student demonstrating skills learnt on one of our catering and hospitality courses


The courses on offer at Greenbank College include vocational qualifications (VQs) – courses that prepare you to do a particular type of job. We also offer courses that help build your functional skills, help get you engaged in activities, develop your skills, increase confidence and well-being.


Courses are available in these areas


Why study for a vocational qualification?

Achieving a vocational qualification can help you to:

  • Get the skills that you need to start work
  • Help you decide whether it is the job you want to do
  • Develop your career
  • Go on to further learning

Vocational qualification levels can be compared to other qualifications. Entry and Level 1 qualifications build confidence and help people prepare for further learning and work. Level 2 is the equivalent of grades A* to C / 9 – 4 at GCSE and Level 3 qualifications are equivalent to A Levels.

How different qualifications compare:

Level Academic Qualifications Vocational Qualifications Entry Requirements
  • For learners with no formal qualifications.
1 GCSE grade
D – G / 3 – 1
NVQ Level 1
  • For learners with Entry Level qualifications
2 GCSE grade
A* – C / 9 – 4
NVQ Level 2
  • For learners who have not yet achieved 5 GCSEs at grade A* – C / 9 – 4 or an equivalent Level 1 qualification.
  • Must have or be working towards Level 1 English and maths.
3 NVQ Level 3
  • For learners with more than 5 GCSEs at grade A* – C / 9 – 4 or an equivalent Level 2 qualification.
  • Must have or be working towards Level 2 English and maths.
4 Foundation Degree
  • For learners with AS / A Levels or equivalent Level 3 qualification.