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Enrolment: Your Guide to Join GC

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Speaking the same language

We appreciate that applying to college may be a new and daunting experience for you and there may be a few words and phrases you haven't come across before.

To make your application journey as easy and understandable as possible, our Admissions Team has put together a few words and phrases we commonly use to make sure we're all on the same page when it comes to your application.



Acceptance is related to the part of your application journey where you confirm your first-choice course ready for enrolment. By accepting your first-choice course offer, you also confirm you understand the conditions of your offer. Please be aware that accepting your first-choice course is not a guarantee of a place.

Application Cycle

An application cycle is a period of time (usually three months) we use to group the large numbers of applications we receive. Application cycles allow us to plan and prepare communication and information for applicants, as well as inform priority for places.

Application Route

We offer a huge range of courses; some for school leavers, higher education students and professionals to name a few! Some courses have very different requirements and are grouped into application routes. Some application routes have different teams responsible for application journeys and grouping these courses allows us to send the communication that is relevant to your application journey. The application routes are shown below:

  • Route 1: Full Time Further Education
  • Route 2: Higher Education
  • Route 3: Part-Time & Professional Courses
  • Route 4: Apprenticeships
  • Route 5: Online Courses


Apprenticeships offer paid work experience, with the chance to study towards a formal qualification at the same time. You will need to secure yourself an employer to be accepted on to an apprenticeship course, or have applied via our vacancies page.


BTEC stands for the Business and Technology Education Council. A BTEC is a vocational qualification (which means that it has a career focus and is grounded in the world of work) where you gain skills and knowledge in your chosen subject area. You learn to put those skills into practice in real-life scenarios rather than more academic qualifications, which typically involve more written work and exams.

Typical BTEC Levels:

  • BTEC Level 1-2 –  GCSE equivalent
  • BTEC Level 3 – A Level equivalent

Level 3 BTEC qualifications also amount to a certain amount of UCAS tariff points. These are used when applying to universities. Here are some typical BTEC Level 3 grades and their UCAS tariff point weight.

PPP (48 UCAS points (equivalent to 1x A or 2x D’s or 3x E’s at A levels) up to D*D*D* = 168 UCAS points (equivalent to 3x A* at A levels).

Course Availability

Course availability relates to the number of spaces available on any given course. Each of our courses has a specific course capacity to make sure you have the best and safest learning experience possible. On occasions, some of our courses may be very popular and applications may exceed course capacity. If this happens priority for places will be given based on the earliest application date.

Conditional Offer

A conditional offer is an offer of a place on a course that is subject to you meeting specific entry criteria otherwise known as 'conditions of offer'.


Enrolment is the final part of your application journey and allows us to accept you as a student at GC on to your chosen course. To enrol at GC you will be required to complete enrolment steps before we can accept you.

Entry Requirements

All of our courses have set entry requirements; these can be found on each course's information page. Entry requirements during your application process are set and, unless you already have/or are studying direct equivalents that are confirmed by the Admissions Team, there is no flexibility at the application stage. At enrolment, a decision may be made to accept you on to a course without the specific entry criteria, however, this is not common and is at the discretion of the academic department.

First-Choice Course

If you apply for several courses, you will need to tell us which one you would like set as your first choice. This course should be the course you most wish to study at GC and, when you accept your first-choice course, this will tell us the course you want to enrol on.


GC stands for Gloucestershire College. It's easier to type and say!


A HNC is a Higher National Certificate and is equivalent to Level 4 study. Progression at GC from this level would allow you to start a HND.


A HND is a Higher National Diploma and is equivalent to Level 5 study. Progression at GC from this level would allow you to top up to a degree at GC or university.

Practical and Technical knowledge

Courses such as hairdressing, beauty, catering, electrical, engineering (Craft Routes), motor vehicle and plumbing at Level 3 require you to complete the GC Level 2 qualification first. As these courses are very hands-on and technical, using specialist equipment and skills gained only from very specific units and modules within the Level 2 qualification GC offer, you must learn how to use these safely and correctly at Level 2 before progressing on to a Level 3.


We may refer to you as a progressing student if you are studying with us currently and are continuing your studies by applying for a different or higher-level course.


Think of this as a shopping cart for the courses you want to apply for on our website. Please be aware that if a course(s) appear in your shortlist, you have not completed your application yet.

Transfer Window

For the first six weeks of the academic year we have what we call a 'transfer window'. Within this time you can approach your lecturers or student mentor and ask to be transferred to a different level or subject. This will need to be approved by the Head of School of the course area you are currently enrolled on. All transfers are dependant on course availability.

UCAS Tariff Points

UCAS tariff points translate your qualifications and grades into a numerical value. Many qualifications (but not all) have a UCAS tariff value, which will vary dependent on the qualification size and the grade you achieved. Check out the UCAS page HERE dedicated to UCAS Tariff Points.

Unconditional Offer

Based on the information available to us from your application, assessment or previous study, you meet the entry criteria for the course. 


Can’t find the explanation of the word or phrase you are looking for? Let us know.

Admissions Team

We’re here to help. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

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Why Gloucestershire College?

We have a lot of experience offering Apprenticeships and work-related training. We have industry-standard facilities and experienced teaching staff which provide the ideal complement to work-based learning.

We are here to help

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90% of students would recommend GC and 95% said that the teaching on their course was good.

Ofsted has rated us good.

  • We offer industry relevant facilities
  • Our lecturers are passionate subject specialists
  • Employers value our students' skills

We'll look after you. We have dedicated teams to help you and a great Learning Mentor scheme.