What is the difference between Functional Skills and GCSEs?
Functional Skills are designed to equip learners with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life, education and work. They teach practical skills in English, Maths and ICT that are often taken by learners studying vocational qualifications. Functional Skills form part of many apprenticeship frameworks in England and are also widely accepted as an alternative to GCSE qualifications by employers and educational institutes. To find out more about studying Functional Skill to gain access to higher education and University click here.
GCSE’s are widely recognised qualifications that are most commonly sat during secondary school and are seen as more academic qualifications than Functional Skills. GCSE’s are often taught over a two year period and the technical maths skills required by GCSE are far wider and more complex than those needed for functional mathematics. For example topics such as; Index notation, complex algebra and factors do not feature in Functional Skills level 2 maths but do so in the GCSE.
For learners without a GCSE grade C to A* Functional Skills can provide a great alternative. They can be studied for online, enable you to access University or employment opportunities and can be completed in a relatively short amount of time.
What will I study at each course level?
Can I study from home?
Our range of Functional Skills courses can be accessed from anywhere with a good internet connection, making it even easier to study from home. Many of our learners have busy lives and a number of commitments, so the flexibility of studying from home is ideal.
How soon can I start and how long will it take?
We can get you started almost immediately, we will just need to take some details and can then send you your login information. On average the course takes learners between 8 and 12 weeks however we have had learners complete the course very quickly and similarly if you need longer we allow up to a year for all of our Functional Skills courses.
Do universities accept Functional Skills?
Hundreds of learners have completed Functional Skills with Runway Training and then gone on to further study at University. Whilst the vast majority of Universities do accept Functional Skills we do ask that you contact the University you are applying to ensure they will accept Functional Skills.
How do I book an exam and where do I sit my exam?
Once you are exam ready then please contact your learning adviser who will be able to book you in. To enable us to schedule in your exam we ask that you book at least 2 weeks prior to your intended exam date to avoid disappointment.
When will I get my results and certificate?
The length of time taken to receive your result will vary subject to time of year and the awarding organisation chosen to sit your final exam with. As soon as we receive notification of your result we will contact you to let you know. Once your certificate has been received in the office it will then be sent out in the post. Scans of certificates and confirmation letters are available on request.
What phone and email support is available?
If you are studying with Runway Direct you can expect telephone and e-mail support throughout your qualification. This support covers any technical issues, questions around the mechanics of the qualification or help if you’re struggling to understand a particular assessment. For more dedicated tutor support and session concerning a particular topic we recommend looking at our Runway Plus packages or sourcing a private tutor.
How much does it cost and how do I pay?
The cost of the course will depend on whether we have funding available for your region and whether you meet eligibility criteria. For paid for courses you will need to speak to our Functional Skills team who will take some details and advise you accordingly. Payment can be made by internet banking or by using our SagePay portal.
Is there funding available to cover course costs?
From time to time we have funding available for certain regions and so are able to offer free functional Skills courses. However this is subject to eligibility so it is always worth getting in contact to see if you are eligible.