Diplomas, BTECs and National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are designed to help you learn in a practical way about a specific job area.
They can help you get the skills you need to start a job, progress in a career or go on to higher levels of education. Teaching is through project work and taught by tutors with industry experience.
BTECs are work-related qualifications and are the equivalent to GSCE (Levels 1-2), A-levels (Level 3) and university degrees (Level 4-7).
Unlike traditional modes of study, BTECs provide a fine-tuned mix of theoretical and practical work to serve as a suitable choice for a wide range of students. They serve a practical and real-world approach to learning, ensuring students have the experience of the working world without having sacrificing any of the essential theory.
The skills developed on a BTEC give learners a wide variety of options available upon completion of their course, ranging from the working world, university-level courses or even an advanced vocational course.
Is a BTEC the right course for me?
BTECs are a fantastic choice for a number of reasons. Not only are they held in high regard by schools, colleges, universities and employers the world over, they've also been developed collaboratively by key industry representatives and the sector skills council; this means that the content on a BTEC programme is up-to-date alongside key developments in the industry.
Finally, the structure of a BTEC programme means it's fantastic for those who feel pressurised by exams through the traditional mode of study. A number of units are based on real-life work experiences, providing an alternative opportunity to show your skills and knowledge.
How many BTEC levels are there?
BTEC qualifications are available in seven levels ranging from BTEC Introductory Diplomas and Certificates to BTEC Advanced Diplomas, Certificates and Awards.
Within each level, the qualifications are available in a range of sizes, taking different amounts of time to complete.
What are the differences between each level?
Level 1 - BTEC Introductory Diplomas and Certificates.
The Level 1 courses help to provide the basic knowledge and skills needed to do a certain job.
Level 2 - BTEC First Diplomas and Certificates
Slightly more advanced, the Level 2 offers a higher level of knowledge and understanding of a subject, as well as the ability to perform a variety of tasks with guidance or supervision. This experience can be vital when applying for jobs.
Level 3 - BTEC Diplomas, Certificates and Awards, and BTEC Nationals
This level allows the learner to gain or apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding, at a detailed level. It could be appropriate if you plan to go to university, work independently, or (in some cases) supervise and train others in their field of work.
Level 4 - BTEC Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards
Requiring specialist knowledge, Level 4 courses typically involve detailed analysis and expert knowledge in an area of work or study. This level of course is appropriate for those working in technical or professional jobs, management or even training others.
Level 5 - BTEC Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards
Involving an even higher level of expertise and providing the learner with a competence in managing and training others, this level aims to further develop a knowledge and understanding in a particular field. It also gives appropriate experience so the learner can respond appropriately to complex problems and situations, making it a perfect level for those looking to become a higher grade technician, manager or other role in a professional capacity.
Level 6 - BTEC Advanced Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards
Level 6 BTEC Courses ensure the learner can develop a high-level knowledge in an area of work or study, enabling them to use their own ideas and research in response to troublesome situations. We recommend this level for those in professional management positions or those working alongside knowledge-based professionals.
Level 7 - BTEC Advanced Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards
Level 7 is currently the highest level of study in the BTEC programme, and upon completion learners are highly developed and hold a complex level of knowledge in their desired field. It’s an appropriate course for both managers and professionals at a senior level, particularly as the skills offered enables the learner to develop original responses to unpredictable situations.
How many UCAS points is a BTEC worth?