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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.

Hospitality and Catering | Stonebridge | ABC | Level 2 | Duration: 80 hours

Snack Bar / Café and Fast Food Management

This course is suitable for those looking to improve their knowledge in the sector, and to operate profitably and professionally. Students will examine a range of topics enabling them to understand the broad range of tasks required to be successful in running a snack bar or fast food outlet.

The course consists of 14 units:

  1. Menus
  2. Recipes
  3. Purchasing
  4. Specifications
  5. Food Preparation
  6. Service
  7. Marketing
  8. Controls
  9. Standards
  10. Training
  11. Physical plant
  12. General Layout and Design Principles
  13. Safety
  14. Hygiene

Entry Requirements: None

Assignments: 14 assignments, 1 at the end of each unit

Exams: None

Prison Support Requirements: Support completion and submission of assignments

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s Next? Food and Beverages Management, Hotel Management (both Stonebridge), or IOSH Managing Safely (Clwyd Associates)

Find Out More: From Stonebridge here

Health and Social Care | Distance Learning Centre | ABC | Level 2 | Duration: 120 hours

Understanding Working in the Health Sector

This course is designed for students who are considering, or starting out in, a career in the health sector. It equips learners with underpinning knowledge and understanding of the sector and the wide range of roles within it. This course develops the knowledge and understanding needed to become an effective member of a health care team.

The course consists of six units:

  1. The role of the healthcare worker
  2. Communication skills
  3. Personal development in the health sector
  4. Health, safety and security in the health sector
  5. Understanding quality standrds
  6. Equality, diversity and inclusion

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English

Assignments: Each unit is followed by a written assignment (compromising a portfolio of evidence of learning), which is submitted and then assessed by your tutor

Exams: None

Prison Support Requirements: Support submitting assignments

Tutor Support: Yes, for up to 12 months

What’s Next? Level 3 Award in Health and Social Care RQF from NCC

Find Out More: From the Distance Learning Centre directly

Languages | Linguaphone


Linguaphone offers "Complete Courses" (Beginner to Intermediate to Advanced), in various languages. They are for learners interested in learning how to speak a new language, rather than gaining a new qualification.

The following languages are available:

English, Dutch, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Swedish, Thai and Greek.

Entry Requirements: None

Assignments: None – these is a self-assessed course.

Exams: None

Prison Support Requirements: Ensure access to a CD Player

Tutor Support: No

What’s Next? Another Language!

Find Out More: Linguaphone offer further information 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: No prior knowledge 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

Construction | ATM Safety | NEBOSH | Level 3 | Duration: 164 hours

NEBOSH Level 3 National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety

The NEBOSH courses are designed for safety practitioners who wish to take professional qualifications. They provide core health and safety knowledge that is transferable across both the private and the public sector. The qualifications are in great demand across a range of industries.

This course consists of three units:

  1. NGC1 – Management of Health and Safety
  2. NCC1 – Managing and Controlling Hazards in Construction Activities
  3. NCC2 – Construction Health and Safety: Practical Application

Entry requirements: GCSE or equivalent level of English Language

Assignments: None, but coursework completion is desirable and marked by a tutor (100 questions)

Exams: Two closed book exams on the same day for units NGC1 and NCC1. The NCC2 unit is a workplace practical assessment which needs to be submitted to the course provider.

Prison support requirements: Support to submit coursework; organise and invigilate exams. The Hughes and Ferrett NEBOSH book is also desirable.

Tutor support: Yes

What’s next: NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety (Level 6)

Counselling and Mentoring | NCC Home Learning | TQUK | Level 3 | Duration: 130 hours

Certificate in Understanding Substance Misuse

This course helps to develop increased understanding of issues and possible responses and interventions around substance misuse.

This course provides the student with knowledge and understanding that can be used by those who either personally, voluntary or professionally have a special interest in this field.

It is comprised of three units:

  1. Understanding Drug Use: Facts, Effects, Symptoms and Attitudes
  2. Understanding Responses to Substance Misuse: Legislation, Harm Reduction and Interventions
  3. Understanding Alcohol and Drug Use in Young People

Entry requirements: No prior knowledge required

Assignments: Series of tutor-marked assignments

External tutor support: Yes

Prison support requirements: Support learners to send off assignments

What’s next? Understanding Mental Healthcare QCF (Level 3)

Counselling and Mentoring | Stonebridge | NCFE CACHE (RQF) | Level 1 and Level 2 | Duration: 160 hours

Substance Misuse Awareness and Certificate in Counselling Skills (RQF)

This course provides accurate and up-to-date knowledge of substance misuse as well as counselling skills theories.

Prior knowledge required: None

Format: Paper-based

Structure: One unit of Substance misuse plus four units of Counselling related material

  1. Using counselling skills
  2. Introduction of counselling skills theories
  3. Diversity and ethics in the use of counselling skills
  4. Counselling skills and personal development
  5. Develop an awareness of substance misuse

Assignments: Level 1 – One written assignment on awareness of substance misuse. Self-assessed activities in a workbook plus tutor marked essay

Level 2 – Four written assignments for counselling marked by a tutor

Exam: None

Prison support requirements: Support learners to post their assignments

Tutor support: Yes

What’s next: TQUK Level 3 Certificate in Understanding Substance Misuse (RQF) from NCC Home Learning (Ofqual number 603/0154/5)

Find out more: From Stonebridge here

Counselling and Mentoring | Institute of Counselling | Level 4 | Duration: 200 hours

Certificate in Counselling

This is the Institute’s most popular course, having been successfully completed by people from various backgrounds and levels of ability. The syllabus will be particularly attractive if you are a person who wishes to help others and would like to acquire the skills and expertise to be more effective in that role. The course will provide you with a preliminary understanding of the skills and practice of counselling, as well as an appreciation of the personal qualities associated with the collaborative process of helping.

The course consists of the following units:

1.Introduction to Counselling Theory
2.The Psychodynamic Approach
3.The Behavioural Approach
4.The Person-Centred Approach
5.The Cognitive Approach
6.The Pastoral Approach
7.The Counselling Process
8.Basic Counselling Skills
9.Core Skills of ‘The Skilled Helper’
10.Professional Practice

Entry Requirements: None

Assignments: Five, marked by tutor

Exams: None

Prison Support Requirements: Support submission of assignments

Tutor Support: Yes

Find out more: From the Institute of Counselling here

Construction | 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: None

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

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