Sometimes accepted as an alternative to a GCSE, our new interactive courses will set you on the right track.
Functional Skills qualifications can open doors to a wide range of job areas, help you to progress your career, and boost your confidence in reading, writing, speaking and listening in English. Whether you finished your studies recently or you’ve not studied English since you left school, our interactive Functional Skills courses are designed to give you the skills you need to succeed.
Which route is right for you?
If you would rather study Level 2 only and do not need the Level 1 assignments, please visit the Level 2 course page.
By studying Functional Skills English, you will be starting from the beginning and will be able to see your skills increase over time; the course will cover spelling, grammar, punctuation, tenses and much more.
Our Functional Skills English (Levels 1 and 2) course is ideal if you:
All students will have access to the learning materials for both Level 1 and Level 2. If you are enrolling on Level 2 , your tutor marked assignments will be for that level but you will also have access to all the level 1 materials – this will be helpful for refreshing your skills or for revision.
If you are enrolling on both levels then your tutor marked assignments will start and level 1 and continue to the end of level 2.
Section 1 Speaking, listening and communicating
Topic 1 Effective spoken communications
Topic 2 Listening and questioning skills
Topic 3 Giving a talk
Topic 4 Participating in discussions
Level 1 Speaking, listening and communicating assignment
Level 2 Speaking, listening and communicating assignment
Section 2 Reading
Topic 1 Active reading
Topic 2 Using a dictionary
Grammar 1 – Grammatical terms
Topic 3 What is this text for?
Punctuation 1 – Punctuating sentences; commas
Topic 4 Why does this text look like it does?
Punctuation 2 – Apostrophes; semi-colons, dashes and colons; punctuating dialogue
Topic 5 Comparing texts and answering test questions
Level 1 Reading assignment
Topic 6 Close reading for understanding
Topic 7 Reading for meaning
Topic 8 Understanding organisational and language features
Topic 9 Sources of reference
Level 2 Reading assignment
Spelling – Prefixes and suffixes, Silent letters,Words with ‘e’ sounds, Tricky letters,
Words with ‘s’ sounds, Words that sound the same
Section 3 Writing
Topic 1 Planning your writing
Topic 2 Organising your writing
Grammar 2 – Building a sentence; using verbs correctly
Topic 3 Writing for a purpose
Grammar 3 – Writing precisely; choosing the right word from a pair
Topic 4 Writing emails
Topic 5 Writing letters
Topic 6 Writing articles and reports
Level 1 Writing assignment
Topic 7 Making your writing flow
Topic 8 Writing for your audience
Topic 9 Persuading and arguing
Level 2 Writing assignment
Practice paper assignment
Level 1 Practice paper assignment
Level 2 Practice paper assignment
Your tutor is a subject expert who will mark your assignments, giving feedback on the work submitted and advising on areas for improvement. This feedback is vital to improving your grades and will be the best preparation for the final assessments.
Qualification number 603/4289/4 (Level 1)
Qualification number 603/4290/0 (Level 2)
Interactive online learning with tutor marked assignments to prepare you for the assessments
Complete at your own pace – enrol anytime and take the assessment as soon as you’re ready.
Approx. 55* hours plus time for completing assignments per level
*This is an estimate. Everyone is different and learns at a different pace. Your study time will not only include reading the online course materials and doing the online activities, but also completing assignments and preparing yourself for the assessment.
Introductory assignment – a chance for your tutor to get to know you
3 assignments per level – these do not contribute towards your final grade
Tutor marked past paper so you can practise before the exam
There are no essential set texts, as all of the information you need to succeed in the course is included in the course materials.
You will need to purchase a dictionary for use on your course.
This course page is for Functional Skills English Levels 1 and 2, providing you with tutor-marked assignments for both levels.
If you would like to enrol on only level 2, click here.
Our course fees are clear and transparent to help you plan for any additional costs.
Your course fee includes:
Your course fee does not cover:
If you need more support, you can purchase:
For further information on additional/optional support you can purchase, please visit our additional services page.
Would you like to talk to our Course Advice Team about the best route for you? Visit our Contact Us page, fill in the form and a member of the team will get back to you!
Assessment is by externally set paper-based or onscreen on-demand assessment. Assessments take place throughout the year.
Students are not entered for any exams when they enrol with NEC but we will put you in touch with our trusted partner Tutors and Exams who will enter you and provide you with the opportunity to take the exams.
You can also use the JCQ private candidate search engine to find centres near you.
Exams are organised independently of NEC, by contacting Tutors & Exams directly. They will be able to provide further guidance on exam booking. For a list of exam locations and dates, click here.
Results are issued up to 20 days after completing the external assessment.
NEC offers an exam pass guarantee. In order for this to be applicable to your Functional Skills course, you must have passed the past paper that is provided as part of your course before sitting the external assessment.
It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or you can spread the cost over monthly instalments with our finance offer. We offer a choice of six or 12 month repayment plans, with 0% APR as standard.
To pay in instalments you will need to enrol by telephone.
Course fee: £495
Amount of credit: £445.50
Monthly payment: £74.25
Duration of agreement: 6 months
Total repayable: £495
Rate of interest: 0% (fixed)
0% APR representative.
The National Extension College (NEC) works with finance company Deko. For more information on our relationship with Deko and repayment plans click here.
learn@nec is our virtual learning environment, the gateway to your course and the NEC community. All the resources you need to study are here and you have the flexibility to access them wherever you want, whenever you want
As part of NEC’s mission to widen participation our team is happy to discuss payment options unavailable online. Please contact our team on 0800 389 2839 or email firstname.lastname@example.org