Why study a BTEC/vocational course? - Bridgwater & Taunton College

Choosing what to do after school can be hard.  Every course is different, so it’s important to know what’s on offer before deciding which option is best for you. Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) provides five different types of course or ‘pathway’ (IB, A Levels, BTEC/vocational, Apprenticeships, T Levels). Each one is different, so it’s important to pick one which suits you, how you like to learn, and the career or job you would like to have in the future.

What’s special about BTEC’s/vocational courses?

  1. BTEC/vocational courses link to careers – As the name suggests, these courses usually relate to specific ‘vocations’, i.e. careers or job roles. For example, if you want to fix airplanes, you can take an Aerospace Engineering course, a future chef can study Professional Cookery, a wannabe landscape gardener can do Horticulture, or an aspiring filmmaker can gain the skills they need on a Creative Arts course.  Whatever your ambition, there’s a course to get you started!
  2. BTEC/vocational courses are hands on – Unlike most GCSEs, BTECs/vocational courses are practical and help you learn how to do things. You will spend some time in class exploring theory, but you will also be in workshops, studios, labs or the great outdoors, depending upon the subject you choose.  You’ll also do work experience, so you can put your new knowledge into practice!
  3. BTEC/vocational students have lots of choice – BTC offers one of the widest ranges of BTECs/vocational courses in the area. You can pick from nearly 100 courses in over 20 different sectors.  Subjects include Agriculture, Animal & Horse Care, Applied Science, Vehicle Maintenance & Repair, Motorsport, Beauty Therapy, Business & Events Management, Hairdressing, Hospitality, Nuclear (Clean Energy), Computing, Carpentry, Electrical Installation, Painting & Decorating, Art & Design, Media, Commercial Music, Performing Arts & Live Events, Childcare & Education, Health & Social Care, Sport and Uniformed Protective Services, just to name a few!
  4. BTEC/vocational students can build up their skills – College may be the first chance you’ve had to do some of these subjects, but don’t worry. BTC will help you begin with a course that suits your current level of knowledge, then work your way up.  Some subjects start with Level 1, an introductory level which will give you the core grounding you need to get started.   You can study some vocational subjects right up to degree level and beyond at BTC!
  5. BTEC/vocational students can go to university – If you achieve good results in a Level 3 BTEC/vocational course, you may be able to apply for a vocational course at university or for a Degree Apprenticeship. Check the entry requirements before choosing what to do after school.
  6. BTEC/vocational courses include English and maths – English and maths are essential in all walks of life and careers, especially if you hope to own your own business one day. If needed, you may be able to take English and maths qualifications alongside your main vocational subject.
  7. BTEC/vocational students use state-of-the-art facilities – At school, you’ll have spent a lot of time in classrooms. If you choose a vocational course, you’ll learn in industry-standard settings, designed like real-life workplaces.  For example, Agriculture students train at our 200-hectare working farm, Performing Arts students have access to the professional McMillan Theatre, and Hospitality & Professional Cookery students hone their service skills at the Quantock Restaurant, which is open to the public.  And there’s more to come!  2023 will see a new Business Hub and an innovative Construction & Civil Engineering building open at our Bridgwater campus, and a Health & Early Years Hub in Taunton.
  8. BTEC/vocational enrichment gives you the edge – BTC offers lots of extracurricular clubs and activities called Academies. Many relate to vocational subjects, such as Uniformed Protective Services (999 Academy), Design, Fashion, Media, Music or Performing Arts.  They give you even more opportunities to meet industry figures and work on exciting, live projects, experience that will make your CV or uni application stand out.

BTECs/vocational qualifications are just one of the options you can choose from after school. Every course – A Levels, International Baccalaureate, BTECs/vocational qualifications, Apprenticeships, T Levels – offers you something different, so it’s important to weigh up your options and pick the right one for you. Why not come along to one of our open events and find out for yourself.

We’re here to help! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Bridgwater & Taunton College’s Information and Advice team on 01278 441234 or email info@btc.ac.uk. Our website www.btc.ac.uk will also allow you to view the course options, enrichment opportunities and support services available for you to access. Alternatively, come along to one of our open events; view our facilities, speak with our experienced staff and experience the BTC atmosphere.

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