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What Do Qualifications Mean?

Qualifications are given different names in different countries and colleges and universities throughout the world.  People can be confused by this and not understand how one qualification relates to another.  We are often getting asked what our qualifications mean, how they relate to other countries and so on. Our courses are designed to be suitable globally, so do not always fit perfectly into a national framework for qualifications.  

When looking at any course, therefore, it is important to determine if the course has the content, quality and time length that YOU are looking for. It is about finding the qualification that suits you and what you want to learn.

You might think that a qualification in the UK is the same as a qualification in Australia or America or the same as the certificate down the road, but this is not the case. A certificate, for example, may only require 5 hours of study in some cases, whilst at ACS it requires 600 hours of study. Our courses are detailed and in depth and for students who are looking to improve and learn, not just get a piece of paper.

When considering a course to choose, you should consider –

Quantity How long does the course take? Is it part-time, full-time? How many hours does it take? How long does it take overall? Can I study flexibly to suit me or do I have to do the course at set times each week? Do I have to attend classes or can I study by distance learning? All of these things affect whether you are able to study the course. You may want to sit in a classroom or you may prefer the flexibility of distance learning, studying when you want to.

Our courses are studied by distance learning, so are very flexible. You can study where you want to and when you want to. You can work at your own pace, studying full time if you wish or a couple of hours a week. We aim to be flexible and helpful to enable you to achieve what you want to achieve.

Level of Study For this, consider what the level of study is.  Many countries have created systems that designate and define “levels” of education. Level 1 and 2 courses are commonly certificates, and are intended to educate people for lower level jobs. Higher levels (perhaps 6 or 7) may be used for much higher level training, maybe at university. These systems can be an effective way of defining how complex a course should be; but different countries do use different ways to designate levels, and that leads to confusion internationally.
Level 5 for example, in one country might be used for vocational diplomas, but in a different country, level 5 may be used for university degrees.

Quality The time spent on a course is not enough to determine the quality of it. You also need to consider other factors, such as –
    What are the course materials like?
    How much tutor support will I get?
    What happens if I don’t do well at a topic?

At ACS, we provide high quality learning materials. You can see some sample course notes here.

Although our courses are all studied by distance learning, this does not mean that you do not get tutor support. Our tutors are all highly qualified, friendly and very experienced in working with students at a distance. They are more than happy to help with any questions you might have about the course.

If you don’t do well at a topic or don’t understand it, then you can ask your tutor for support. If you do an assignment and do not do so well, your tutor will provide you with detailed feedback and ask you to redo the assignment, ensuring that you understand the topics covered.

Career Success
The most important value of any course eventually, will be what you learn and how well you learn. If your learning is strong you retain it for life. If what you learn is fundamental to the subject; the information continues to have a relevance for decades to come, and will provide a foundation for working within that discipline in any place or situation, for your entire career.
Whether you do a level 1, 3, 5 or 8, might not matter in the long term, as much as what you learn initially, how that kick starts your career, and the fact that you continue to develop your knowledge and ability as you progress over the decades that follow.

So the level or title of a course is not necessarily the most important thing to be looking at when deciding to do a course. The most important thing to consider is whether this is the course that fulfils your requirements and what you want to study.

We are more than happy to help if you have any questions at all about our courses.  Please get in touch with any questions.

Click here for Free Course Counselling.

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