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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 2020’s most popular courses

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

| NEC | CAIE | GCSE / Level 2 | Duration: 150 hours

Combined Science IGCSE

This course explores the basic principles and applications of biology, chemistry and physics. You learn key scientific concepts, as well as their application in the world, including the impact on technology and the environment.

The course consists of the following lessons:

  1. Physics (Motion, Matter, Energy)
  2. Chemistry (Atoms, Molecules, Bonds)
  3. Biology (Cells, Nutrients and Nutrition)
  4. Physics 2 ( Waves, Light, Electromagnetic Spectrum)
  5. Chemistry 2 (Electricity, Acids, Reactivity, Ions and Gases)
  6. Biology 2 (Transport, circulation, respiration, co-ordination)
  7. Physics 3 (Sound, electricity, circuits)
  8. Chemistry 3 (Metals, reactions, fuels)
  9. Biology 3 (Reproduction, ecosystems)

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English

Assignments: 10 assignments (corresponding to the 9 units above plus one introductory assignment). These do not count towards the final grade.

Exams: Three exams:

Paper 1 – 45 minutes (30% of marks)
Paper 2 or 3 – 1 hour 15 mins (50% of marks)
Paper 6 – 1 hour (20% of marks)

Prison Support Requirements: Support completion and submission of assignments. Organize and facilitate exams.

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s Next? Open University Access Module YO33: Science, Technology and Maths

Find Out More: via NEC’s website here

Counselling and Mentoring | Stonebridge | QCF | Level 2

Counselling Skills

This qualification will introduce learners to the use of counselling skills in everyday life and also some of the approaches that underpin the use of these skills. Learners will also explore how to engage in a counselling interaction effectively. This qualification does not qualify learners to practise as a counsellor, however, it may be a useful stepping stone for further progress.

The course consists of four units:

  1. Unit 1. Counselling Skills
  2. Unit 2. Introduction to Counselling Skill Theory
  3. Units 3. Diversity and Ethics in the Use of Counselling skills
  4. Unit 4. Counselling Skills and personal development

Entry Requirements: English Level 2, but no previous experience in counselling is required

Assessments: Four written tutor marked assignments (one for each unit, sent one by one)

Exams: None

Prison Support Requirements: Support assignment submissions

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s next? Certificate in Understanding Substance Misuse (Level 3); Understanding Mental Health Care QCF (Level 3)

Find out more: On Stonebridge’s website here

Business and Management | Rocketeer | Level 3 | Duration: 120 hours

Creating and Starting a Digital Business

This course is ideal for people looking to launch a small local enterprise, or those with aspirations to run a global digital company. The course covers marketing, business planning, finance and networking, taking you from the business conception through to making your first sale. It also ensures learners are up to date with current technological possibilities.

The course consists of 5 steps:

Step 1: Research – How to Find Your Money-Making Opportunity
Step 2: Choose – How to Narrow Down the Right Business Idea for You
Step 3: Design – Plan For Success
Step 4: Build – How to Construct Your Business
Step 5: Launch – How to Start Making Money

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English and Maths

Assignments: Each module has a number of self-assessed tasks and activities. Once these are completed, this creates the basis for a business plan. A “Business Plan Generator” is included with the course.

There are also three additional comprehensive assessment sections – these are submitted and marked before the certificate is issued.

Exams: None

Prison Support Requirements: Support learners through units and submit assessments

Tutor Support: Rocketeer offer email and phone support if required. Students can also access Rocketeer’s platform for 12 months after realase at no charge to continue their study.

What’s Next? Principles of Management Level 3 RQF (NCC Home Learning)

Find Out More: Rocketeer provide more information here

Writing and Proofreading | NEC | Unaccredited | Level 3 | Duration: 30 - 60 hours

Creative Writing – NEC

For those who enjoy writing and are interested in learning more about its technical side, this course gives the underlying knowledge to improve techniques and boost your confidence in writing.

