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How Functional Skills Can Help You Get Into University

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14th June 19

What do people who aspire to become a Nurse, Doctor, Lawyer or Psychologist all have in common? They all need a university degree to secure employment in their roles. This can be said for many desirable and rewarding career paths, as a certain level of knowledge and training is required before you can assume the professional stance and legally work in the capacity required.  

Studying a university degree takes serious hard work and determination. You need to commit at least three years of your life to academic study, and many require practical assessments before your skills are signed off and you’re allowed to graduate.  

However, your hard work is typically paid off with a higher rate of pay and more job prospects than if you entered the working world unqualified. The work you carry out will also likely have much more meaning too since you’ve gone through the wringer to get into that role.  

The academic hurdles don’t just start at university though. You will need to tick the boxes for secondary and post-secondary qualifications to even get a look-in at degree level. Luckily, there’s a quick-to-achieve alternative for anyone without the necessary GCSEs.  

What Do You Need to Get into University? 

If you dream of going to university to access one of the many gated and coveted careers, you'll need to have a combination of GCSEs that are traditionally gained in your school years. While some degrees will like you to have certain complementary subjects, all of them will want to see a GCSE in English and Maths at grade C/4 or above, or an equivalent Level 2 qualification. 

You do also need a combination of A Levels or a Level 3 equivalent, but for the purpose of this blog, we are focusing on the Level 2 entry requirements. For information on how to go to university without A Levels, check out this blog

Back on the subject of the GCSEs required for university, if you don’t have English and Maths under your belt, your chosen university could ask you to get these GCSEs fast or even decline your application. 

Fortunately, we have a solution. If you didn’t study GCSEs in school or you didn’t get the grade you now need, a Functional Skills Level 2 qualification could be just what you’re looking for. These qualifications are accepted by most universities as an equivalent to a GCSE at grade C/4 and can be achieved in a much shorter amount of time. What’s more, they can also be studied from the comfort of your own home for ultimate convenience. 

How Functional Skills Can Help you get into University

The Benefits of Functional Skills  

Now, if you’ve never heard of Functional Skills English and Maths courses, you might be tempted to stick to more familiar territory and retake your English and Maths GCSEs. While this is a perfectly fine option, you would be missing out on so many of the benefits of these GCSE grade equivalents! 

If you’re wondering ‘Why do Functional Skills?’, just a few of the main reasons are below! 

They Are Easier to Learn 

Many people ask the question ‘Is Functional Skills Maths Level 2 hard?’ because they have horrendous memories of trying to comprehend complex mathematical sequences and formulas in GCSE Maths in their younger years.  

This, unless you’re a natural with numbers, isn’t something many people want to revisit and isn’t something they will likely use in their working or personal life post-degree. The great thing is, Functional Skills Maths, for example, does not comprise any algebra or some of the complicated formulae that you are typically expected to study as part of a GCSE.  

You'll be learning things in your Functional Skills Level 2 Maths course that can be directly applied to your everyday life and develop skills for life. It’s a win-win situation! 

The same can be said for Functional Skills English Level 2 courses, as the main focus is on learning English skills to help with everyday communication. Not analysing complex ancient texts or crafting your own poetry. 

They Are Tailor Made 

Unlike GCSE Maths and English courses that follow a set syllabus, our Functional Skills courses are catered to you. We will suggest which areas you need to study and once you feel confident on a certain topic, you can simply take a brief quiz on the subject to see how your learning is progressing and then move on to the next session. 

They Are Quicker To Complete 

If you’re wondering ‘How long will it take to get a Functional Skills qualification?’, the answer is, not long at all! Whilst many GCSE courses can take up to two years to complete, Functional Skills courses can be completed in just a few weeks.  

This is because the recommended guided learning duration for Functional Skills courses is 45 hours. This means that you could finish the Functional Skills Level 2 course in as little as a few weeks, depending on the amount of time you allocate to your studies.  

Once you have finished all of the course units, you can book your Functional Skills exam straight away, get your results and embark on a university course when you pass the exam with flying colours. 

Functional Skills online courses learndirect

More Employers and Universities Recognise Their Value 

Functional Skills Maths and English courses are designed to teach learners the practical application of both subjects so that they can get the most out of life, learning and employment. This has helped secure their position as the most widely used alternative qualification to GCSEs.  

This and the fact that Functional Skills courses are renowned for teaching learners applied skills, how to problem-solve and analyse situations through diverse assessments, means employers and universities alike recognise their value and Level 2 status too.  

It is worth noting, however, that while most higher education institutions accept these Functional Skills Level 2 qualifications, it is always advised you check with your chosen university before you submit your application, to avoid disappointment. 

Not Ready for Functional Skills Yet? 

If it’s been some time since you studied Maths and English GCSEs, or any other Maths and English courses, you might feel that your numeracy and literacy skills are way off the mark, and you need a bit of help before studying for an official qualification.  

Thankfully, we also offer free English and Maths courses that are designed as the perfect preparation for Functional Skills Level 2 English and Maths qualifications. So, if you feel a bit rusty and would like some practice to build your confidence, our free Maths course and free English course are an ideal choice for you!  

In the free online English course, you will explore reading, writing and speaking, listening and communicating fundamentals. In a similar vein, our free online Maths course covers the fundamentals of numbers, handling data and measure, shape and space.  

Enrol Today! 

If you’re interested in completing a Functional Skills qualification with us, take a look at our courses here or speak with our Course Advisors about our free English and Maths courses for preparation studies.  

You can call our team now on 01202 006 464 or contact us online with questions regarding your chosen course, whether it is Functional Skills English Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 Maths, or one of our free English and Maths courses.  

There are many options available and you can even have sessions with one of our qualified tutors if you would like some extra support! 

Don’t wait any longer. Sign up today and start your future now!  

Online Maths and English courses learndirect

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