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Essential Skills

Build your confidence and improve your job prospects with our Essential Skills courses.

Students at their desk


Our range of essential skills courses, such as GCSEs & Functional Skills and ESOL can help build your confidence, help you succeed in the workplace, improve your job prospects and provide you with skills to aid your children with their schoolwork.

When you join our adult education courses, you'll learn within small, friendly groups where you can work at a pace to suit your ability and individual aims.

Whether you choose to improve your Maths and English, learn a new GCSE subject, or want to develop your skills so you can progress on to a degree course, your future starts here!


Our Essential Skills courses will help you develop essential skills for home and the workplace.

Write letters, notes, messages and emails
Create a better CV
Improve spelling, punctuation and grammar
Produce succinct reports and summaries
Understanding of the Key Stage 4 curriculum
Become confident working with everyday numbers for real-life situations

Qualifications available

Our Essential Digital Skills course will give you an understanding of, and competency in, essential digital skills so that you can engage with digital services and products in everyday life and work. The course is delivered both online and face-to-face.

When you study on an ESOL course, you will gain the confidence you need to communicate in English at work, in education and in your social life. You will also meet new friends from all over the world in a relaxed atmosphere. There are no entry requirements for this course - an initial assessment will determine the correct level of class for you.

Our free Functional Skills courses are for anyone who would like to improve their Maths or English for work, education or daily life. You will work at your own pace in a friendly, supportive atmosphere and gain confidence as well as a qualification. Following an initial assessment, we will tailor a course to suit your needs.

Many students hoping to progress to higher education require an improved GCSE profile. GCSE Biology is beneficial to students considering a career in primary school teaching and nursing. You may be able to receive funding, subject to conditions.

These GCSE courses are designed for adults who may not have studied for some time and who lack confidence in these subjects. They are free if you do not already hold a Level 2 in the subject, are available in the evening or online, and don’t require any entry qualifications.

Why ǿ should be your first choice

ǿ offers high quality education and training across North and Mid Devon. We provide outstanding learning, excellent facilities, strong connections to employers and a supportive environment to help you fulfil your education goals and set you on your path to the career of your dreams.

A group of ǿ students having a conversation


We offer a supportive and inclusive environment where you can flourish and feel a valued member of the college and wider community.


Our teaching spaces and facilities are some of the best in the region, providing stimulating and true-to-life learning environments.


We’ll provide you with the experiences you need to be ready for employment or the next step on your educational journey.