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Public Services Advanced (Level 3)

This study programme will give you the opportunity to develop skills and experiences that will help you to pursue a career in the public services, and is ideal if you wish to join the armed forces, emergency services, paramedical services or Prison Service. The study programme will allow you to participate in a wide variety of activities, such as outdoor pursuits, fitness training and teambuilding events. You will gain valuable insight from current and former public services employees, as teaching staff have served as members of Armed Forces or emergency services. You will also have the opportunity to meet working members of the public services.

I completed my first year at sixth form but, because I’ve always been interested in a career in the armed forces or the emergency services, I decided that this specialist course at Bedford College would give me far more insight and practical experience to achieve my goal. In fact, everything that we have done on the course has been directly related to my future career, which is fantastic. Even my tutor is ex-military so he’s got direct experience, which is one of the best things about the course.

I enjoy the practical side of the course but the theory is also very interesting and relevant, for example we recently looked into how the UK is trying to combat terrorism.  We have been on a lot of trips, such as an expedition to Wales which included climbing Snowden, camping and mountain biking.  We planned and prepared the trip ourselves - the tutors were essentially bus drivers for the week! We also spent a week with the British Army at Beckingham Training Camp in Lincoln, which was tough but a lot of fun, and we have visited multiple RAF bases around the UK.

One of the things that I really wanted to develop before I started the course was my leadership skills and I’m glad to say that they have improved dramatically.  Specific leadership units on the course have given me a good understanding of what’s needed to become a good leader and how I can take those skills further when I go to Exeter University to study a Flexible Combined Honours (FCH) in Criminology and International Relations.

Courtney - Public Services Level 3 (Extended Diploma)

Entry requirements

To begin this study programme you will need... 

Duration: 1 Year
  • 4 GCSEs at grades A*-C or 9-4 ideally including English and maths 
  • Uniformed Public Services NCFE Level 2 Diploma at Merit level with Functional Skills

Course content

During the study programme you will learn about the types of careers available within the public services, as well as the application and selection processes. You will learn about the different roles that the uniformed services undertake and have an opportunity to perform them. You will also learn about fitness requirements for the public services and be tested against them. There will be opportunities to participate in a range of leadership and teamwork activities, as well as outdoor activities such as climbing, bush-craft, expedition skills, kayaking and camp-craft.

  • Subject units:
    • Government and the public services
    • Citizenship and diversity in the public services
    • Skills for water-based adventurous activities
    • Skills for land-based adventurous activities
    • Leadership and teamwork
    • Expedition skills
    • Physical prep
    • Fitness testing
    • Current and media affairs
    • Communications and technology
    • Command and control Understanding discipline
    • Land navigation by map and compass
    • Crime and its effects on society
    • Understanding war
    • Career planning
    • Major incidents
    • Exercise and health
  • English and maths:
    If you don't already have GCSE English and maths grade A*-C, we will work with you to help you develop your maths and English skills. 
  • Work experience
  • Personal development skills, study skills and employability skills 
  • Additional vocational learning and qualifications: 
    • Trips and exhibitions will form a key part of the outdoor activities programme and you will have the opportunity to attend various trips and expeditions within the local area and further afield, such as the Peak District, North Yorkshire and North Wales. There will also be the chance to join with other departments on trips, such as visits to Egypt and France. 

Assessment methods

You will be assessed though a variety of different methods throughout the course, including discussions, presentations, practical demonstrations, roleplays, workbooks and written tasks.


Public Services BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma


  • English and maths skills
  • Work experience
  • Personal development skills
  • Study skills
  • Employability skills

You can also gain up to 168 UCAS points. 

Further study and career options

On successful completion of this study programme you could apply for relevant job roles in the public services or undertake study at university.

Additional information

If you are aged 16-18, tuition fees, exam fees and College membership are free. However, there are additional costs associated with some courses. To take part in this course you will be required to pay a fee of approximately £45 for required clothing. Any trips/visits will be paid for nearer the time.

Funding information

All full-time Level 1 and Level 2 courses are now FREE for everyone, whatever their age. If you are looking to study a Level 3 qualification, courses are still free if you’re under 19 or 19-23 and studying your first full Level 3 qualification. If you’re over 23 or studying a second Level 3 qualification, you will need to pay a fee. Find out more on our financial support page at

If you are aged 19 or over you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay the tuition fees for this course. Find out more at You can also pay by instalments to help make the cost of this course more affordable.

Course information & how to book

To apply online, select the 'Apply' button below. You will need to register an account and then you can follow the instructions on screen.

LengthStart DateFees per yearLocationCourse Code
2 years 11/09/2017 Launch our fee calculatorFree if 16-18yrs. Are you 19+?
Launch our fee calculator
Cauldwell Street K646

Apply Online

Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.
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