|What UK courses are available?|
British qualifications are recognised internationally as being amongst the very best in the world. They can be gained at all levels, from basic to the most advanced, in a wide variety of subjects. For details of all the types of qualifications described below, see the publication British Qualifications, available at British Council offices.
Degree courses can be taken at universities, colleges and institutes of higher education, colleges of art and some colleges of further education. These institutions are regularly assessed to ensure that standards are the same throughout. Degrees are awarded at two levels: Undergraduate or 'First' degree and Postgraduate or 'Higher' degree - see our pages on Undergraduate study and Postgraduate study.
Vocational and Further Education
Vocational and further education courses are designed to prepare you for a particular career, or to give you access to higher education. UK qualifications include: National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ's) and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ's), Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) Diplomas and Certificates, City & Guilds awards, and Royal Society of Arts (RSA) qualifications.
In the UK, it is the law that some professions, such as architecture, medicine, and law, may only be practised by people who have obtained the appropriate qualifications. There are many other professions, from engineering and surveying to business and accountancy, which have their own professional association, eg the Institute of Civil Engineers and the Institute of Bankers. Professional bodies award their own qualifications based on examinations which they have set, but it is very rare that a professional body will conduct its own course of study. Courses leading to professional qualifications are instead offered by colleges and universities.
Advice on specific subjects of study
If you want to take a vocational, technical or professional course in the UK, you should first ask for advice from the relevant local association, or from a professional in your field. Details on UK qualifications in a variety of subject areas can be found in the British Council Information Centre. To make an appointment to use our reference materials, call us at 929 6915 (Jamaica) or 628 0565 (Trinidad).
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