How Long is NCS?

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If you want to boost your CV or stand out in university applications, the NCS programme may have been suggested for you to complete! It is a great thing to do during the summer holidays, as it does take a chunk of time to complete. However, the length of time it takes may not be as long as you think, especially when you think about all of the skills you could gain!

NCS usually takes three or four weeks to complete in order for all of the activities to be experienced. After all, you will have to spend two weeks away from home, as well as having other criteria to fulfil. Therefore, you need to make sure that you do actually have enough time available to complete it.

If you want to find out more about how long NCS actually is and whether you would really be able to create time for it, check out the rest of this article!

How long does NCS last for?

The NCS programme usually takes three consecutive weeks to complete. This is excluding weekends. These three weeks would be full of activities, both indoor and outdoor based! Two of the weeks may also require you to be away from home.

You will then also spend a chunk of time working on a project with other young people. After you have completed these three weeks, you will then need to do 30 hours of volunteering, which are then spread out over a fourth week.

You can find out more about this if you check out this article from The Mix website. However, as of 2024, the way NCS functions has changed, according to this page from the government website.

This is because NCS now offers a number of different programmes. There are a range of away from home experiences, online experiences or local experiences you could complete.

How long does the away from home NCS section last for?

During your NCS programme, you are required to live away from home for two weeks. One of these weeks will be completely away from home in a different environment. There is a specific amount of time you have to do this for.

The away from home experiences must last five days and four nights. There are three different types of away from home experiences you can choose from! You can discover what they are if you check out this page from the official NCS website.

The second week you have to be away from home will require you to live in your local area, perhaps in a bedsit or youth hostel.

How long does the NCS local community experience last for?

In 2024, NCS introduced a new addition to their programme! This is called the local community experience and allows young people to directly help and support their local communities.

Due to their newness, there is not a lot of information out there yet about the local community experiences. However, this page from the official NCS website states that the local community experiences vary in the amount of time they take to complete.

However, it is stressed that young people will be given enough time to gain valuable skills during their experience.

How long do you have to volunteer for in NCS?

All of the activities directly related to NCS take three weeks to complete. However, during a fourth week, you will be required to do 30 hours of volunteering.

You can discover more about what NCS entails if you check out this page from The Mix. Alternatively, check out this article (Fake link!)from Think Student to get a more detailed overview about what the NCS programme actually is.

This may seem a lot, however, you need to think about all of the skills you could gain by experiencing volunteering. You can discover more about why volunteering is good for you if you check out this article from Think Student.

When should you do the NCS programme?

Due to the NCS programme taking four weeks to complete, it could be useful to do it during the summer holidays! It is a programme designed for 16- or 17-year-olds, so the summer holidays at the end of Year 12 would be ideal!

However, if you really feel that you don’t have time to do the NCS programme, you can still get involved! This is because NCS offers a range of online experiences for young people to complete, in order to boost their skills.

You can find out more about these on this page from the NCS website.

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