Today there are a number of options available to you when you finish post-16 education and coming to college provides the ideal stepping stone into whatever you choose to do next.
College is not just about gaining your core qualification. It is also about increasing your employability by developing a range of skills and attributes to enhance your chances of getting and keeping a job, as well as progressing in your chosen career.
Industry-standard resources and facilities
Developing the skills to use workplace equipment and facilities in our specialist studios and workshops is an important reason to choose Bath College.
Our Construction Skills Centre, art studios, hair and beauty salons, refrigeration and air conditioning workshops, and our mock-up aircraft cabin, plus many other specialist facilities, provide an excellent learning environment in which to gain the essential practical skills needed in many different careers.
Our hair and beauty salon and spa, The Academy, and our restaurant and bistro, The Shrubbery, are open to the public, giving our students the chance to develop their skills in a real work environment.
The Music and Performing Arts building is one of the largest and best equipped in the region. Our facilities include two analogue and digital 24-track recording studios and high tech MIDI suites running Logic Audio and ProTools software, a performance and rehearsal space and a television studio. These facilities and the expert support of industry experienced teachers and technicians provide students with the launch pad to a career in performance arts or the media.
All students have free computer and internet access in our learning centres, as well as in many classrooms and IT study rooms. Your enrolment fee includes the use of WiFi, which is available throughout the College.
Employer links and work experience opportunities
Many of our courses offer the chance for you to experience a work placement, putting into practice the skills learnt at college. We have strong working relationships with many employers and know how students benefit from real workplace experience both in their coursework and in their future careers.
Our apprenticeship courses give students the chance to earn and learn, while all of our courses work closely with employers to ensure that you gain the most relevant learning experience for your future career.
English & Maths
It is important to employers that their staff have a good basic level of English and maths and it is the government’s aim that, by the age of 19, all learners will have achieved a grade A*-C/9-4 in GCSE English Language and Maths.
If you have not achieved this level when you start college, you will work towards achieving it alongside your core qualification. If you have a D/3 in these subjects you will work towards retaking your GCSE. If your grade is lower than a D /3 then you will study Functional Skills.
These qualifications will support your learning as well as enhancing your opportunities to progress into employment, or higher education.
Working in the West Of England
The primary aim of the College is to develop the talents of our students in order to help them achieve successful careers. Our training and courses are closely matched to the needs of the West of England economy and the College is proud to be the talent pipeline for a number of high profile businesses.
Local businesses we currently work closely with and who have employed our students or currently have some of our apprentices include:
|Rotork||Bristol City Council||The Gainsbrough Hotel|
|BANES Council||University of Bath||Honeywell|
|Buro Happold||Crest||Dorothy House|
|Hudson Stonemasonry||The Pig, Bath||Sirona|
|Julian House||Red Cross||The Royal Crescent Hotel|
|European Student Placement Agency (ESPA UK)||The Bristol Port Company||Dimensions|
|Midas Construction||Weiss Technik UK||TH White|
Find out more about how to secure your future employment in our Careers Advice section.
University is described by those who choose this route as ‘the best period of their lives’ and is also where a majority of post-16 leavers progress on to.
Studying at college will give you a taste of what university life will be like and prepare you for a degree course. You will be treated like an adult and given more independence and responsibility to manage your own college work, as you would be expected to do at university.
You will also learn how to research, prepare and reference assignments in the way you would for a degree.
Most importantly, our vocational courses are worth UCAS point in exactly the same way as A Levels, meaning they can get you into the university you want to go to. See our UCAS Tariff Guide to see how you earn tariff points from our courses.
Last year 385 of our students progressed onto 75 different universities including:
Going to university is beneficial because:
- It demonstrates a high level of study and some companies look for candidates to have degrees for certain jobs
- A graduates’ salary is on average 35% higher than a school/college leaver (Guardian 2016)
- You get to live away from home, improving your independence
- You get to meet lots of new people
Find out more useful information about university courses, how to apply and financial support:
- UCAS – You can search for all courses throughout the UK at UCAS and submit your application.
