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Study Programmes - A guide to choosing courses

Post 16 Study Programmes

Study programmes at Helston Community College are designed to provide students with a structured and challenging learning programme that is tailored to individuals and supports their development and progression in line with their career plans. They will typically combine the elements below:

  1. substantial qualifications that stretch students and prepare them for education at the next level or for employment
  2. English and maths where students have not yet achieved a GCSE grade 4
  3. work experience to give students the opportunity to develop their career choices and to apply their skills in real working conditions
  4. Other valuable experiences, such as enrichment activities, to develop students’ character, broader skills, attitudes and confidence, and to support progression.

Every study programme has a core aim. This is the principal activity or core purpose of a student’s programme and it will usually be the course that has the largest number of planned hours. The core aim for students at Helston Community College will be one or more substantial academic, applied or technical qualifications which prepares the student for further education or employment.

Where do I find subject information?
There are links over on the left hand side of the page (on a desktop), or via the 'show menu' button at the top of the page (for a mobile) and below:
Art & Design Fine Art
Core Maths
Drama & Theatre Studies
English Language and Literature
English Literature
Further Mathematics
Media Studies
Art Diploma
Business Extended Certificate
Food Science & Nutrition Diploma
Health & Social Care Diploma
Technical Level IT
Music Technology (RSL Subsidiary Diploma)
Psychology Extended Certificate
Sport & Physical Activity (OCR Technical)
Travel & Tourism Extended Certificate
Medical Science (National Diploma)
Construction Diploma
What's the difference between level 2 and level 3 courses?
If you are a more practical person and like a more hands-on experience, then level 2 work-based curriculum course sounds right for you and will lead to a suite of qualifications recognised by local businesses.
The vast majority of students opt for level 3 courses. If you want a more academic challenge and are considering Higher Education, then the A Level or Applied Level 3 route will be the one for you to follow
How many courses do I choose?
Most students doing Level 3 courses to select three or four courses in the first year. This can be either four A-levels or equivalents or three A-levels plus either core maths or the EPQ. The minimum number of courses must be equivalent to three A levels.
Is there a maximum number of courses?
The College will allow some students to study up to five subjects, but only under special circumstances.
What is the difference between A-levels and BTECs?
The main difference between the two types of qualification is how they are assessed. A levels are all assessed via terminal examinations taken at the end of the two years of study. Some A levels include coursework components, for example in Art, Music and Engineering. A levels are graded on the following scale: A*,A,B,C,D,E,U. All grades above a U are considered a pass.
Our BTEC, Medical Science, and Cambridge Technical courses consist of a greater proportion of coursework. All of these courses will have at least one exam, but this does not need to be taken at the end of the two years. The exams usually examine one unit in contrast to the A level exams which cover a greater proportion of the subject. There is also the possibility to retake these unit exams if needed. These courses are graded on the following scale: Distinction*, Distinction, Merit, Pass, Fail. Some of our courses at Helston are larger in size, and equivalent to two A levels. These take twice the time and students can achieve double grades following the same grading system. For university most applications all our level 3 courses are seen as equivalent to each other.