Educational Levels

When thinking about what education and training to do, it’s important to understand the different qualifications and the different levels of qualifications.

Entry level Equivalent
0 No formal qualifications
1 GCSE grades D to G (1 to 3)
2 GCSE grades A* to C (9 to 4)
3 A level grades A to E
4 Certificate of higher education
5 Diploma of Higher education
6 Degree
7 Masters degree
8 PHD directorate

Read our Pathways leaflet; to find out more about our program to support you to access learning, training or employment.

For more information

16 - 19 options

When you are making decisions about what to do at the end of Year 11 it’s important to consider all of the options and choose the one that is right for you.

  • Level 1 - 4 GCSE's grade 2 or above ( you may still be eligible with lower or no formal qualifications)
  • Level 2 - 4 GCSE's grade 3 or above (including maths and/or English)
  • Level 3 - 5 GCSE's grade 4 or above (must include maths and English)
  ESOL Vocational Trades Traineeships Apprenticeships T-Levels A-Levels

Level

Entry 2 

Entry 3

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 1

Level 2

Level 2

Level 3

Level 3

Level 3

Overview

ESOL is English for speakers of other Languages. Intensive course in developing English for those whose 1st language isn’t English.

These courses focus on careers in one specific type of industry or sector. and are mainly theory based.

These courses focus on specific trades and are a mixture of theory and hands-on practical.

These courses combine qualifications and work experience. The main purpose is to prepare for an apprenticeship if you’re not yet quite ready for one or progress to other qualifications.

These are work based learning courses. You work for an employer and receive pay, whilst gaining qualifications alongside, related to the work you do with your employer.

These are vocational type courses, but include at least 45 days of unpaid work experience. They help you to gain hands-on experience whilst getting the theory from lessons.

These are academic courses that are theory based and enable you to study 3 or 4 different subjects at the same time.


If you don’t have any or few qualifications, there are things you can do to help you get into education, employment or training.

19 + options

There are important choices to be made once you are over 19 whether you are looking to get back into education and training or progress further. 

  Preparation         Professional           Higher Education Higher Apprenticeships Higher Education

Levels

Entry Level to Level 2

Level 2 to Level 7

Level 3

Level 4 to Level 7

Level 4 to Level 8

Overview

These courses are a stepping stone for those wishing to get back into Education and Training. There are a range of short courses to one-year courses that can be the stepping stone to the other 19+ Education and Training Options.

These courses are tailored to the business sector and lead to professional and chartered status. These can be studied full or part time and you will pay fees for these courses, but generally you are eligible for loans through the student loan company. 

These courses are for those wanting to go to University and study a Higher Education course. They help you to get the qualification level required for University whilst also preparing and developing your skills.

These courses combine qualifications and work experience. A Higher Apprenticeship can lead to a degree (level 7) or even a masters (Level 8), but instead of studying full-time and paying tuition fees, you are in employment earning a wage whilst studying alongside. You will not be charged any fees.

These courses are widely known as Higher National Diplomas (HND) and degrees which can be studied at universities, and some colleges. You will pay fees for these courses, but generally you are eligible for loans through the student loans company.


If you don’t have any or few qualifications, there are things you can do to help you get into education, employment or training.