The purpose of BTEC courses

Published: 30th October 2009
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Background

BTEC courses are very popular in the UK. They attract more than a million students each year.



The benefit of BTECs is their flexibility. Take a BTEC course and you can progress to higher education; begin a career; or improve your current career prospects. You can even use certain BTECs to help you become self-employed.



Definition

BTEC is the acronym for Business and Technology Education Council. It's therefore no surprise that BTECs are qualifications related to work. They blend theory with a practical approach based in business rather than academia.



Providers

BTEC courses have been available for more than 25 years. Colleges, schools and independent trainers generally offer them, although some employers may run in-house BTEC programmes.



This variety of providers means that both young people and adults can obtain BTEC qualifications. Depending on the course, you can also study for a BTEC part-time or full-time.



Assessment

You do not take exams with BTECs. You study a series of units, each one of which involves assignments and projects.



You receive marks according to your success with the projects. When you've completed your BTEC, the course provider then awards you a grade: Pass, Merit or Distinction.



Types

Because of the flexibility of BTEC courses, there are a number of different levels. When you apply for a course, the provider may discuss these with you.



Essentially, BTECs fall into one of the following:



• BTEC Entry

• BTEC Introductory

• BTEC Firsts

• BTEC Nationals

• BTEC HNCs (Higher National Certificates) and HNDs (Higher National Diplomas)



There are also further, specialist BTEC qualifications. These are:



• BTEC WorkSkills

• BTEC Development and Professional Development

• BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design



Length of study

BTECs may take one or two years according to the type of qualification. If you study part-time, these periods may increase. A course provider will give details about the amount of time a BTEC will take you to finish.



Art

BTECs that generate a lot of interest among students are those based on art.



The Plymouth College of Art, for instance, has a range of BTECs that can lead directly to a career in the arts or to a university degree. The subjects of these courses include art and design; digital graphics and interactive media; television and film; and photography.



Why not make an enquiry about such BTEC courses now?

For information on BTEC Course visit Plymouth College of Art

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