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"I went from a Level 1 BTEC all the way to a Degree"

Ethan's story

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Ethan found school wasn't for him - but eventually progressed through our vocational courses to completing a degree. 

He followed a study programme with a mix of practical and theory, and found that a BTEC qualification strengthened his understanding of sports -  his chosen subject. He went on to complete his degree in sports science with us! Find out about our Higher Education options. 

Our vocational pathways include:

  • Practical experience in specialist, cutting-edge training facilities. 
  • Work experience opportunities to prepare you for your career through our employer links.  
  • Vital English and maths qualifications 

What are BTECS?

BTECs are vocational qualifications that are taught at lots of different levels. The BTECs you will most likely have come across are Level 3 qualifications, which most students study after their GCSEs and before university. BTECs usually take one or two years to complete, and being vocational they are a great way to combine practical, hands-on learning with theory.

The different Levels of BTEC?

BTECs are offered from Levels 1 to 7 to give you a flexible programme which builds your knowledge over time. The levels sit within three different ‘sizes’, the Award, Certificate and Diploma. The Award is the smallest, and the Diploma is the largest, with the Certificate sitting in the middle. The 'size' of the qualification relates to how in-depth the studies are, and how long it takes to complete.

To make things a bit clearer we have outlined each of the levels below, with a description of the sort of learning you could expect, as well as the qualification size offered at that level.

Level 1 A great starting point, which introduces you to the subject and allows you to explore your interests, giving you an idea of the steps you need to take to progress in a career as well as developing your knowledge. DIPLOMA
Level 2 Designed to give you enough knowledge within your chosen subject to take the first steps towards a career, preparing you to work with supervision.  CERTIFICATE
Level 3  Level 3 BTEC qualifications are for students who have finished their GCSEs, and prepare you with the skills and knowledge required to continue studying at university, or to progress to a career. AWARD
Level 4 Designed to help learners develop their knowledge in their chosen career area and to help develop specific and specialist skills.  AWARD
Level 6 Equivalent to undergraduate or master degrees, teaching you how to carry out your own research, develop ideas, solve complex problems and lead others. For those who wish to develop a very good knowledge of the field they are working in. AWARD


Who will they suit?

Because BTECs are vocational they will suit students who prefer to learn by doing. Rather than exams, students taking BTECs present evidence of their learning, usually by completing assignments. This means that the pressure is spread throughout the course, rather than with a lot of exams towards the end.