Courses Explained

You may know where you want to get to in life, but which qualifications will help you to achieve those ambitions? Choosing the right course is vital, and at Croydon College we have hundreds to suit a whole range of different career plans. We also have excellent progression routes through the levels so you can work your way up to where you want to be, no matter what your starting point.

Below is a quick guide to the different types of courses and levels. If you need further information, please call us on 020 8686 5700 or email us at

Types of Courses

Vocational Courses

These courses are available at Entry Level, Levels 1, 2 and 3. They are vocational qualifications which will prepare you for further study or employment related to a specific area of work. They have an emphasis on developing practical and creative skills. Employers really value the skills you will develop on a vocational course and they are also an ideal qualification for entrance to University as each distinction achieved is worth 120 UCAS points (the equivalent of an A at A Level).


Apprentices learn on the job, building up knowledge and skills, gaining qualifications and earning money all at the same time. They are perfect if you are eager to earn straight away or already have an employer who will take you on as an Apprentice.

Levels of Courses

Level Summary Examples of qualifications
Pre-Entry and Entry Level 1, 2 and 3 Entry Level courses are one-year courses which develop English and mathematics skills for progression on to a vocational programme of study.

Skills for Life qualifications

ESOL Certificate

Level 1

Level 1 courses are usually studied for one year and will introduce you to a vocational area and prepare you to progress on to the next level of study.

Foundation Learning

BTEC Level 1 Diploma

Level 2

Level 2 courses are usually studied for one year and are designed to develop your range of skills and knowledge further so you are ready for an advanced level of study or employment.

BTEC Level 2 Diploma

NVQ Level 2

Intermediate Apprenticeship

Level 3

Level 3 courses are usually studied for two years. They relate to broad occupational areas and combine practical and academic study. They are a route to university education or into employment.

BTEC Level 3 Diploma

NVQ Level 3

Advanced Apprenticeship

Level 4-6

Level 4-6 courses are university degree level courses which will stretch and challenge your knowledge and thinking skills in order to prepare you for graduate level employment.

Higher National Certificate (HNC)

Foundation Degree (FdA)

Bachelor’s Degree (BA)

Higher Apprenticeship