Progression Routes

Learners with Occupational Studies qualifications generally use them together with GCSEs and other qualifications for entry into further study, training or employment.

Occupational Studies qualifications are now widely recognised for progression to a variety of routes. However, learners do need to check with the individual colleges and employers that they apply to.

The new grading system that shows equivalency with GCSEs should make it easier for schools, colleges and employers to understand the value of an Occupational Studies qualification.

Below are examples of the main progression routes open to learners holding Occupational Studies qualifications. Hear some views about the opportunities that are open.

Training and Apprenticeships

Learners can use Occupational Studies qualifications for part of the entry requirements if they want to progress to a local training organisation, for example Springvale Learning in Belfast:

Elias Tinsley from Springvale LearningListen here to instructor Elias Tinsley from Springvale Learning.

Download MP3 | Download script

Employment

Some opportunities exist for direct employment or employment-based apprenticeships directly from school.

Elias Tinsley from Springvale LearningListen here to Roisin McKee from People 1st, the sector skills council for hospitality and tourism:

Download MP3 | Download script

Further Education

Colleges offer a wide range of training and qualification-based programmes. Learners can use Occupational Studies along with GCSEs and other qualifications for progression to these programmes.

Tom Heaney from Northern Regional CollegeTom Heaney from Northern Regional College explains:

Download MP3 | Download script

Special Education

Learners with special educational needs often get the opportunity to complete Occupational Studies at a local college. This can develop their interest in taking a course at the college after their time at school.

Grainne Dunne from Knockavoe SchoolGrainne Dunne from Knockavoe School talks about this:

Download MP3 | Download script

Sixth Form at School

Learners can use Occupational Studies along with GCSEs and other qualifications to return to Years 13 and 14 at school. There may be specific entry requirements for individual schools or courses.

Stephen Cotton from Drumglass High School, DungannonListen to Stephen Cotton from Drumglass High School, Dungannon:

Download MP3 | Download script

Higher Education

Entry to higher education usually depends on grades at Level 3/A Level, but local universities' admissions officers can place value on the Level 2 qualifications that applicants have achieved, including Occupational Studies. This does depend on the course and institution; learners should check the prospectus for each individual course.

Learners' Experiences

Learners who have achieved Occupational Studies in the past have used their qualifications and experiences for different career paths. For example:

Luke has started the Level 2 Diploma in Joinery at Southern Regional CollegeLuke has started the Level 2 Diploma in Joinery at Southern Regional College:

Download MP3 | Download script

Maria has progressed through training to a higher education course in Beauty Therapy at North West Regional CollegeMaria has progressed through training to a higher education course in Beauty Therapy at North West Regional College:

Download MP3 | Download script

Georgia has taken her interest in catering through to the culinary artsGeorgia has taken her interest in catering through to the culinary arts. She is winning national team competitions as she takes her Professional Chef Diploma at Southern Regional College:

Download MP3 | Download script