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The Level 3 Diploma: the alternative to A-Levels

The Level 3 University Foundation Programme is designed for learners who wish to progress to a business or management degree but may not have the traditional entry qualifications usually required. You will develop a wide set of skills that can be used for further training and development.

The National Qualifications Framework sets out the level at which a qualification can be recognised in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. A Level 3 qualification is the equivalent level to an A-Level, although it differs by having a framework which is specific to a particular industry.

What makes our Level 3 Diploma so beneficial?

  1. Convenience, comfort and flexibility

Forget about attending classes for hours, sitting in an uncomfortable chair and listening to the same voice. Stay at home and learn, you don’t even need to get dressed for class. All learning materials are provided via online platforms, so you can choose to study whenever and wherever you want.

  1. Earn while you learn

Going to university is an expensive business, so you need to ensure you are prepared for it financially. The flexibility of our online diploma course enables you to study and work at the same time, so you can earn some money for your university nest egg fund and gain valuable work experience.

  1. Innovative teaching resources

The online classroom utilises a range of new tech to make learning engaging and social. You’ll have the opportunity to take part in regular lively interactive forums, live streamed webinars and video chats with tutors.

  1. Faster completion

A full A-Level requires two years of study, while our online diploma can be completed successfully within a year. So, if you’d like to fast track your way to university within the next year, a diploma is the option for you.

  1. Focus on coursework

A-Levels are heavily exam-based, whereas our diploma is based around assignments and multiple-choice assessments. The focus on coursework is good preparation for university as the practice will enable you to develop your writing skills.

  1. Build unique skills

Online learning requires more self-reliance and stronger organisational skills than traditional classroom-based learning. Online learners stand out from the crowd as they have the self-motivation and drive to succeed.

Considering a diploma?

Check out our University Foundation Programme. The course is pitched at Level 3, the equivalent level of study to an A Level. On successful completion of the course, students receive an ATHE Level 3 Business Management qualification which is fully regulated by Ofqual. Students can then apply for admission onto a full Undergraduate Degree programme from a range of UK universities. Alternatively, students can opt to study our Level 4/5 Extended Diploma in Management and then go on to complete an Undergraduate Top Up at a range of UK universities.


A-Levels 2017: University isn’t the only option

For many years, university has been touted as the route to a successful career but since the tuition fee hike, many young people are reconsidering their plans to study for a degree. Given that the average graduate debt is at £50,000, it is not surprising that tuition fees are dampening desires to go to university. But fear not – there are plenty of viable alternative options to consider:

  1. Study a degree online

If you want to study for a degree but the high fees put you off, you could consider online learning. Online learning courses are comparatively low cost and a more affordable option to the traditional university route. In addition to this, you have the option to study flexibly so you can learn while you earn. With employers placing huge importance on work experience, the ability to gain this experience and study at the same time can have a positive effect on career prospects.

Earning a full Degree or MBA is a simple and low cost option with Online Business School. We provide students with the opportunity to can earn their diploma online and then top up to a full Bachelors or MBA degree through distance learning or on-campus through at a UK university. You can read more about our university pathways here.

  1. Start work

If you choose not to go to university, you can start your ascent of the career ladder much earlier than your peers. This is an opportunity to gain on-the-job experience and make valuable contacts. It’s up to you to acquire the necessary skills and training where you seek to be an expert. You could take an online course at home to increase your knowledge and make you more employable. And if you later decide that a degree will advance your career, then you could study online and earn while you learn.

  1. Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are a good way to combine practical training in a job with study. You will work alongside experienced staff and gain job-specific skills as well as get time for study related to your role. Roles are diverse and vary from engineering and boat building, to veterinary nursing and accountancy. Apprenticeships can take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on their level and you will gain a qualification.

  1. Gap year

If you’re not sure if university is for you or which career you would like to pursue, then you could take a gap year to reflect and focus on what you want to do next. A productive gap year can be valuable on your CV – that is if you use the time to gain new skills and experiences. You should form a plan of what you will do for the year whether it’s volunteering, getting work experience or travelling the world. You can earn and save money towards your higher education costs or future plans.

5 ways to prepare for A-Level Results Day

It’s a nerve-wracking time and your emotions are running high. Try not to agonise – we’re here to help you prepare as best as you can as the day draws near.

  1. Prepare yourself mentally

There is nothing you can do about your grades at this stage, so try to enjoy the remainder of your summer holidays. Try to take your mind off your results by doing things you enjoy – see friends, read a book, go for a walk etc. Although it’s natural to be nervous, don’t let yourself get too worked up about something you can’t change. If you’re feeling anxious, confide in your family so they can support you.

  1. Consider every outcome

It is sensible to prepare yourself for every eventuality. Think about different circumstances and how you’re likely to react. If you miss your grades, will you retake or will you apply via Clearing? If you do better than expected, will you apply for Adjustment? If you do well in a certain subject, will you change your course? If you feel your results aren’t accurate, will you challenge them?

  1. Have a contingency plan

No matter how confident you feel, it pays off to have a back-up plan in place. Do some research on which universities you’d like to go to in case you require clearing. Write down three points about why you like each university, you can then refer back to these if you end up applying via clearing.

  1. Explore all your options

Remember that university is only one pathway to higher education. If you don’t do as well as expected or you have changed your mind, don’t panic. There are different and more flexible ways to get a degree which may suit you better, from apprenticeships to distance learning programmes. If you’ve struggled with A-Levels and do not wish to resit, then you might want to consider applying for a Higher National Diploma (HND) course, which does not have an exam component and may allow you to skip 1-2 years of a University degree course.

  1. Treat yourself

Whether your results were what you were hoping for or not, you still had to sit through months of revision and exams, which means you deserve a reward. It’s highly likely you’ll have reached a conclusion about your future by the end of the day – have a treat waiting for you to celebrate this significant event!