Opportunities on your doorstep

The prospect of your child moving far away from the familiarity and comfort of home to study can be a daunting prospect for many. Moving away from home isn’t the ideal for everyone and there are many benefits of studying locally.

Reducing the financial burden

For some young people and their parents, the cost of university is a worry. Some students save money by going to university closer to home.

Students living at home have a reduced amount of student loan available to them to help with the costs of studying. However the amount repaid may not change, as this is based on a graduates earnings.

Rise of the commuter student

Some universities and colleges now structure their timetable into two or three full days, making it easier for students to commute. These changes make it more convenient for students who have family commitments or part-time work and can also make managing study time easier.

Establish local career links

Studying close to home can give students the opportunity to establish links with local businesses. This gives your child a great foundation for future career opportunities.

Many universities and colleges have links with the local business community who want to recruit graduates with knowledge of the local area. These can be formal working arrangements – some paid and some voluntary – that can open doors to full-time employment.