Post 16 Collaborative Courses – Year 13 & 14

What options are available to Year 13 & 14 Students?

Year 13 Students returning to their schools after GCSE can complete most of their AS/A Level courses in their own school but they can also choose to study one vocational subject at South West College while doing their other two or three subjects in their home school.

These vocational subjects are equal to an 'A' level over 2 years and accepted by Universities for entry into most courses (students should check with their Careers teachers). They are also accepted by employers and professional bodies across the United Kingdom and in over 100 countries worldwide.

It is hoped that the subjects delivered at the South West College will give students an added dimension to their career prospects and curriculum vitae, setting them apart in today’s competitive market place.


BTECs are work related qualifications suitable for a wide range of students, built to accommodate the needs of employers and allow progression to university. They provide a more practical, real-world approach to learning alongside a key theoretical background.

How are BTEC Qualifications assessed?

From September 2020 some BTEC Qualifications offered through collaboration will be changing from the Advanced Subsidiary Diploma Structure to the new BTEC National Extended Certificate. The content of the units delivered in the Extended Certificates is very similar to the old Subsidiary Diploma, the only difference is that with the National Extended Certificate there is now an added external examined component. The examined component percentage varies from subject to subject (see details in the table).

In order to complete each unit, students must achieve against a set of outcomes. The assessment criteria address theory with practical exercises. The assessment process is on-going, so it allows the student to analyse and improve their own performance through their course, in much the same way as they would in a real workplace. The projects that students undertake form the basis of their unit results which are graded as a Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction*. These are equivalent to AS/A Levels and carry UCAS points.

The equivalent A Level grading system as applied to BTEC Level 3 is:

BTEC Level 3 Grade A Level  Equivalent UCAS Points
Certificate Distinction *   28
Certificate Distinction D 24
Certificate Merit E 16
Certificate Pass   8
Subsidiary Diploma Distinction* A* 56
Subsidiary Diploma Distinction A 48
Subsidiary Diploma Merit C 32
Subsidiary Diploma Pass E 16
Ungraded /Unclassified

BTEC Level 3 Certificate (Year 13) & Subsidiary Diploma (Year 14):

Post 16 EF Collaborative Courses

The following courses are offered to schools at Post 16. 

Subject Enniskillen Omagh Dungannon Cookstown
Agriculture Y Y    
Applied Science   Y    
Construction/Civil Engineering Y Y    
Engineering Y Y Y  
Hospitality Y Y    
Media – TV & Film   Y    
Media – Games Development Y Y    
Children’s Care Learning and Development Y Y    
BTEC Level 3 Sport Y Y    
Software Systems Development ‘A’ Level Y Y    
Moving Image Arts ‘A’ Level Y      
Travel & Tourism Y      
Performing Arts       Y
 NB The viability of all these courses depends on student uptake.


Post 16 BTEC Level 3 Subject Entrance Criteria

The College normally insists that any Level 3 student has a minimum 4 GCSE passes (A-C). For particular subjects where maximum numbers have to be applied we will consider the grades achieved by Students in their GCSEs. In some cases Lecturers will use subject relevant criteria. These are set out below:

  • BTEC Level 3 Agriculture – 4 GCSEs
  • BTEC Level 3 Applied Science – 4 GCSEs (including Maths and a Science)
  • BTEC Level 3 Children’s Care & Learning Development  - 4 GCSE (Including English Language)
  • BTEC Level 3 Construction - 4 GCSEs
  • BTEC Level 3 Engineering – 4 GCSE (Including Maths)
  • BTEC Level 3 TV & Film – 4 GCSEs
  • BTEC Level 3 Computer Game Development – 4 GCSEs (including ICT)
  • BTEC Level 3 Software System Development – NOT RUNNING (Sept 2017)
  • BTEC Level 3 Sport – 4 GCSE (including GCSE PE)
  • BTEC Level 3 Travel & Tourism – 4 GCSEs


BTECs allow students to move on to higher education, to progress further in their career, to start their career in a certain industry or in some instances give them the skills to start their own business. They allow the student flexibility and choice in what they choose to do.

Moving on to Foundation Degrees after Year 14.

BTEC courses  provide students with the perfect grounding to progress on to Foundation Degrees with South West College. Students selected to study on the Foundation Degree programme through South West College can complete the first two years of their Foundation Degree at South West College (different course options are available at Cookstown, Dungannon, Enniskillen and Omagh). The student finishes off their degree in the third year either at Queen’s University or the University of Ulster (depending on the course taken). Any students progressing to Honours Degree level complete a further year at Queen’s or the University of Ulster.

 For further information about any of the courses in or how to get involved with the programme please contact:
Michelle O’Flaherty – Schools EF Coordinator, SWC Omagh
Tel: 028 8225 0109 Extension 5414
or Email:
Dessie Gamble – Schools Liaison Officer, SWC Omagh
Tel: 028 8225 0109 Extension 5421
or Email:
Carmel Durkin – Schools EF Coordinator, SWC Enniskillen
Tel: 028 8225 0109 Extension 2329
or Email: