Case study

T Level graduate — Rachel Appiah-Kubi

Rachel recently completed the Digital Production, Design and Development T Level at La Retraite Sixth Form in South London and is now looking to pursue a career in the digital industry

Why did you decide to pursue a T Level course?

I knew I wanted one of my A-level subjects to be in computer science, but I wasn't sure what to pick for the other two.

When I heard about T Levels at school and that there was a course specifically about digital, I was really excited to do it. Not only would I not have to struggle picking two other subjects, I'd also be able to go on an industry placement and gain work experience in the digital industry.

I also thought I'd do better with a course that lets you engage in more practical, hands-on work. By completing a T Level, I'd be given an opportunity to gain work experience and work on a final project that's related to a real-life digital role.

What was the application process like?

It was like applying for any other course. I had a meeting with the head of sixth form to discuss which courses I wanted to do, and I chose the Digital Production, Design and Development T Level.

I then received a form saying I'd been offered a place on the course, but I needed to achieve a minimum Level 4/5 in my Maths and English GCSEs.

Why did you choose this course and institution?

I've always been interested and passionate about the digital field. I was also happy that the course would give me the opportunity to gain work experience while studying.

I chose to stay at La Retraite because of the help and resources they provided.

The course was run by three teachers, so there was always someone to go to for help and an overall great support and teaching system.

Tell us a bit about the course.

It's roughly equivalent to three A-levels and consists of 80% class work and 20% industry placement.

The placement is for at least 45 days (or approximately 315 hours) within the digital field, so we can benefit from several months' work experience while studying.

The course lasts for two years, with the first year focusing on the core exam content and an employer set project, with the second year consisting of an occupational specialist project.

How is the course assessed?

During the first year, I was required to complete five tasks that included planning a project and evaluating my work.

The second year required creating and coding a solution for the company.

How is college life different to school?

There is still a lot of work to do, despite it being one qualification. However, there are study periods that give us time to complete work and revise. With T Levels, there are whole study days devoted to our industry placement. Other than that, it's not too different.

What do you plan to do after completing your T Level?

Now that I've completed my T Level, I'm going on to do a Digital Degree Apprenticeship with Santander so that I can continue to gain work experience while earning a qualification.

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