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Public Services Uniformed BTEC (Extended Diploma) Level 3 at Alton College

Course description

The course prepares you both academically and practically for a variety of roles within the public services sector and will allow you to find out more about the types of activity undertaken in different organisations. There is a requirement to be physically fit at the start of the course and to be prepared to develop and maintain your fitness levels throughout the course.
On this course there is an emphasis on developing skills in team work, leadership, communication and use of personal initiative. Amongst the units you will study are:

* Leadership and teamwork in the public services
* Fitness testing and training for the uniformed public services
* Responding to emergency service incidents
* Skills for land based outdoor and adventurous expeditions

Another important aspect of any career in Public Services is a clear understanding of the background and political agenda to any operation so you will also study areas such as:

* Government, policies and the public services
* Understanding the impact of war, conflict and terrorism on Public Services
* Crime and its effects on society
* Aspects of the legal system and the law making process
* Police powers in the public services

Many students enjoy BTEC courses because there are no exams and since course work is assessed throughout the course, they have a clear idea of how they are doing and what grades they are achieving. Staff provide students with regular feedback about their work and many students have already told us that they appreciate the support given.

For this particular qualification you need to be clear about the levels of fitness required and be happy to get wet and muddy when out in the field. You will also need to understand that most Public Services expect high levels of discipline and you should be prepared to respond positively.

Continuous assessment also means that students need to work consistently hard throughout the two years, usually on more than one piece of coursework at a time, to achieve a good grade. Good time management skills are therefore very important.

Course content

You will have a mixture of formal and less formal learning experiences. Some sessions will be in the form of lectures but you will also participate in a mixture of activities – whether working individually or in groups. You will participate in role plays, discussions and presentations. Some time will be available for supported independent study to help you with coursework and your own research.
Participation in a range of adventurous activities and practical incident response scenarios will play an important part in this course. You will need to be prepared to participate in such tasks which will be physically demanding.  There will also be visits to Public Services organisations and you will be encouraged to become involved in some voluntary work.
As with other Advanced Level courses, homework is a vital part of your studies. On average you will be expected to do between 10 and 14 hours per week but you may need to allocate more time when assignments are due. 70% of the work is classroom based .

Entry requirements

Students studying a BTEC Extended Diploma programme should normally have achieved an average GCSE point score of 4.5 or above and at least a Grade C in Maths and/or English. Alternatively, students who have studied a Level 2 Diploma/Certificate or a BTEC First Diploma should have achieved at least Merit grades.




You will study a total of 19 units during the two years of the course. All of the units are assessed by coursework – and this may include the production of portfolios, presentations, practical projects, and staff observations. None of the units require you to sit a formal examination.
For each unit you complete you will be awarded a Pass (P), Merit (M), or Distinction (D) grade. As this qualification is equivalent to 3 A Levels, you will also be awarded an overall grade consisting of three grades – such as PPP, MMP, or D*DD.

We are aware that Edexcel is currently evaluating the assessment process and there may be the introduction of an examined unit. Further information is unavailable at the current time.

Financial information

Essential: £60 for textbooks and a course polo shirt
There will also be some costs for additional qualifications such as first aid and essential adventurous training activities £400 including paintballing, a night out in Alice Holt and a week in South Wales in the mountains doing caving, rock climbing, canoeing and expeditions.

You will be expected to provide suitable sportswear for the practical sessions.
In addition you will need to pay for a DBS check, if you have not already had one.
If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Alton College directly.

Last updated date: 09 August 2016

Key information