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PET funds 250 different courses, in levels and subjects not usually available in prison.

Courses range from beekeeping to bookkeeping and include GCSEs, A Levels, degree-level study and vocational qualifications.

Discover 2018’s most popular courses

Here you’ll find some of our most popular courses, and a list of what else is on offer.

Counselling and Mentoring | The Institute of Counselling | IoC Certificate and SQCF | Level 5 | Duration: 170 hours

Addiction Counselling

This course provides an opportunity to improve knowledge on current counselling practices, expanding into a number of areas and addiction types.

The course consists of the following units:

  1. The nature of addictions.
  2. Drug & alcohol addiction.
  3. Gambling addiction.
  4. Food and spending addiction.
  5. Sexual addiction.
  6. Internet Addiction.
  7. Using CBT to treat addictions.
  8. CBT in action – case studies.
  9. Addiction counselling.
  10. Addiction referral networks and resources.

Entry Requirements: Level 2 in English, but no prior counselling knowledge required.

Assignments: Five tutor marked assignments based on case studies, applying the theoretical underpinnings described in the course. The assignments are sent one by one.

Exams: No

Prison Support Requirements: Support learners to submit assessments and pass on the certificate when a course is completed.

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s Next? Certificate in Coaching (Level 2); Certificate in Mentoring (Level 2)

Find Out More: From the Institute of Counselling here


Engineering | Learn Plumbing | Level 3 | Duration: 100 hours

Advanced Plumbing Theory

This course offers progression from the Level 2 Learn Plumbing course, covering much of the supplementary knowledge required for Level 3 NVQs in Plumbing and Domestic Heating. Potential students must understand that this course provides theory related to the NVQ, but no actual qualification or even unit accreditation.

The course consists of ten units:

  1. Introduction to Level 3 and Interpreting Drawings and Data
  2. Domestic Heating System Design
  3. Special Needs Kitchen and Bathroom Design
  4. Domestic Pipe Sizing
  5. Costing and Planning Plumbing Installation Work
  6. Setting Out for Pipe Bending
  7. Building Drainage
  8. Domestic and Residential Sprinkler Installation
  9. Domestic Oil Installations
  10. Green Plumbing Technology

Entry Requirements: We would normally expect applicants to have completed the Level 2 Plumbing course, although qualified / experienced plumbers sometimes apply directly for the Advanced course.

Assignments: Ten assignments and multiple choice tests corresponding to each module marked and returned with feedback.

Exams: None

Prison Support Requirements: Support correspondence, and access to a CD player is preferable. The course material does include a CD-ROM with supplementary resources, but the course can be completed without it.

Tutor Support: Yes, via post, telephone or email (if prison staff facilitate)

What’s Next? There is no direct progression, but learners may wish to consider an IOSH or NEBOSH qualification to improve career prospects in construction, or the Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) course to complement these skills.

Find Out More: From Learn Plumbing here

Animal Care | Stonebridge | Level 3 | Duration: 140 hours

Animal Care

This course is designed to assist learners in understanding the basic needs of animals including: cats, dogs, horses, birds, rabbits, reptiles, amphibians, guinea pigs, hamsters and mice. Students will gain and understanding of the animals and their needs, covering topics ranging from anatomy to nutrition and health.

The course consists of the following 7 units:

  1. Cats
  2. Dogs
  3. Horses
  4. Birds
  5. Rabbits
  6. Reptiles and Amphibians
  7. Guinea Pigs, Hamsters and Mice

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English

Assignments: At the end of each unit there is a question paper

Exams: None

Prison Support Requirements: Support submission of assignments

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s Next? Dog Grooming Professional (Stonebridge), Horse Knowledge and Care Stage 1 (Open College of Equine Studies), Introduction to Canine Psychology (Animal Care College)

Find Out More: Via Stonebridge here

Project Management | CUPE International (Change Using Project Environment) | Association for Project Management (APM) | Level 3 | Duration: 40-50 hours

APM Project Fundamentals Qualification

This Project Management qualification is highly regarded and accredited by the Association of Project Managers. It covers a wide range of topics including management structures, risk management, communication and leadership.

The course has 18 modules that cover the following 10 areas:

1. Project Management and the Operating Environment
2. Project Life Cycle
3. Management Structures by which Projects Operate
4. Project Management Planning
5. Scope Management
6. Scheduling and Resource Management
7. Risk Management and Issue Management
8.Project Quality Management
9. Communication
10. Leadership and Teamwork

Entry Requirements: English Level 2

Assignments: None, but course materials include practice questions and the APM Body of Knowledge Reference Book

Exams: One 60 question, multiple choice exam

Prison Support Requirements: Organize and invigilate exam

Tutor Support: Yes

Find Out More: You can read more about the course provider, Cupe International, here

Agriculture | Horticultural Correspondence College | ABC | Level 2 | Duration: 160 hours


A course that delivers a good theoretical knowledge of arboriculture leading to an industry recognised qualification endorsed by the Royal Forestry Society

The course consists of five compulsory units:

  1. Soil Environments and Woody Plants
  2. Woody Plant Physiology
  3. Supply, Planting and Aftercare of Woody Plants
  4. Principles of Tree Surgery Operations
  5. Tree inspections and Common Law

Plus one of these optional units:

  1. Principles of Woodlands, Forestry and Ecology
  2. Principles of Aerial Surgery

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English, but no prior knowledge of this subject is necessary

Assignments: Each lesson requires an assignments which is marked and given feedback

Exams: None

Prison Support Requirements: Support / facilitate assignment submission

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s next? OU Access Module Science, Technology and Maths, leading to an open degree in Natural Sciences

Find out more: From the HCC’s website here

Visual Arts | NEC | Level 3 | Duration: 80 hours

Art History

The Art History course helps learners to explore different styles and artistic movements and gain a better appreciation of art in its historical context. Covering art history from the 15th century to present, learners will approach painting, sculpture and architecture from different cultures with a creative and insightful mind.

