Course Levels and Qualifications Explained
Not sure what level of course to apply for? All the courses
we offer are split into levels to help you find the right course
and which course to progress to. Please note this is only a guide
and may not apply to every course.
Level of course
||No formal qualification, but can demonstrate commitment to your
||Signposts, E2E, Vocational Opportunities and other Entry Level
programmes or relevant work experience.
Level 1 qualifications such as GCSEs at grades D to E, NVQ Level
1 Certificate, BTEC Introductory Diploma or relevant
You may be eligible for FREE*
learning - click here for more details
Level 2 qualifications such as GCSEs at grades A* to C, BTEC
First Diploma, NVQ Level 2 or relevant work experience.
You may be eligible for
FREE* learning - click here for more
||Level 3 qualifications (Advanced) such as A Level,
Access courses, BTEC National Diploma/Certifcate, NVQ Level 3,
Higher National Certificate (HNC), Higher National Diploma (HND) or
relevant work experience.
||An Undergraduate degree, High Level qualification of a high
standard or relevant work experience.
**Students who apply for Pre-Access and Access courses are
usually considered for entry on the basis of their functional
skills, life and work experience, rather than on formal
A Levels are Level 3 courses and can be achieved in two
parts; year one comprises the AS Level and this can be a
freestanding qualification in its own right. However, to achieve a
full A Level, students need to complete a further year of study at
A2. Completing A Levels usually allows you to progress on to a
BTEC Certificates and Diplomas
First Diplomas are broadly equivalent to four/five GCSEs, at
grades A to C. National Certificates and Diplomas are broadly
equivalent to two or three A Levels and will enable students
wishing to progress
NVQs (National Vocational Qualification)
These are qualifications that are based on the skills and
knowledge needed for specific jobs. They usually have a level after
the course such as NVQ Level 2 in Administration.
This is a level 3 course that is usually considered to be
equivalent to 2 A Levels. People generally do Access Courses to progress on to degree level courses.
These are Level 2 qualifications, which cover an NVQ, Key Skills
and a Technical Certificate, which make up the Apprenticeships.
Advanced Apprenticeships offer Level 3 qualifications and can lead
to progression to Level 4 Foundation Degree or Degree level study.
HNC (Higher National Certificate)
A HNC is a Level 4 course which allows you to
progress onto a HND course. This is equivilent to the first year of
HND (Higher National Diploma)
A HND is a Level 5 course which allows you to progress onto a
degree top-up course. This is
equivalent to the second year of a degree.
A Foundation Degree allows you to be in employment and work for
a Level 5 qualification. The Foundation Degree allows progression
on to a full degree through a top-up course.
Degree or Undergraduate Courses (BA, BSc etc)
A Degree is a Level 6 course which allows you to progress on to
postgraduate courses such as a Masters
(MBA, MSc etc).
Entry requirements to each course change all the time and often
involve an interview with the course tutor to make sure the course
is right for you. If you want to talk to someone about this please
contact Learner Services.
For Entry Level to Level 3
ring 0800 358 75 75 or email us
For Level 4
and above please ring 0800 358 74
74 or email firstname.lastname@example.org