What are vocational courses?

Posted by Poonam Dhokia on 03-Aug-2016 14:53:43

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What are Vocational courses

 The term ‘vocational’ is used a lot, but what does it actually mean? 

The dictionary definition of ‘vocational’ is ‘providing skills and education that prepare you for a job’ and vocational courses do just that – they give you the understanding and practical know-how to work in a particular role.

Sector-specific training and knowledge

Vocational courses prepare you for roles in a range of professions and industries such as engineering, accountancy, law, nursing, medicine, architecture and child care.

They are designed with the particular industry in mind, making the training they provide specific to the needs of that industry. So that means, you develop the skills employers are really looking for such as working in a team or dealing with clients and job related skills like setting up a green screen for photoshoot for a photogragher or learning about how to mix a hair dye colour for hairdressing.

What’s more, they’re designed to help you learn in a practical way too – through hands-on activities and work experience, as well as the necessary theory.

This style of learning gives you the opportunity to apply what you learn to real workplace scenarios, giving you valuable understanding and experience of real working life.

In addition to learning a range of job and industry-specific skills, you will also develop vital transferable skills that are relevant to a range of professions and sectors, including how to communicate effectively with colleagues.

A range of subjects

As vocational courses are all about the world of work, they cover a whole range of subjects, industries and sectors. This list gives you an idea of what’s available:


In terms of the qualification you’ll walk away with, there are lots of different types, including NVQs; BTEC Diplomas, Certificates and Awards; City & Guilds; Apprenticeships; and Access to Higher Education Diplomas, all of which are offered at various levels.

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Topics: College