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Public Services Extended Diploma Level 3 at Warrington & Vale Royal College

Course description

The Public Services Diploma Level 3 aims to help develop the skills and knowledge required to gain employment in the uniformed public services. If you are interested in a career in the Armed forces, Fire & rescue service, Police, Probation service, HM Customs & excise, Immigration, or any public sector related job or to progress into higher education, then this is the course for you.This qualification requires motivation and a good academic level of achievement as it gives learners the opportunity to progress into higher education and throughout the course learners develop a range of skills, techniques, personal attributes and attitudes essential for successful performance in public services' careers.

Course content

The course is made up of 18 units studied over two years. The units are a range of practical and theoretical subjects.The units studied are 5 core units including:Government policies and public services,Leadership and teamwork,Citizenship and diversity,Understanding discipline,Physical preparation.A further 13 specialist units:Fitness testing and trainingInternational institutions & human rightsImpact of war, conflict and terrorismOutdoor and adventurous expeditionsSkills for land based activitiesCrime and its effectsResponding to incidentsCommunication and technologyCurrent and media affairsSecurity proceduresPractical team sportsInstructing Physical activityVolunteeringThere is an additional research project integrated over 2 years which at the end counts for the equivalent UCAS points of an A/S level. The content and title of the project is up to the individual learner, study of this project is dependent on GCSE English grade.The Public Service teaching team has vocational experience from the Army, fitness industry as well as central and local government and also has strong links with external agencies RAF, Royal Marines, Cheshire Constabulary and Cheshire Fire Service.

Entry requirements

A minimum of 5 GCSEs (C or above), including Maths and English (or Adult Literacy and Numeracy Level 2 or successful completion of a Level 2 course with Functional Skills Maths and English). (Accepted Public Services equivalent - Merit at BTEC First Diploma)Applicants who do not meet these entry requirements will be assessed on an individual basis by the Curriculum Leader and Faculty Director.


You should already possess a good level of writing skills and the course is assessed by ongoing assignments including reports, essays, booklets, discussions, case studies and presentations. Practical activities are also assessed, with opportunities to attend residential placements that are assessed. Students should be able to demonstrate research skills and be self-motivated learners. New technology is also embedded into learning and assessment, so learners will be encouraged to electronically upload work to the virtual learning environment, blog with other learners and watch video links and listen to podcasts and post their views.Each unit studied will be graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction. This course is equivalent to at least 90 credits in the first year and 180 credits in the 2nd year, which is equivalent to 1180 - 1590 UCAS points dependent on grades achieved.

Financial information

You will be required to wear a uniform, the cost of which is approximately £90 for the three items required: Hooded top, a polo shirt and a sports t -shirt. Stationery items required: Files, pens, dividers, paper and a usb pen drive to save your work onto. BTEC Level 3 text book approximately £20. Items required for outdoor activities: Trainers, walking boots, thick socks, waterproof trousers and jacket, fleece, ruck sack, jogging pants, sleeping bag, hat, scarf and gloves. Some residential trips that are organised will also have fees attached, which are subject to change annually.There may be assistance to help pay for these costs from the learner services bursary fund dependent on individual learner's age and financial circumstances. Second year fees may apply.

Future opportunities

You can progress onto a range of jobs within the public services sector. Or you can progress onto Higher Education courses such as Degrees or Foundation Degrees.

Further information

Will I complete work placements?

The College is committed to ensuring that all students benefit from the opportunity to undertake work placement whilst at College and we will support you to obtain a placement in a relevant vocational setting. There are no formal Public Services’ weekly work placements, however you will have the opportunity to self-source a work placement and organise this to take place during an assessment catch up week so that it does not impact on teaching. Students are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular voluntary placements which tutors are happy to support.

Are trips and residentials organised during the course?

Trips and visits are an integral part of all the Public Services’ courses. Past trips have involved visits to RAF Altcar, RAF Cosford, Royal Marines at Lympstone, HM Prison Training College, Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service at Winwick Road, Imperial War Museum in Salford, London to the Houses of Parliament and High Courts. In addition there have been trips to Liverpool and Warrington Crown Courts to enter a National Bar Mock Trial Competition where students played the roles of barristers, witnesses and defendants. Students also participated in role play exercises as part of training exercises with Merseyside Police’s firearms unit practicing hostage situations and they have also participated in riot training at Lea Green. All visits and trips are subject to change and each year may vary. We usually plan an annual expedition to either Snowdonia, the Yorkshire Dales or the Lake District where we will camp or stay in a hostel, hike and undertake a range of outdoor activities.

Are there any links with industry?

Public service professionals will also come in to College to share their knowledge and expertise and you will go on a variety of day trip visits to provide you with a taste of life in Public services.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Warrington & Vale Royal College directly.

Last updated date: 18 February 2016
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    • By Rail: Anyone travelling by train should disembark at Central Station in Warrington. Our Winwick Road Campus is around a 20 minute walk along the A49 (you will pass the Warrington Wolves RLFC stadium and the Tesco supermarket on your left).

      By Bus: Warrington & Vale Royal College is easily accessible by bus from the town centre and nearby Cheshire districts. Bus numbers* 19, 20, 21, 22 from the Warrington Bus Station to Winwick Road Campus.

      *Please note bus numbers are subject to change.