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Vocational & T Level

Pathways to Work and Independent Living

Subject Area
Pathways to Work & Independent Living
Start Date
September 2024
Study Mode
1 or 2 years
Entry Level 2 and above

The Pathways course is ideal for students working at Entry Level 2, Entry Level 3 and Level 1 who may require a personalised approach to learning designed to meet their individual needs.

The programme is supported with a high ratio of staff to students and is delivered through a combination of theory, practical sessions, visits, speakers, and work placements.

Each individual course lasts one year, and students may be entered for Entry 2, Entry 3 or Level 1 at the start of their time at College, depending on ability and prior achievements. The course is designed to be flexible and most students spend one or two years in Pathways.

Entry requirements

If you apply for Pathways, you will attend a guidance discussion where we hope to find out about you as a learner and give you a chance to ask any questions you may have about the course.

This also allows everyone involved in the process to determine if this is a suitable choice of course for you and parents/carers/support workers are welcome to attend the interview with you should you wish to bring them along. In order to benefit from this programme fully, we advise that you apply if you are currently working at Entry Level 1 as a minimum, as the work is aimed at Entry Level 2 and above.

What will I study?

Students study a range of units to develop skills that prepare them for both work and living independently. The following units are an example of what might be covered over the course of a year:

  • Effective Communication
  • Preparing for Work Placement
  • Healthy Living - including a weekly session of physical activity
  • Working as a Team
  • Candidate Project
  • Searching and Applying for a Job
  • Personal Finance
  • Enterprise
  • Community Project
  • Domestic Cooking

We focus on helping students to prepare for adult life and develop the skills and confidence to achieve progression to other courses, supported internships and work.

The programme also encourages students to develop personal, social and communication skills, offering an excellent opportunity to belong to a small, supportive group of students within the context of the wider College setting.

As part of the Pathways course, all students study English and maths at a level suitable for their needs, this includes working towards an award in English and maths where appropriate. Progression onto GCSE Maths and English is available for some students which includes joining classes in the wider college community to access this.

Students will also undertake a work placement on one day a week for a term of the course. This can be either supported 1:1 or undertaken with some support from staff who visit students regularly.

Additional Costs
If students are not eligible for a Local Authority bus pass, they will be required to pay their bus fares to and from work placement.

Some trips may require the student to pay bus fares and entrance fees.

Method of delivery

The programme is supported with a high ratio of staff to students and is delivered through a combination of theory, practical sessions, visits, speakers, and work placements.

How will I be assessed?

All the units are assessed by student portfolio which shows if the student has met the criteria. Evidence of student performance will be assessed using a range of different formative assessment methods in the learning and work environment.

Good course combinations

This is a full-time course. It is not possible to combine this course with other Vocational, Apprenticeship or A Level programmes.

Your next steps

Past students have progressed on to:

  • The next level within the Pathways programme
  • A bespoke programme offering a ‘stepping stone’ to the Vocational programmes whilst continuing to access Pathways for maths, English and some core modules.
  • Entry Level or Level 1 Vocational programmes
  • Open/supported employment

Learning in small classes with a higher level of support may help you to:

  • Develop study skills that will allow you to succeed on future courses
  • Increase your employability skills
  • Work on independent living skills
  • Improve communication skills
  • Decide on next steps and goals for your future
Walter Dickinson

“I chose the Pathways course at York College because it really interested me, I was excited about the different lessons and I wanted to make new friends.

To start with I was nervous and didn’t know what to say and do but I met friends quickly and everyone is really nice. The tutors are really friendly and are easy to talk to if you need help. The course is really fun to do and I really like it.”

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Pathways to Work & Independent Living department