Thursday, 25th April 2019


BTEC (The Business and Technology Educational Council) is the British educational body which awards vocational qualifications in a range of work-related fields. Having been around for 25 years, BTECs are recognised across the UK as well as in over 100 countries worldwide.

What is a BTEC qualification?

BTEC courses are designed to give students practical, real-world experience without jeopardising the subject theory.

These qualifications are built to accommodate the employer, and can in some cases mean that employees holding a superior BTEC qualification will be exempt from employers' own qualification exams.

BTECs are offered in a range of subjects, including Art and Design, Media, Health and Social Care, Business, Engineering, Travel and Tourism, Applied Science and Sport. Courses are typically divided between theory and practical training. They can be taken alongside A-levels and GCSEs or as a legitimate replacement.

The different stages of the qualification

The following list outlines the various stages and their approximate equivalent value in GCSEs, A-levels and higher education qualifications:

  • Introductory Certificate (two GCSEs grades D – E)
  • Introductory Diploma (four GCSEs grades D – F)
  • First Certificate (two GCSEs grades A* - C)
  • First Diploma (four GCSEs grades A* – C)
  • National Award (one A-level grade A – C)
  • National Certificate (two A-levels A – C)
  • National Diploma (three A-levels A – C)
  • Higher National Certificate (approx. one year of Honours Degree study at university)
  • Higher National Diploma (approx. two years’ Honours Degree study at university or a completed Foundation Degree)

Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas can be used to gain entry into many universities across the UK, or to go straight into employment in your chosen career.

For more information on the BTECs and the different levels available, please follow the below link:

Edexcel: Why BTEC?