spotlight on… public services

Here, we take a closer look at our Public Services BTEC Level 3 course which is available for you to study here at Cowley Sixth Form.

We asked one of our current students to give us a bit of insight into what the Public Services course is all about, what’s involved and what it’s like studying here at Cowley Sixth Form College.


When did you first consider studying Public Services at sixth form?

I didn’t even know that you could study Public Services until I came to the Cowley Sixth Form Open Evening. It sounded really interesting, so I looked into it a bit more.

What was it that captured your interest in the subject?

It was the fact that you look at current issues that are affecting the Public Services at the moment. I am also doing Psychology and Criminology and there is a lot of crossover between the subjects.

What has surprised you most about the subject?

I have really loved all of the team building activities. It has taught me to look at the process of building an effective team as well as learning how to be a leader to.

Do you have to be focused on going into one particular Uniformed Service e.g. The Army?

No, not at all. We have students in our class who want to be Firefighters, some who want to be Police Officers and there are quite a few who haven’t decided yet. It’s just a really interesting course where you can explore the type of Uniformed service that appeals to you.

If you are struggling with a question/topic what support is available?

Our tutors are always available. You can email them or go to see them in their rooms. All of the learning resources are available on MS Teams now so you can work on it at home as well. I get lots of my assignments done in the study support room.

What do you enjoy most about the lessons?

I enjoy the debates we have in class. There are lots of situations that the public services have to deal with that are controversial. We discuss modern issues and look at how politics affects the public services. I also like the practical activities and psychological experiments that we have carried out around campus.

What have you found the most challenging? 

I had to lead my group in a fictional scenario. I had to concentrate hard on my tone of voice and making sure everyone understood what I wanted them to do. I have also found learning about some of the conformity and obedience studies quite challenging.

What advice would you give someone thinking of taking the subject at Cowley Sixth Form College?

Make sure you keep up to date with what is happening in the world right now. There is always something public services related on the news and we often discuss it in class. Also, get involved as much as possible in the practical activities that you do in Year 12. It helps you to get to know all the new people in your class.

If you had to pick your subjects again, would you still pick Public Services? If yes, why? If no, why not? 

Yes, I definitely would, as I now really want to work as a Police Officer and I’ve learned a lot about the situations you will be faced with in this particular role through this course.


Applications to join Cowley Sixth Form in September 2021 are open NOW! The deadline to submit your application is Friday 18th December, so please don’t delay! Click here to complete your application.

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