Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Level 3 Diploma for Entry to the Uniformed Services

Course Level: 

Level 3

Job opportunities after this course: 

Students completing the course have many options available to them. The skills and experience gained throughout the course will assist in the pursuit of a career in any of the military or emergency service organisations. These include:

The Fire and Rescue Service
The Police Service
The Paramedic Service
The Royal Marines
The Royal Navy
The Army
The Royal Air Force.
The Immigration and Customs Services
The Prison Service

In addition to the above careers, completion of the full 2 year programme could lead to the chance to go to university and study for a degree on a career related topic. This could open up new opportunities to join the services at a higher level.

Overview of the course: 

In year one, students will study for the 90 Credit Diploma. If they achieve a minimum of a merit grade in all units, they may progress to the Extended Diploma in year two. A BTEC Level 3 is a practical, work related course. You will learn by completing projects and assignments that are based on realistic workplace situations, activities and demands. As well as learning about the career options available in the public services you will learn some of the skills needed for a career in a uniformed public service. The course is the equivalent of up to three A Levels on completion of the Extended Diploma.

Entry requirements: 

Applicants require five GSCEs at 9-4 grades, including Maths and English. Exceptions may apply if a grade 3 at Maths or English is gained. Entry onto any course at East Durham College is subject to final approval from the Assistant Principal. Where relevant, the term ‘entry requirements’ also includes DBS checks, references, fitness to practice, etc.

Our entry requirements are in place to support our students in achieving the qualifications they have chosen to study. Following changes in the assessment and grading of GCSE’s as a result of Covid-19, all new full-time students will be regularly assessed by East Durham College at an early stage in their study programme. This is to ensure that students are enrolled onto courses which suit their abilities – following assessment, there may be occasions when learners are transferred to a relevant course at a higher or lower level in order to ensure they are enrolled onto the right course for them to achieve success.


The academic course forms part of a study programme what consists of several strands, these are:

• 14 hours academic public services course work
• 1 hour tutorial with your personal learning coach
• 36 hours of work based experience to support your class based learning
• Functional Skills or GCSE classes to ensure you achieve a grade C standard required by employers.

In year one, students will study for the 90 Credit Diploma The first year of the course provides the opportunity to learn about the areas of public service work that are the foundation subjects. These are subjects and skills that all public service workers need to have to be successful in their careers.

These subjects are:

• Government Policies and the Public Services
• Team Building and Leadership
• Citizenship and Diversity and the Public Services

In addition to the above units the first year will include units covering,

• Fitness Testing
• Emergency Service Incidents
• Navigation and Compass Work
• Crime and Society

On successful completion of the first year you may have the opportunity to progress onto year two of the course. The study programme hours remain the same as for the first year. The subjects that are covered in the second year of the course are:

• War, Conflict and Terrorism in the Public Services
• Skills for Outdoor and Adventurous Activities
• Police Powers
• Major Incidents
• Discipline in the Public Services
• Aspects of the Legal System and Law Making
• Volunteering in the Public Services
• Expedition Skills
• Team Sports

You will have the opportunity to visit the Public Services and see them at work. This should include the chance to board a Naval Ship, to see the RAF at work on a RAF Base. The chance to visit the Police and Fire Service and see what work they do.

Recruitment and careers teams will also visit you at college to inform you about your career options in the services.

How is the course assessed?: 

You will be assessed throughout the course in a number of different ways. These will be written assignments, presentations, observed assessments, professional discussions and practical tasks.

Further study options after this course: 

Completing the first year of the course will enable you to go on to the 2nd year and complete the higher level.

On completion of the course you will have achieved a BTEC qualification the equivalent of 3 A levels. If you have obtained the high grades throughout your course you will have the option of going on to university to further study a subject relevant to public service work.

These include;
Police Studies
Forensic Science

If you wish to progress into employment you will be given support in applying for your chosen public service when recruitment opportunities are available.

Length of the course: 

Full Time.
The 90-Credit Diploma is the first year of a two year programme. In the second year you will complete the Extended Diploma in Public Services. This full time study programme courses may also be available to study on a part-time basis if you are aged 18 or over on 31st August. Please check with Student Services for more details.


Peterlee Campus

When does the course start: 

September 2021


Fees for this course are;

Free if you are under the age of 19 on the 31st August 2021

Free if you are aged 19-23 on 31st August 2021 and do not already have a full Level 3 qualification – contact us to check your qualifications

Loan funded if you already have a full level 3 qualification or are aged 24 and over on 31st August 2021 - contact us to check your qualifications and for details of how to apply for an Adult Learner loan, which you won’t have to start repaying until you earn over £25,725 per annum.

Alternatively you may self fund the course. If you need to pay fees they are:


*you must have been a legal resident of the UK/EU for the last 3 years

*We make every effort to publish correct fees, however all fees are subject to change. Fees are correct as at the current time (11 Oct 2021 12:15) and are subject to change up to the date of enrolment. Fees quoted are payable annually

How to apply: 

To apply online for this course, please click on the 'Apply for this course' button below.
Alternatively, if you need assistance with your application or you would like to apply over the phone or using a paper-based application form, please call Student Services on 0191 518 8222.

Apply for this course

If you're not quite ready to apply for this course and would like some more information or to speak to a member of staff then send us an enquiry.

Enquire about this course