- UCAS Connect – This site offers tips, hints and reminders of important calendar dates. It also has some great videos, like the “How To” series, which includes “How to write personal statements”.
- BestCourse4Me – If you are unsure about which course to study, this site offers useful help and advice.
- Unistats – This website is very good for comparing courses, searching for course success rates and comparing accommodation costs.
- GOV.UK: Student Finance
- Student Finance England – Apply
If you don’t think that university is the right choice for you and you would prefer to study degree level courses closer to home, then one of our HNC/HND or Foundation Degree courses may be the right option for you.
If you left school without the required qualifications to study at university and would still like to go, our Access to Higher Education course could help you to achieve your goal. A significant number of mature students enter HE via this route.
HNC’s and HND’s
If you are looking for a work-related qualification that will advance your career, give you practical skills and can lead on to higher education, HNC and HND courses are a great option.
Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas are job-related qualifications that are highly valued by employers. HNCs and HNDs are a mix of academic and hands-on practical and vocational learning that will develop the skills you need in the workplace.
If completed with high grades the HNC can be topped up to an HND, which can lead to the third year of a degree at university. Alternatively, you can do an HNC and then progress onto an Advanced Apprenticeship.
Foundation degrees are designed and delivered in partnership with employers to equip people with the relevant knowledge and skills for business.
They are offered by universities in partnership with higher education colleges and further education colleges. The study methods can be very flexible, which means that they are available to people already in work, those wishing to embark on a career change and to those who have recently completed level 3 qualifications (eg. BTECs, A levels, Advanced Apprenticeships or NVQ3). A full-time course usually takes two years. Part-time courses may take longer, although this is not always the case.
Foundation degree graduates have a number of options. Employment may be your major focus after gaining your foundation degree. Many graduates choose to combine employment with further study and you will have the opportunity to progress to a full honours degree with around 12 months of further study (the time taken depends on how you choose to study). Alternatively, you may wish to progress to further professional qualifications.
Access to Higher Education
The Access to Higher Education qualification is a QAA-recognised entry qualification for degree or diploma level studies at all universities in the UK, for a wide range of subjects. You will study English, Maths and study skills together with subjects related to your degree choice.You will develop your skills and confidence to enable you to embark on a successful higher education career.
When you leave post-16 education you will be able to progress on to an apprenticeship from level 2, but if you completed a level 3 qualification whilst at college or school you can access higher and degree apprenticeships.
Higher Apprenticeships are level 4 qualifications that follow an apprenticeship framework, that in some cases include studying for a degree as part of the programme. If you study a higher apprenticeship you could complete one of these qualifications:
Higher National Diploma (HND) – equivalent to the second year of a three-year university degree
Degree Apprenticeships are a new qualification and bring together the very best of higher and vocational education, and allow apprentices to achieve a full bachelor’s or master’s degree, whilst training on the job with the aim of filling higher level skill gaps within an organisation.
When you complete your degree apprenticeship you would have obtained a degree, several years of practical experience, workplace skills and often practical, work-based qualifications like NVQs as well.
School leaver programmes are an option if you don’t want to do more full time study and if you are a highly driven school/college leaver who knows exactly the career you want and you just want to get stuck in and start training and earning right away.
What’s more, the majority of companies that offer school leaver programmes pay their school leavers a very decent salary, on average ranging from £17,000-£20,000 at the beginning of the programme.
By the end of your school leaver programme, you will most likely have the same level of education as the graduate trainees who join the firm, but you will have an advantage over them in terms of experience and you will have professional qualifications related to your job role. For instance, accountancy firms like Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) help their school leavers to complete the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualification. This allows faster career progression and really enhances the earning potential of school leavers.
For more information visit notgoingtouni.com
Many young people choose to take a ‘gap year’ between finishing sixth form or college and starting higher education. There’s a range of things that you could do, such as travelling, volunteering or paid employment.
Gap years can give you the opportunity to:
See the world
Develop as an individual
Volunteer and get some work experience
Work to fund future studies
Study additional qualifications
Gain experience in your chosen career
Listed below are just some of the organisations that offer Gap Year opportunities.