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Public Services

Course Code: NPS1D

Level: 3
Subject area: Public Services
Awarding body: Edexcel
Qualification: BTEC, Diploma
Course type: Full-time
Time of Day: Daytime
Duration: One - two years

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About the course

Are you interested in a career as a police officer or in the army, navy, RAF or prison service? All these careers are classed as ‘uniformed services.’ City College Plymouth offers the City & Guilds uniformed service course, designed to help you achieve the physical and academic levels required for entry into these careers. This public services course will develop your skills, personal qualities, and knowledge for a career in the public service sector. You will complete physical and academic units which can be both challenging and enjoyable, enabling you to gain an insight into the work of the public services. The course includes a programme of physical fitness training and sport, as well as an extensive range of outdoor and adventurous activities, including Dartmoor/walking expeditions, camping, caving, kayaking and canoeing – all of which will help develop your teamwork and leadership skills. You will have the opportunity to visit various working military bases and operating fire stations to gain a valuable insight into the job roles they undertake. Guest speakers from the uniformed services will also give you the chance to find out more information from current serving personnel. In addition, you will have the opportunity to sit the Navy psychometric test.

What you'll learn

The course is broken down into two separate qualifications.

On the subsidiary diploma, you will study the following units:

  • land navigation by map and compass
  • fitness testing and training for the uniformed public services
  • practical team sports
  • skills for land-based and outdoor adventurous activities
  • leadership and teamwork in the public services
  • citizenship and teamwork in the public services
  • government, policies and the uniformed public services
  • crime and its effects on society.

You must successfully complete all subsidiary diploma units to be invited to progress onto the extended diploma where you’ll study:

  • skills for water-based outdoor and adventurous activities
  • understanding discipline in the uniformed public services
  • police powers in the public services
  • communication and technology in the uniformed public services
  • exercise, health and lifestyle
  • career planning for the public services
  • instructing physical activity and exercise
  • security procedures and the public services
  • aspects of the legal system and law making process
  • outdoor and adventurous expeditions.

Extra curricular activities:

  • kayaking and canoeing as part of the course and College activities
  • caving
  • outdoor and adventurous residential
  • expedition in Wales
  • Thorpe Park trip
  • work experience
  • rock climbing and abseiling
  • various opportunities for day or ‘look at life’ visits with uniformed public service employers

Public services is not just a course it is a challenge!

Your individualised study programme will be made up of the following four areas:

  • the qualification you are studying
  • English and maths
  • work experience
  • other activities to develop your personal skills e.g. preparing you for employment, training or higher/further education
Entry requirements

In order to gain entry onto the BTEC 90 Credit Diploma/Extended Diploma in Public Services you must be successful during an interview and have one of the following:

  • four GCSEs at grade 9-4 (A*-C) including English and maths at grade 4 (C) or above
  • BTEC first diploma at merit level
  • NVQ level 2/technical certificate
  • successful completion of an Apprenticeship course
  • relevant work experience

The course will be assessed internally by coursework and practical assessment.

What's next?

On successful completion you may progress to:

  • higher education course such as a Foundation Degree in Public Services at the College
  • an Honours Degree course at a range of universities studying criminology, policing or law additional industry related qualifications, for example physical training instructor’s courses employment in the armed forces and uniformed public services pending application, for example the police, fire and rescue etc
  • employment in the non-uniformed public services and leisure industry
Important information

Fees quoted apply to courses starting in the academic year 2018/19 (August 2018 – July 2019). There may be a slight increase in fees for courses starting 2019/20.


Course Code: NPS1D

Course Fees

A Full Course Fee: Not applicable to this course

B Reduced Course Fee (for those in receipt of qualifying benefits): Not applicable to this course

C Ancillary course costs (ie books and equipment): Not applicable to this course

D Advanced Learner Loan Fee: £2500

How old are you? How much will you pay?
16 - 18 This course is free for this age group
19 - 23 D(Note: If you do not have a level 3 qualification, this course may be free).
24+ D

Please note fees are quoted for one year only.