Further Education FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
What is a BTEC Qualification?
BTEC stands for ‘Business and Technology Education Council’, which used to run the award, first introduced in 1984.
BTECs are now awarded by the Edexcel exam board and are taken in more than 100 countries at all levels, from pre-GCSE to Degree equivalent.
They are vocational and work-related courses, designed to accommodate the needs of employers and allow students to progress to further and higher education.
A BTEC takes a practical approach to learning, without missing any of the important theory on the subject.
BTECs are extremely reputable, having been around for 25 years now, so rest assured you will be embarking on an excellent course.
How many days week is the course?
Level 1 – On average it is 2 days theory and 1 day practical on land or on the water.
Level 2 – On average it is 3 days theory and 1 day practical however, when completing some supplementary qualification you may be asked to invest some extra time and days training.
Level 3 – On average it is 3 days theory and 1 day practical however, when completing some supplementary qualification you may be asked to invest some extra time into training and coaching experience.
Do I have to go on the water?
No, however the courses encourage and offer opportunities and experiences within the outdoor industry and an interest in sport is preferable to help relate theory-based work.
What supplementary qualifications will I gain?
Level 1 – On the Foundation in Outdoor Industries course, you will be given the chance to gain your Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, RYA Power Boat Level 1 and National Aquatic Rescue Standards (NARS) Lifesaving qualification. All these qualifications will help you to gain employment in the leisure industry.
Level 2 – On the Leadership in Outdoor Industries course, you will be given the chance to gain your RYA Assistant Dinghy Instructor, RYA Power Boat Level 2, RYA First Aid and some form of paddle sports proficiency qualification. All these supplementary qualifications are specifically important when working in the maritime industry.
Level 3 – On the Coaching in Outdoor Industries course, you have the opportunity to further progress your passion and experience in sport. Students have progressed their current qualifications or sometimes gained proficiencies in completely new sports; this is something that may be personal to you and is discussed with your tutor at the start of the course. Some of the qualifications that have been gained on the Level 3 course are: Dinghy Instructor, Keelboat instructor, RYA Safety Boat, Windsurf proficiencies, STCWs and Day Skipper.
Will I get a chance to do work experience?
All courses have time and units of delivery specifically allocated for work experience and placements. There are many different areas of the leisure and maritime industry to experience. Your work experience can be tailor-made to your potential career pathway or passion. It is not just based at UKSA; in fact, it is often encouraged and organised for students to go out to other outdoor activity providers or organisations within the maritime industry.
Do I need my own kit to do the course?
You do not need to have your own kit to do the course. UKSA has all of the equipment available needed to keep you safe and warm in the outdoors, including wetsuits, buoyancy aids, spray tops, helmets etc. The only thing you will need is some wetsuit / dinghy boots or some old shoes that you do not mind getting wet. You may use your own kit if you prefer, at your own risk.
How much does the course cost ?
The courses are mainly funded through the government’s further education system. If you are 16 to 18 years old on the 1st September and have not studied the same subject and level course before, you are eligible to receive a fully funded course.
If you are 19 years plus, there are various options available that are case-specific and can be discussed with the Student Services team at the Isle of Wight College or a member of the education team at UKSA.
Where is the course normally delivered from?
All courses are mainly delivered from UKSA in Cowes however; you may do one of your theory days at the Isle of Wight College.