This course looks at writing in different styles, covering all the skills and techniques used in fiction writing. As well as taking a close look at methods used in fiction, students will have a go at writing non-fiction material, such as for magazine articles. It’s a broad and wide-reaching course that will test writing skills and challenge students to write in new ways.

Units: Autobiography, Short stories, Novels, Younger readers, Genre, Play writing, Poetry, Non-fiction, Articles, Reviews

Entry requirements: Level 2 English

Course format: Paper-based. No set texts or resources necessary

Assignment: Eleven tutor-market assignments

External tutor: Yes

Prison support requirements: Support to submit assignments

What’s next? AS English Language or Literature, OU Access course Y031 Starting with Arts and Languages


Navigation | East Anglian Sea School | RYA | Level 2 | Duration: 40 hours

Day Skipper Theory

The Day Skipper Theory course enables learners to develop a comprehensive knowledge of seamanship, navigation, and meteorology. Suitable for sailors and motor boaters, this course will enable learners to be competent enough to theoretically navigate around familiar waters by day.

The course comprises of 15 lessons:

  1. Nautical Terms
  2. Ropework
  3. Anchor Work
  4. Safety
  5. International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
  6. Navigation
  7. Compass
  8. Chartwork
  9. Tides and Tidal Streams
  10. Visual Aids to Navigation
  11. Meteorology
  12. Passage Planning
  13. Navigation in Restricted Visibility
  14. Pilotage
  15. Marine Environment

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English and Maths

Assignments: Self-assessments in the workbook

Exams: 2 final exams where learners need to provide short and long answers, using the charts provided in the materials. Exams are two hours long and cover the whole syllabus.

Prison Support Requirements: Support completion and submission of coursework. No additional equipment is required, but access to a Portland plotter and divider are recommended

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s Next? Either of the other EASS theory courses PET offer: Yachtmaster Ocean, or Coastal Skipper 

Find Out More: via the EASS here

Health and Social Care | BSY | ABC, BSY Certificate | Level 2

Deaf Awareness and Sign Language

This course enables learners to develop a better understanding of the challenges that deafness can bring. Learners will also study British, American and Spanish sign language, the deaf-blind manual alphabet, and the block alphabet.

The course consists of 4 lessons:

Lesson 1
Deafness and Personal Hearing Aids
Reactions to Deafness
Problems that Deaf People Cope With
What is a Hearing Aid?
Disadvantages of a Hearing Aid

Lesson 2
Technology / How to Help a Hearing Aid User
Cochlear Implants
Expectations and Limitations
How to Help a Hearing Aid User

Lesson 3
Conditions / Communication Methods
Silent Communication
Spoken Communication
The History of Sign Language
British Sign Language (BSL)

Lesson 4
Sign Language Alphabets / Sense
American Sign Language
The Alphabet
Spanish Sign Language Alphabet
The Deafblind Manual Alphabet
Block Alphabet
‘Sense’ and Government Guidance on Deafblind Services

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English

Assignments: Self-assessed questions at the end of each lesson

Exams: Upon completion of all lessons, learners can take a written, open-book, non-invigilated exam, comprising of 10 questions. This should then be submitted via post.

Prison Support Requirements: Support completion and submission of lessons and exam materials.

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s Next? An Open University Access Module, such as People, Work and Society (YO32)

Find Out More: Directly from BSY here

Visual Arts | Open College of the Arts (OCA) | OCA | Level 4 | Duration: 400 hours

Drawing 1: Drawing Skills

This is a standalone course that develops fundamental drawing techniques such as using line and tone, and understanding perspective, proportion and form. You'll also be encouraged to explore and experiment with surface, scale and media. Please note that learners will need to self-fund or secure a bursary from the OCA for part of the cost of this course, before applying to PET for the remaining £500. 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 5 parts:

  1. Form and Gesture
  2. Intimacy
  3. Expanse
  4. The Figure and the Head
  5. Personal Project

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English. No previous art qualifications are required, but a portfolio of drawings must be submitted to the OCA for approval in order for them to offer a bursary.

Assignments: 5 assignments, corresponding to the 5 units. The first is a diagnostic assignment, and not submitted for formal assessment.

