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 doctorate

 

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 GCSEs grade 2 or above ( you may still be eligible with lower or no formal qualifications)
  • Level 2 - 4 GCSEs grade 3 or above (including maths and/or English)
  • Level 3 - 5 GCSEs grade 4 or above (must include maths and English)
Qualification Level Overview
ESOL Entry 2 or 3 ESOL is English for speakers of other languages. Intensive course in developing English for those whose first language isn’t English.
Vocational Level 1, 2 or 3 These courses focus on careers in one specific type of industry or sector and are mainly theory based.
Trades Level 1, 2 or 3 These courses focus on specific trades and are a mixture of theory and hands-on practical.
Traineeships Level 1 or 2 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.
Apprenticeships Level 2 or 3 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.
T-levels Level 3 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.
A-levels Level 3

These are academic courses that are theory based and enable you to study three or four 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 ​

Qualification Levels Overview
Preparation Entry Level to Level 2 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.
Professional Level 2 to Level 7 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 Loans Company.
Higher education Level 3 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.
Higher apprenticeships Level 4 to Level 7 These courses combine qualifications and work experience. A higher apprenticeship can lead to a degree (level 6) or even a masters (Level 7), 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.
Higher education Level 4 to Level 8 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.

 

For more information

Please leave us some feedback