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Level 3 - online or f2f?

Hello everyone,

I'm undecided as to whether to start my Level 3 though fully online or at a local college with face to face teaching.

What are everyone's experiences been like?  I haven't studied in a while so feel that I may need the support.  However, I would like to be at home more and like the idea of studying in my own time.

I have had a bad experience with Learn Direct.  Any recommendations of good online companies?

Many thanks.

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  • Hi Sarah, it might also be worth thinking about the different types of online learning that are available. You can do an e-learning course where it's mostly self-directed study with some online webinars to help with assignments - like ICS. Or you can have a live online course which gives you the resources but also the live, group sessions with a tutor to take you through the course - like Acacia Learning.

    Let us know how you get on! Rachel
  • In reply to Rachel:

    Thank you Rachel. I didn't realise that ICS or Acacia did live online teaching. I'm just looking at Acacia.
  • Hi Sarah, I chose to do my L5 at a college last year, then came Covid. So we ended up having all the lectures via Teams. what it has done though, is the ability to watch the recording of each lectures when required, which helps a lot. It has also bought together a great group of people with whom we have a WhatsApp group and also get together on line now and then to talk through our challenges and ideas. I personally feel this has helped a lot. You sometimes need the interaction with others to show you are not alone if and when you face challenges. The CIPD website has a list of course providers, you can then read the reviews. Best of luck to you.
  • In reply to Alan:

    I know I am biased but IMHO your local Uni/College should be your starting point for real learning with fellow student/friends/contacts.
  • I did my level 5 at a local college (one day per month for 13 months - just finished before lockdown one!). I found working with a group of people at a similar stage to me, but in very different employment situations really useful and often enlightening. I’d recommend a bit of face to face time personally.
  • In reply to Alan:

    thank you Alan. I'm actually waiting for my local college to get back to me, so I'm certainly going to consider old fashioned F2F.
  • In reply to Maya:

    thank you Maya. That's really good to know.
  • No problem - I should mention that I did my level 5 via the apprenticeship route. Much more appealing for my employer to pay £200 and give me (in theory anyway...) 20% off the job time, than fund the £4K course.
  • In reply to Maya:

    I have actually looked in to apprenticeships as I was going to consider this. However, I'm a much more 'mature' student. I've worked in HE as a Manager for 23-years so have dabbled a bit in HR. I'm lucky enough to be taking voluntary redundancy so feel this is my opportunity to re-train in something I enjoy. I did think about an apprenticeship but still on the fence a bit as an older 'learner'.
  • I would say apprenticeships are all about re-training in a new area, regardless of age! I’d say I was mid-range in my group, at age 38 when I started my course.
  • Although I studied the equivalent of Level 3 a long time ago (20 years!), I was completely new to HR at the time and found the face to face really useful with the interaction and support it provided. Although I appreciate things are a bit different at the moment.
    However I completed my Level 4 (no longer recognised by CIPD) and more recently Level 5 via mixed mode with AheadHR. I had already been in HR quite a while by then and wanted the flexibility of not having to attend in person as when I was doing my level 5 my workplace was over 40 miles from home. I had 1:1s with my Coach/Assessor so felt more personalised and tailored to me and my style of study.
    Whilst online is more flexible it can be more difficult to motivate yourself to ensure work is completed etc particularly if you work long hours or have a family to look after for example.
  • In reply to Sarah:

    Apprenticeships can be for any age!