The course contains five modules:

  1. Studying art history
    a. What is art history?
  2. An introduction to art history
    a. Discussing works of art
    b. Themes and topics in art
  3. Art in context
    a. Historical and cultural contexts
    b. How art is made and displayed
  4. Painting, sculpture and architecture in Italy and Flanders from c.1400 to c.1520
    a. Painting in Italy and Flanders from c.1400 to c.1520
    b. Sculpture and architecture in Italy from c.1400 to c.1520
  5. Painting, sculpture and architecture in Europe and the USA from c.1906 to c.1980
    a. Painting in Europe and the USA from c.1906 to c.1980
    b. Sculpture and architecture in Europe and the USA from c.1906 to c.1980

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English

Assignments: This course includes 12 written assignments. Learners are expected to discuss already existing works of art (style, form, content) from a list supplied with the course.

Exams: None

Prison Support Requirements: Support submission and completion of assignments

Tutor Support: Yes (12 months)

What’s Next? 

Find Out More: OCA modules

Visual Arts | NEC | Duration: 80 hours

Art Techniques

This course helps learners develop their drawing and painting techniques. Learners will study and practice various concepts including line, tone, shape, and perceptive colour, whilst also gaining a more insightful understanding of leading artists. Please note that this course does not come with art materials - PET can consider funding these, but a separate application will need to be made.

The course consists of 4 sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. Still LIfe
  3. The Human Figure
  4. Themes

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English

Assignments: 10 drawn or written assignments. Learners are expected to submit their own works of art and write down their thoughts about pieces covered in the course.

Exams: None

Prison Support Requirements: As well as supporting completion and submission of assignments, prisons should secure some basic art equipment such as:

  1. Acrylic Paints
  2. Paper
  3. Brushes
  4. Drawing Media (Crayons, Pencils etc.)
  5. Sketchbooks

Tutor Support: Yes (12 months)

What’s Next? Art History via NEC, or Practice of Painting via the OCA.

Find Out More: via NEC’s website here


Beauty | Stonebridge | ABC | Level 3 | Duration: 140 hours

Beauty Make-Up Professional

This course is aimed at people who want to work in the beauty industry and become professional make-up artists, as well as those who want to improve their own make-up capabilities. It covers everything from face shapes and skin types, to cosmetics and corrective make-up techniques. No make-up kit is supplied so this would need to be separately sourced.

The course contains six units:

  1. Therapy Practice Skills
  2. The Skin
  3. Skin Types and Conditions
  4. Make-up and Tools
  5. Make-up Application
  6. Health and Safety

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English

Assignments: Six written assignments, one at the end of each unit. There is also a practical assignment which requires photographs to be taken of models who have been made over

Exams: No

Prison Support Requirements: 

Support completion and submission of assignments. Staff would also need to source make-up kit, comprising of:

Cleanser, Moisturiser, Face Primer, Beauty blender, Foundation, Setting sprays, Concealer/Corrector, Contour/Highlighting palette, Blush, Bronzer, Eye Shadows, Eye Liners, Eyebrow powders/pencil, Mascara, Lashes and glue (optional), Lip pencils, Lipstick/gloss, Makeup brushes.

Staff would also need to authorize and faciliate the photographs – models (staff or prisoners) would need to be made up and photographed.

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s Next? Business Start-UP (NEC), or Nail Technician Professional (Stonebridge)

Animal Care | The British Beekeepers’ Association | BBKA Certificate | Level 2

Beekeeping (Basic Assessment)

This theory course assists beekeepers with little or no experience, in preparation for the BBKA Basic Assessment.

The course has 4 modules:

  1. Manipulation and Equipment
  2. Natural History
  3. Swarming, Swarm Control and Effect
  4. Disease and Pests

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English

Assignments: The course involves a series of seven question papers, which are not assessments but a structure learning program. These are sent straight at the beginning of the course and learners should start working on them within the first six months.

Exams: This course does not include an exam, but it does prepare learners to take the Basic Assessment if they wish to take this upon completion of the course.

Prison Support Requirements: Facilitate correspondence and provide access to the BBKA recommended reading list.

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s Next: An Open University degree in Natural Sciences, starting with the Science, Technology and Maths YO33 Access Module.

Find Out More: From the British Beekeepers Assoication here

Animal Care | Compass Education | Level 2 | Duration: 120 hours

Birds Of Prey (Diploma)

This diploma covers raptors world-wide, including eagles, hawks, falcons, owls and vultures. The course explroes habitats, characteristics, origins and behaviours of various birds.

The course consists of six modules:

  1. Origins and Characteristics
  2. Eagles
  3. Hawks
  4. Falcons
  5. Owls
  6. Vultures

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English

Assignments: There are assignments for each of the modules, all of which need to be passes in order to gain the diploma.

Exams: None

Prison Support Requirements: Support learners with submission of assignments, and facilitate communication between the learner and personal tutor.

Tutor Support: Yes

Find Out More: On Compass Education’s website here

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