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A Levels, T Levels, Vocational course or Apprenticeship?

With so many different courses to choose from, finding the right one can be hard.

At HSDC we offer many different subjects, giving you the opportunity to find something that will help you achieve your ambitions and prepare you for the world of work or progression onto university.

To get the most out of your time at college it’s important to select a course that you enjoy and fits with your style of learning. You can find out more about the different types of courses below:

  • You know the subject or industry you want to specialise in
  • You prefer coursework over exams
  • You want to learn hands-on practical skills
  • You want to get experience using industry-standard equipment

Vocational qualifications are highly respected by employers and are a great foundation for getting a job, going to university or starting an Apprenticeship.

Our Vocational courses are taught on our Alton and South Downs campuses by industry-experienced lecturers. They give you the opportunity to use theories you learn in practical situations, improve your independent study skills and develop your communication and teamwork skills.

  • You want the option to study multiple subjects
  • You perform best in exams
  • You want to develop your critical thinking skills
  • You want to study at a dedicated A Level Centre of Excellence
  • You are keen to develop academic reading and writing skills

A Levels are great for progression onto Higher Education, with many of our A Level students going on to study at Russell Group Universities. A Levels also teach you many transferable skills that give you the option to go straight into employment or on to a Higher Apprenticeship.

An A Level programme consists of three subjects of your choice. With nearly 40 A Level subjects at Havant Campus and over 30 A Level subjects available at Alton Campus, this gives you a chance to study multiple subjects you are interested in or passionate about. The programmes run for two years and will give you the chance to develop your research, analysis and evaluation skills with a focus on independent study.

  • You have just finished your GCSEs
  • You want to get into a skilled job
  • You like a mixture of classroom and practical learning
  • You want the knowledge, skills and experience to get the job you want
  • You are interested in spending time with employers to try out different job roles

T Levels are a mixture of classroom learning and at least 45 days of on-the-job placements, with an employer in the industry you are studying your T Level subject in. 80% of your time will be spent at college and 20% will be on your placement. They have been designed with employers and businesses to make sure the qualifications meet the needs of the industry and prepare you for the world of work.

T Levels are available to study at both Alton and South Downs campuses.

  • You’re eager to enter the world of work
  • You want the chance to earn money whilst you study
  • You know which industry you want to work in
  • You’re keen to start a role with excellent progression opportunities

Apprenticeships are designed to give you the best of both worlds – work and study. As an Apprentice, you’ll earn while you learn in a setting that reflects your wider career aspirations. Not only that, you’ll have the backing of your work-based trainer who will work with you and your employer to ensure you get the most out of your Apprenticeship.

Below you can see the equivalent GCSE grade prior to the new 9-1 system.

 Previous GCSE grading (A*-)   New GCSE grading (9-1)
 A*–A  9-7
 A-C  7-4
 D  3
 D-G  3-1


Below you can see the A Level equivalent for alternative courses.

Courses  Equivalents
 BTEC Extended Diploma  3 A Levels
 Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma  3 A Levels
 BTEC Subsidiary Diploma  1 A level
 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma  1 A level
 BTEC Level 2 Diploma  4 GCSEs
 Cambridge Level 2 Technical Diploma  4 GCSEs


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