Vocational Access

This course is delivered at several locations. Please select your preferred location

About this course

Are you currently unable to access your chosen course due to not having the required skills, qualities, experiences or qualifications?  Vocational Access courses were created for learners like you.

Vocational Access Courses are designed to enable you to overcome barriers to accessing your chosen curriculum area, preparing you for all areas of studying at a higher level. Successful completion of this course coupled with a high level of attendance will give you a chance to progress directly on to your chosen area of study. 

What you will study

The Vocational Access course includes a range of practical and classroom activities designed to give you the skills, qualities and experiences necessary to meet your progression goals.  All Vocational Access students’ timetables comprise the following elements:

Vocational Pathway Sessions

You will be able to choose a vocational pathway so that you can experience what it will be like to study on a higher level course. These options not only help to build skills and help you to make decisions for the future but help to build valuable relationships with staff in other curriculum areas.

Vocational Pathways include Catering, Health and Social Care, Sport, Public Services, Media, Art, IT, Mechanics, Building Trades, Hair and Barbering, Beauty, Customer Service, Business, Plumbing and Electrical, Performing Arts, and Music. 

Essential Skills Development 

Your weekly Essential Skills sessions develop your English, Maths and ICT. Sessions will help to make you to live and study independently as well as increase academic ability. These sessions will be taught at Level 1, Level 2 and Pre-GCSE. You will work towards gaining qualifications to help you to progress onto your chosen course, with the option to retake your Maths and English GCSEs where possible. Small group tuition in a supportive environment will build your confidence and for those that require additional support, your tutors will also signpost you to additional in-house resources. 

Core Projects 

During your time on Vocational Access, you will complete two exciting projects to develop your ability to work and study independently. These projects will develop your confidence, teamwork, study skills, employability skills and the tools necessary to study at a higher level. The briefs for these projects will be set by external employers and charities and will give you real-life experiences to reference on your CV and at interviews. They will be delivered at Level 1. 

Personal Development & Tutorial 

You will work with your tutor to identify your strengths and areas for development, enabling you to create a development plan and identify suitable resources to help you to meet your goals. As well as group teaching you will have 121 sessions with your tutor to discuss issues and set bespoke targets.

Course fee per year

Registration Fee Payable on Enrolment: £30.00

Entry requirements

You must be able to travel to College independently. You may have previously studied at GCSE level or equivalent. You will need to attend an informal interview, undertake a College assessment and be working at a minimum of E3 in Communications and Application of Number. You must have the long term aim of going onto a level 2 vocational course.

Important points

  • The College welcomes contact with parents/guardians of students who are under 18
  • Additional support is available for students with learning difficulties and disabilities
  • Cardiff and Vale College is committed to inclusion and values diversity. We are determined to promote equality of opportunity and to treat everyone fairly and with respect
  • Cardiff and Vale College reserves the right to make changes to this course without prior notice
  • All courses are accurate at the time of upload or print
  • Courses can only run if there are sufficient numbers
  • Please note, if you choose three or more course choices, then you may be referred for a careers appointment first. This does not apply to A Level or GCSE choices.
Key information
This course is presented in several different locations, please choose the one convenient for you above.


What our students say

My first year at the College was Vocational Access in Barry. I did this course for two years, then I went on to do Level 2 Art and Design for a year, and now I am in my second year of Art and Design Level 3, so this is my 5th year in the College, I am hoping to go on to University next year. What I liked about the vocational access course was that it got me used to college before going on to the art courses. This year I have decided to repurpose a bag for my project, where the subject area was travel, but my passion is illustration. In my first year I made some good friends, and there were times which were hard and I was able to get through it and by the end I felt a sense of accomplishment.

Josh Barnett
Former Vocational Access student now studying Art and Design Level 3

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City Centre Campus, Cardiff
City Centre Campus, Cardiff

City Centre Campus,

Dumballs Road,


CF10 5FE

Barry Campus
Barry Campus

Cardiff and Vale College,

Barry Campus,

Vale of Glamorgan,

CF62 8YJ

Cardiff West Community High School
Cardiff West Community High School

Penally Road


East Cardiff Campus
East Cardiff Campus

Trowbridge Road,