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Public Services (Level 3)

This study programme will give you the opportunity to develop skills and experiences that will help you to pursue a career in the public services, and is ideal if you wish to join the armed forces, emergency services, paramedical services or Prison Service. The study programme will allow you to participate in a wide variety of activities, such as outdoor pursuits, fitness training and teambuilding events. You will gain valuable insight from current and former public services employees, as teaching staff have served as members of Armed Forces or emergency services. You will also have the opportunity to meet working members of the public services.


I started thinking about joining the armed forces or emergency services when I was still at school. My granddad had worked as an engineer during World War Two and, as a big influence in my life, I knew I wanted to do something similar. I then started to think of all the benefits: being able to push myself in order to help others, and to travel the world!

When it came to looking at further education options, the Public Services study programme at Bedford College covered all areas of the sector. Still wanting to keep my options open at this point, it seemed a good place to start.

Coming to College made the whole process real. We went on expeditions to the Peak District and to Wales, had guest speakers come in and trips to RAF bases. It was one trip in particular to RAF Brize Norton that convinced me that the RAF was the path for me. Without all these brilliant experiences I really don’t think I could have made my decision. In the last year of the study programme, I successfully applied for a role as an RAF police officer.

My tutors offered advice through the whole application process, and knowing that each of them have served in the RAF, the Army or the Marines is invaluable. They do all they can to help you and give you the skills you need for your future career. My confidence has grown so much over the two years here and I can’t wait for what the future holds. 

Heather - Public Services Advanced Level

Entry requirements

To begin this study programme you will need... 


Duration: 2 years 

  • 4 GCSEs grades 9–4 ideally including English & maths OR 
  • Uniformed Public Services at Level 2

Course content

During the study programme you will learn about the types of careers available within the public services, as well as the application and selection processes. You will learn about the different roles that the uniformed services undertake and have an opportunity to perform them. You will also learn about fitness requirements for the public services and be tested against them. There will be opportunities to participate in a range of leadership and teamwork activities, as well as outdoor activities such as climbing, bush-craft, expedition skills, kayaking and camp-craft.

  • Subject units:
    • Government policies
    • Citizenship and diversity
    • Water and land-based adventurous activities
    • Physical preparation
    • Custodial care
    • Leadership and teamwork
  • English and maths:
    If you don't already have GCSE English and maths grade A*-C, we will work with you to help you develop your maths and English skills. 
  • Work experience
  • Personal development skills, study skills and employability skills 
  • Additional vocational learning and qualifications: 
    • Trips and exhibitions will form a key part of the programme and you will have the opportunity to attend various trips and expeditions within the local area and further afield, such as the Peak District, North Yorkshire and North Wales. 

Assessment methods

You will be assessed though a variety of different methods throughout the course, including discussions, presentations, practical demonstrations, roleplays, workbooks and written tasks.


Public Services BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma


  • English and maths qualifications if required

You can also gain up to 168 UCAS points. 

Further study and career options

On successful completion of this study programme you could apply for relevant job roles in the public services or undertake study at university.

Additional information

To take part in this programme you will be required to pay a fee of approximately £45 for required clothing and approximately £300 for an outward bound week in the first year, and approximately £100 for an additional expedition in the second year.

Funding information

All full-time Level 1 and Level 2 courses are now FREE for everyone, whatever their age. If you are looking to study a Level 3 qualification, courses are still free if you’re under 19 or 19-23 and studying your first full Level 3 qualification. If you’re over 23 or studying a second Level 3 qualification, you will need to pay a fee. Find out more on our financial support page at

If you are aged 19 or over you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay the tuition fees for this course. Find out more at You can also pay by instalments to help make the cost of this course more affordable.

Course Information & How to Apply

To apply online, select the 'Apply' button below. You will need to register an account and then you can follow the instructions on screen.

LengthStart DateFees per yearLocationCourse Code
2 years 13/09/2021 Launch our fee calculatorFree if 16-18yrs. Are you 19+?
Launch our fee calculator
Cauldwell Street BBH110

Apply Online

Part-time course already started?

Our upcoming 2021-22 part-time courses will be out in May. Get alerted when they're released by selecting your campus of choice below and filling out the relevant form:

Bedford College Enquiry Form

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Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.