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Post 16 Education

What type of qualifications are there? 

There are many different types of educational qualifications in the UK. These are broadly covered under the headings of vocational and academic qualifications.

Vocational Qualifications

Vocational qualifications are work and practical skill related qualifications. A vocational qualification proves that the learner is trained for a particular workplace or task.

Vocational qualifications have different levels, ranging from the Entry Level to Level 8 which are very similar to other academic qualification levels. For example, Level 2 vocational qualification is equivalent to grades A*-C in the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), while Level 3 is equivalent to grade A in the GCSE.

All vocational qualifications consist of units, each of which has a credit value that allows the learner to roughly predict how long he or she will need to achieve the desired qualification considering that one credit equals 10 hours of learning.

Academic Qualifications

Academic qualifications tend to be aimed at improving knowledge, studying and thinking, rather than to develop practical skills. These include qualifications such as GCSEs, A-Levels. These will generally be the subjects studied in school before students grow up and begin to specialise in other areas.

However, these subjects can be very useful in learning to understand the world and are often completed in a social environment. Ultimately, they can also lead to practical skills and developing in a job role, as many jobs require certain academic qualifications such as degrees, for example teaching and specialist health positions. 

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