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Functional Skills English (Pre-GCSE) Online

Course overview

Functional Skills courses are government-funded and free-of-charge if you meet our eligibility requirements. These will be shared with you when you apply for the course.

With our professional team of expert tutors and high success rates, you will be fully equipped to develop your English skills.

Uniquely flexible, this online course is designed to fit learning around your busy life, even if you are working full-time or caring for a family.

Functional Skills qualifications act as the building blocks to your future. They are available at three levels, from Entry 3 to Level 2, and are recognised by employers. Being highly fundamental, these can be used to progress onto other qualifications, like GCSEs. Functional Skills Level 2 is equivalent to a Grade 4 (C) at GCSE and is accepted by some universities.

Available Online Courses:

  • Entry 3 
  • Level 1 (Pre-GCSE) 
  • Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) 

Are you wondering what the difference is between Functional Skills and GCSEs?

Both qualifications are suitable for anyone who does not have a GCSE Grade 4 (C) qualification and would like to update their skills.

If you have not studied for some time and want to improve your confidence, Functional Skills qualifications can be a useful starting point for GCSEs, because they involve fewer hours of study and can be completed quicker. 

All courses run for 12 weeks and are delivered online. The exams are held at one of our test centres. 

You have a choice of five centres to take your exams:

  • Oxfordshire: City of Oxford College, Banbury and Bicester College
  • Berkshire: Reading College, Bracknell and Wokingham College
  • Surrey: Guildford College 

Our courses take place in the daytime and in the evening and are designed to fit in with work or family commitments. Lessons are 3 hours long and are run weekly on set days and times so you can plan around your commitments.

Improving your English skills can give you the confidence to help you reach your individual goals, whether it be helping your children with their homework, progressing in your job role, or gaining further qualifications.

Functional Skills English qualifications focus on the practical application of English in real-life situations, covering topics, including:

  • spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • reading and writing skills
  • speaking, listening and communication skills

How you’ll learn

You will need access to a digital device, such as a computer, laptop or a tablet, as your lessons will be delivered via our Activate Learning Online platform (ALO) by one of our friendly, professional tutors.

You will be given access to Century Tech and other online resources on an award-winning learning platform that will support you in developing your skills at your own pace!

How long does it take?

All courses run for 12 weeks and are delivered online. Lessons last for 3 hours. Exams are held at our test centres and you will be asked to choose the most convenient location during the application and enrolment stage.

Our courses take place in the daytime and in the evening and are designed to fit in with work or family commitments.

How you’ll be assessed

At the end of your course, you will take accredited exams in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Your speaking and listening exam will be held online, with our own tutor. Your reading and writing exams will take place at your closest Activate Learning college campus, which includes:

  • Oxfordshire: City of Oxford College, Banbury and Bicester College
  • Berkshire: Reading College, Bracknell and Wokingham College
  • Surrey: Guildford College

Before joining a Functional Skills English online course, you will need to take a short assessment so that we can ensure that you are on the right course to meet your needs.

Functional Skills courses are government-funded and free-of-charge if you meet our eligibility requirements. These will be shared with you when you apply for the course.

Depending upon your starting level, you can progress to the next level of Functional Skills or GCSE English. Functional Skills English Level 2 can be used as a stepping stone to higher education.

Course Starts in 110 Days
  • 16 September 2024 - 13 December 2024
    • Free
Apply now
  • 11 November 2024 - 14 February 2025
    • TBC

      Fees TBC

Apply now
  • 13 January 2025 - 4 April 2025
    • TBC

      Fees TBC

Apply now
  • 3 March 2025 - 13 June 2025
    • TBC

      Fees TBC

Apply now
  • 28 April 2025 - 18 July 2025
    • TBC

      Fees TBC

Apply now

Alternatively enrol by phone quoting BYPENGOL or ask a question

Meet the tutors

We want our learners to feel welcome, safe and at ease when attending our classes, especially if this is your first time attending an adult education class or if you're coming back to education after a break.
If you're interested in one of courses, meet our tutors first! You'll see they have similar passions and interests and, most importantly, the right qualifications to help you make the most of your time and money.