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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.

Accounting and Finance | Sage Qualifications | CIMA | Level 5

CIMA Accredited Sage Higher Certificate (Level 5)

Sage have partnered with CIMA to create a course to provide learners with the full range of skills to boost the benefits of Sage 50 Accounts.

The course consists of three units:

  1. Introduction
  2. Sole Trader Accounts, and Year End Process
  3. Controlling Cash, Limited Liability Partnerships, Importing Data, and Limited Companies

Entry Requirements: CIMA Level 4 Certificate and / or experience with Sage 50 software

Format of course material: CD-ROM and paper-based. To complete the course, however, learners will require IT access.

Assignments: Self-assessed practical tests

Exams: Two tests; a case study and a summative test after the completion of the above units (1.5 hours)

Prison Support Requirements: Ensure learner has adequate IT time and access; organize and invigilate exams

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s next? OU Modules: Starting with Science, Technology and Maths (y033 Access), or Fundamentals of Accounting (B124 Level 1).

Find out more: On Sage’s website here

Navigation | East Anglian Sea School | RYA | Level 3 | Duration: 40 hours

Coastal Skipper Yachtmaster

This is an advanced navigation course that progresses from the Day Skipper course. Students will develop further knowledge and skills on navigation, pilotage, collision regulations and meteorology.

The course has 17 lessons:

  1. Position
  2. The magnetic compass
  3. Tides
  4. Tidal Streams
  5. Buoyage
  6. Lights
  7. Pilotage
  8. GPS and chart plotters
  9. Echo sounders
  10. Logs (speed and distance measuring)
  11. Deck log
  12. Meteorology
  13. Rules of the Road
  14. Safety at Sea
  15. Navigation in restricted visibility
  16. Passage planning
  17. Marine Environment

Entry Requirements: Learners must complete the RYA Day Skipper course before applying

Assignments: Self-assessments within the workbook

Exams: Three final exams – learners will need to provide short and long answers using the charts provided. Each exam is 2 hours long, and covers 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? Yachtmaster Ocean, also from the EASS.

Find Out More: Directly from the EASS here

| 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

Horticulture | Horticultural Correspondence College | HCC | Level 3 | Duration: 117 hours

Conservation Studies

This introductory course aims to give you a solid understanding of the conservation and ecology of the British countryside and environment. Learners will study different habitats and their management - from woodlands and wetlands to hedgerows and heathlands - and learn about ecological principles, historical background and relevant legislation.

The course has ten lessons:

  1. Tree biology and woodland ecology
  2. Hedgerows and verges
  3. Wetlands
  4. Heathlands
  5. Seashore conservation
  6. Access to the countryside
  7. Agriculture and habitat
  8. Towards a sustainable society
  9. The urban fringe and urban wildlife
  10. Conclusions and perspective

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English

Assignments: Ten tutor marked written assignments

Exams: None

Prison Support Requirements: Support submission of assignments and facilitate tutor support

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s Next? RHS Level 3 Horticulture courses, such as Level 3 Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting from HCC.

Find Out More: From HCC here 

Construction | Study House | ABC | Level 3

Construction Technologies Theory

This course provides a foundation in the principles of construction and the skills involved. You will learn about construction design, planning processes, construction materials and explore a range of traditional and modern construction methods.

The course contains three units:

  1. Health, Safety and Welfare in Construction and the Built Environment (60 hours)
  2. Science and Materials in Construction and the Built Environment (60 hours)
  3. Construction Technology and Design in Construction and Civil Engineering (60 hours)

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English and Maths, but no prior knowledge or qualifications required

Assignments: Three tutor marked assignments – one for each unit

Exams: No

Prison Support Requirements: Support and send off correspondence and assignments

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s Next? Diploma in Sustainable Construction (Level 4)

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


Writing and Proofreading | The Writers Bureau | Unaccredited | Level 3

Creative Writing – The Writers’ Bureau

This popular course is very wide-ranging and comprehensive, and is suitable for those who wish to develop their writing skills for pleasure, but also for those looking for a course that will help get published. The course is written by professional writers and all the tutors are themselves published. You will learn about style, presentation, copyright, and how to sell your writing.

This course consists of ten units:
1. Your writing style
2. Selling your work
3. Article Writing
4. Legal and business aspects
5. Non-fiction
6. Novels
7. Short stories
8. Characters and dialogue
9. Genre Fiction
10. Writing for TV, radio and theatre

Entry Requirements: Level 2 English

Assignments: 10 tutor marked assignments – one for each unit

Exams: None

Prison Support Requirements: Submission of assignments

Tutor Support: Yes

What’s Next? AS Level English (Literature or Language), OU Access Module Y031, Starting with Arts + 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

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