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What are vocational subjects?

(15 Posts)
CeciC Mon 10-Oct-11 21:46:48

My DD1 and me went tonight to an open day for secondary school. The HT said in her speach that they don't teach vocational subjects in Sixth Form.
What are they? Is just for information.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 10-Oct-11 21:51:56

as per Maureen Lipman

noblegiraffe Mon 10-Oct-11 22:04:54

Probably things like NVQs rather than A-levels.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 10-Oct-11 22:31:30

general studies
human biology
the ones NOT on the Russell Group list - and rightly so

cricketballs Mon 10-Oct-11 22:54:46

sorry TalkinPeace2 but you are sounding very judgypants - but some students actually want to study 'vocational subjects' to A level, rather than doing a BTEC etc and are mroe liekly to achieve in these subjects than the traditional academic subjects

vixsatis Tue 11-Oct-11 08:28:04

Vocational subjects are those which are not purely academic but which involve learning skills useful for a particular job. Food technology, graphic design, travel and tourism etc. are vocational.

Maths, chemistry, english literature, french etc. are academic.

I would say that psychology, sociology etc. are academic rather than vocational but that they are widely considered to be less demanding than the traditional academic subjects.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with vocational subjects; but for anyone who is academically able and looking to go to a traditional university they are a waste of time

BikeRunSki Tue 11-Oct-11 08:38:15

What Vixsatis said - basically subjects that lead to an obvious job. Eg if you study nursing, you become a nurse. Medicine can also be considered vocational!

Leave of with the "ologies" - they are not the same as vocational subjects. I have a PhD in a scientific ology and it is definitely academic.

CeciC Tue 11-Oct-11 09:18:34

Good morning all,
Thank you for all the responses. Now is clear to me.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 11-Oct-11 13:43:54

the ologies are MOST DEFINITELY true subjects at degree and PhD Level - but at GCSE?
Do academic GCSEs and use them as the basis to study in an analytical and scientific way at university.

pinkgirlythoughts Tue 11-Oct-11 13:55:01

I was under the impression that 'vocational subjects' were things like childcare, travel and tourism, hairdressing and beauty etc, and that (at GCSE level, anyway) you spend about half the timetable time studying that subject, then it's worth about 5 GCSEs at the end of year 11? Not sure, as my school didn't offer them, but my sister's school did this kind of thing.

BikeRunSki Wed 12-Oct-11 09:45:12

But talking - surely to do a Biology degree, you need to do Biology at school?

Actually, scrap that, my PhD is in Geology and I didn't tocuh the subject before Uni, you're right, the background in "pure" science was what I needed.

MrsCog Mon 17-Oct-11 18:14:40

TalkinPeace - Human Biology is most definitely academic - it is the same as A Level Biology but with a couple of modules focused on human biology rather than plant biology.

You sound rather out of touch to be honest.

The vocational A Levels are A Levels in Health & Social Care, Travel & Tourism etc. they replaced the old GNVQs years ago. They're probably very good for the not so academic who fancy a career in one of those sectors. Rubbish for going on to do something academic at University.

EvilTwins Mon 17-Oct-11 23:42:44

The VI Form I am Head of runs three different sorts of courses:

AS/A2s - in subjects like English Lit, Maths, Biology, Psychology (ooo - ologies. But all academic and widely accepted at university level) and History.

Applied AS/A2s - in things like Business Studies and ICT - still an academic A Level, but syllabi includes an element of practicality rather than pure theory or academic study.

BTEC Level 3 courses in Vocational Subjects such as Health & Social Care, Travel & Tourism and Sport. These are more likely to be taken by students who are thinking about work/work-based training after 18, but are widely accepted by universities, for appropriate courses, when combined with other qualifications.

I teach BTEC Performing Arts, which is a vastly different syllabus to A Level Theatre Studies - the BTEC is structured around a number of practical projects, all of which have a vocational element (ie they somehow relate to working in the Performing Arts industry) and most are assessed through performance to an actual audience, rather than just performing for an examiner. There is no written exam, though the assessment is continuous. This suits some students, though it is not necessarily the "soft" option, as students have to be consistent throughout the two years of VI Form.

I am disappointed, though not in the least surprised, that the majority of replies to this thread are sneery. Not everyone has the ability nor the desire to take subjects from the revered Russell Group list.

EvilTwins Mon 17-Oct-11 23:43:47

Aaaghg - glaring error. "syllabi include" or "syllabus includes". Not what I wrote. blush

CeciC Tue 18-Oct-11 10:07:28

Thank you for all the replies.
I agree with Evil Twin in that not all the children want to go to university and for that they shouldn't been seen as less inteligent. I am one that thinks that life is more than just have A's and have a University degree and being a doctor or a lawer or something similar. The school we went to the open day the HT said in 20 minute speech that girls in that school had a lot of homework at least 20 times. That after school they had extended curriculum clubs not extra curriculum clubs. For the look at the girls in the open day it didn't look that they were having fun at the school.

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