Exams: None

Prison Support Requirements: Prisons should secure some basic study equipment such as pencils, paper and a sketchbook. They should also facilitate communication with tutors, and submit assignments. Students can apply to PET for the basic materials if these cannot be sourced internally.

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s Next? Another OCA Module, such as Painting 1: Understanding Painting Media, or Painting 1: Practice of Painting

Find Out More: From the OCA here

Business and Management | NEC | Edexcel | A-Level | Duration: 150 hours

Economics A-Level Goldstar Part 2

Continuing on from Part 1, this course will help learners obtain a full A-Level in Economics should they take all the exams. It focuses on markets and macroeconomic policy.

Goldstar A-Levels are provided as Parts 1 and 2. After studying Part 1, learners choose to either take the AS exam (gaining an AS-Level qualification) or they can study Part 2 and take all exams after that, gaining a full A-Level.

Part 1 contains lessons 1-6, and Part 2 contains 7-10:

7. The Business Environment
8. Choosing Strategic Direction
9. Strategic Change
10. Managing Strategic Change

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English and Maths

Assignments: 4 written assignments – one for each lesson. These do not contribute towards the final grade.

Exams: Three exams, each are two hours long. Two contribute 35% of the overall grade, and the final exam makes up the remaining 30%.

Prison Support Requirements: Support completion and submission of assignments. Facilitate and invigilate exams.

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s Next? OU Access Modules Y032, People, Work and Society, or YO33, Science, Technology and Maths

Find Out More: From NEC here

Business and Management | NEC | Edexcel | AS-Level / Level 3 | Duration: 150 hours

Economics AS-Level Goldstar Part 1

Economics shapes how we allocate limited resources and measures the impact of our choices. You’ll study the UK and global economy; using economic theory to analyse issues and present your ideas and conclusions in a clear, logical way. If you’re pursuing a career in business, finance or politics, this qualification is useful and the course will also build your problem-solving, analytical and decision-making skills, in readiness for a wide range of future career and university choices.

Goldstar A-Levels are provided as Parts 1 and 2. After studying Part 1, learners choose to either take the AS exam (gaining an AS-Level qualification) or they can study Part 2 and take all exams after that, gaining a full A-Level.

The course consists of five units:

1. Introduction to economics
2. Supply and price
3. Market failure and government intervention
4. The UK economy – performance measures
5. The UK economy – income, growth, and policies
6. Business Behaviour

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English and Maths

Assignments: 7 written assignments (corresponding to the above units, plus one introductory assignment). These do not contribute toward the final grade.

Exams: Two – each are 1 hour 30 minutes, and contribute 50% of the overall grade

Prison Support Requirements: Support completion and submission of assignments. Organize and facilitate exams.

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s Next?  Goldstar Part 2, or OU Access: People, Work and Society (Y032), or Science, Technology and Maths (Y033).

Find Out More: From NEC here

Education and Advice | NEC | RQF, TQUK | Level 3 | Duration: 55 hours

Education and Training Award

This course replaces the old 'Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector' (PTTLS) qualification, and is the first step towards a career in post-16 or adult level teaching or training. It will teach you how to plan, deliver and assess effective learning.

The course consists of 4 main units:

  1. Roles, Responsibilities, and Relationships
  2. Assessment in Education and Training
  3. Inclusive Teaching and Learning
  4. Planning and preparation

Entry Requirements: English Level 2. Applicants must be over 19 years old, If you are successful in applying to PET, NEC also require you to fill in an additional enrolment form before your course materials are dispatched.

Assignments: Four tutor marked assignments

Exams: Yes – one practical exam of a 15 minute teaching session (to be awarded the full Award)

Prison Support Requirements: Facilitate completion and submission of assignments, plus exam if possible. (This can also be done after release if necessary). Completion and submission of the additional enrolment form is also required.

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s Next? Teaching skills can be useful in many areas, so depending on the area of interest of the applicant, they can apply for any of our vocational or academic courses. PET also offer TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) at Level 5.

Find Out More: From NEC here

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