One question you might ask yourself when thinking of studying online is can you really get real qualifications by studying online. It all just seems too simple and easy, enrol online, study a course as and when you want and viola! you have qualification that others have had to study for years for. Too good to be true surely!
Actually, that’s not the case at all, yes, there are some courses online that don’t provide you with any form of qualification or recognised qualification, but there are courses online that do offer you just that! A real qualification that you can then use to either further you educational journey or get a job with.
How do I tell if I will get a real qualification?
Checking to see if a course provides a real qualification isn’t as difficult as it might sound. First things firsts, check with the online provider that is offering the course, make contact with them and have some key questions ready to ask, ones we suggest are:
- How many hours does the course take to study?
- Does the course come with assessments or any examinations?
- Who awards the course?
- What do I get at the end of the course when I finish it?
Any good online provider should be able to give you all the needed information over the phone or via email. It’s worth bearing in mind, that even a short course can provide you with a real qualification, but it always helps to know how many hours of study you need to expect.
Check to see how the course is assessed and completed, this is always key with qualifications, a course that has no form of assessment, tends not to be a real qualification because you are not having to prove your ability or demonstrate your learning.
The Awarding Body for the course is always a good indication. Look for courses that are awarded by well known names that you can research and check online, for example BTEC or CACHE, these awarding bodies often provide a qualification number for their courses so students and employers can easily check they are real qualifications. For example, the CACHE Level 3 Award in Health and Social Care has the qualification reference code 601/6108/5, this code you can search for on their website and see the full details on the course, so you know it’s a fully registered and certified qualification by CACHE.
It’s worth remembering too, even if the course needs you to sit your examinations with an external third party, it doesn’t mean the qualification you gain from this learning will not be real. For example, when it comes to A-Levels or GCSEs, you can study these online and learn everything you need to know ready for your examinations, but then you need to attend a local examination centre to actually sit the exam. But once completed, you will get a certificate that is exactly the same and of exactly the same value as one you would have received from studying at a school or college.
If you’re thinking of enrolling on a course and would like more help or assistance, Open College are more than happy to help and advise. Just get in touch and ask what you need to know.