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BTEC Diploma

What is a BTEC diploma equivalent to?

BTEC stands for 'Business and Technology Education Council', named after the body which first governed the qualifications (it's now Edexcel). Although they are often compared against A Levels, there are varying levels of BTECs. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Levels 1-2 - GCSE equivalent
  • Level 3 BTECs – A Level equivalent
  • Levels 4-7 - Degree equivalent

Additionally, a BTEC Subsidiary Diploma counts the same as one A Level, a BTEC Diploma is equivalent to two, while a BTEC Extended Diploma counts for three so you can usually study a mix (either of BTECs or BTECS and A Levels) which suits you.

What’s the difference between BTEC’s and A levels?

On the whole, BTECs tend to be more vocational and practical. Subjects such as Business Studies, Engineering, Information Technology and Travel & Tourism tend to be popular BTEC subjects. Meanwhile, A Levels provide you with more traditional subjects, such as English, Maths, History and so on.

Another big difference is that A Levels are geared towards big exams at the end of two years of studying, whereas BTECs are continually assessed throughout the course through coursework and practical projects.
You can study a combination of BTECs and A Levels in some colleges/schools.

Do universities accept BTECs?

In the past, universities tended to prefer traditional A Levels, but that’s simply not the case anymore.
Some universities will be happy with just one BTEC (which is equivalent to 3 A Levels), while others will require you to have at least one A Level alongside your BTEC. It is advisable to check the course you’re thinking of applying for to see what the entry requirements are.

How many UCAS points is a BTEC?

If you take a qualification at level 3, you can earn points on the 'UCAS Tariff' for entry into higher education. BTECs can earn you equivalent points to AS and A levels. For example, a BTEC National Diploma with overall three merit (M) grades has 240 UCAS points (one A level with A grade has 120 UCAS points).


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