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BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Public Services – uniformed

A course combining academic study and practical work to prepare you for a career in the uniformed public services.
Course description: 

This work related course will give you an insight into the different uniformed public services from firefighter, the army, the police to mountain rescue, teaching and custodial care. Your qualification will help you understand the importance of teamwork and effective communication within the public services as well as the entry requirements and working environment for the services you are most interested in.

In first year you will study towards the BTEC Level 3 Diploma, broadly the equivalent to 1.5 A Levels. If you successfully complete this qualification, you may be able to progress onto the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in the second year. The Extended Diploma deepens the specialist work-related focus from the 90-credit Diploma is broadly equivalent to three A Levels.

You will gain an insight into the various careers within the public services, what they involve and personal qualities required so that you will be able to make a good choice for your next step. We have close links with the Police Force, Fire Service, Military, Prison Service and other public sector organizations and includes visits, guest speakers. You may also have the opportunity to take part in residential trips and development days with the armed forces involving field craft (the skill to move undetected), assault courses, team activities, workshops and talks to give you a good understanding of the role and fitness levels required.

In past years the course has included:

  • Visit to the courts, prison and Norfolk Constabulary in Wymondham
  • Speakers from probation teams, prison service, UK Immigration
  • Major incident planning with Norfolk Resilience Forum
  • Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and Norfolk Constabulary hosting a variety of activities

During the second year you will take part in an expedition in the Lake District with the Outward Bound Trust which brings together all the skills and qualities you have developed over the two years.

The course is structured into units, a sample of which are:

  • Crime and its effects on society
  • Citizenship, diversity and the public services
  • Leadership and teamwork in the public services
  • Outdoor and adventurous expeditions
  • International Institutions and human rights
  • Government, policies and the public services

Personal development is also an important aspect of the course to improve your self-confidence. You will develop a range of essential skills in communication, team work, leadership skills, problem solving and presentation skills that are transferable across a wide range of career choices.

Your level of fitness will improve through team sports, canoeing, climbing, off-road biking at Eaton Vale. Many of uniformed services require a certain level of fitness and you will learn how to improve this for entry into these services. You must therefore be willing to participate in practical element of the course.

This course is delivered through a mixture of lectures, workshops, tutorials, practical activities, outside visits and visiting specialist speakers from the public services. There is approximately 20% practical work and 80% classroom based.

In addition to your main programme, you will study English and Maths. Depending on your grades on entry, you will study either Functional Skills or GCSEs English and Maths. Please check our English and Maths page for further information.

Entry requirements: 

You will need to have one of the following:

  • Five GCSEs at Grade A* - C or grade 4-9 (including Maths or English)
  • BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Public Services (Uniformed) at Merit level or above.

You should be prepared to participate in the physical and practical elements of the course which may include warm up activities, team sports, adventurous activities such as canoeing and fitness assessments.

All applicants will be interviewed by a course leader and a pre-interview task will be given before this to complete. You will need to demonstrate your interest in the course and an understanding of public services.


You will be assessed through a variety of methods including some externally assessed core units and internally assessed mandatory and optional units. Assessment methods could include assignments, research projects and presentations.

Academic progression: 

After successful completing the programme, a high percentage of students progress onto degrees. These include City College Norwich’s Degree in Leadership in the Public Sector. Other students have progressed on degrees in criminology, psychology, forensics and law.

Career progression: 

The public services mainly involve working for the police, fire and rescue services, prison service as well as the armed forces. All of these careers are in the public sector, which is also includes jobs in the courts, local councils, schools and national government. There are a wide range of jobs, many of which where you can make a positive impact on society and your local community.

Providing you meet their entry requirements, you can enter employment with the Public Services sector. Please see the links below for further information on some of the careers


If you are under 19 years old on the 31st August prior to the start of your course, your registration and tuition fees will be funded by the government. In addition to this there will be costs for a uniform, approximately £70 and trips. Financial support could be available depending on your circumstances.

Please check our Finance pages for fee information and any financial help that may be available.

This is a Level 3 course:
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Course: Sports and Public Services
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Two years