Level Up2018-08-14T15:38:29+00:00

Understanding the wide range of qualifications available in schools, colleges and universities can be quite confusing, so check out the chart below to learn more about what the qualifications you are studying are worth and where they could take you in the future!

School/6th Form College/Further Education Apprenticeships

Entry Level 3

Key Stage 3

E3 Diploma

(foundation)

Grades needed None None

L1

GCSEs

(grades 3-1)

L1 Diploma / Functional Skills

Traineeship

(Preparation for apprenticeship)

Grades needed None None
(Sometimes basic English and Maths)
None

L2

GCSEs

(grades 9-4)

L2 Diploma (BTEC) / Extended Diploma /  Functional Skills

Intermediate Apprenticeship

(NVQ L2)

Grades needed  None 3-4 GCSEs at grade or higher
(usually including English and Maths)
Usually none, although sometimes GCSE Maths and English

L3

A-Levels

L3 Diploma / Extended Diploma (BTEC or other) / Access to HE courses

Advanced Apprenticeship

(NVQ L3)

Grades needed Usually 5 GCSEs at grade 5 or higher, including Maths and English  5 GCSEs at grade 4 or higher
(usually including English and Maths)
Usually at least 3-5 GCSEs
(but sometimes no formal qualifications)
 University  Higher Education College  Apprenticeships 

L4

Foundation Degree

(FdA, FSc)

HND

(Higher National Diploma – L4)

Foundation Degree

(FdA, FSc)

HND

(Higher National Diploma – L4)

Higher/Degree Apprenticeship

(NVQ L4 + L5)

L5

HND

(Higher National Diploma – L5)

HND

(Higher National Diploma – L5)

Grades needed Usually GCSE Maths/English at grade 4 and 1-2 Alevels/L3 Diploma/ Extended Diploma Usually GCSE Maths/English at grade 4 and 1-2 Alevels/L3 Diploma/ Extended Diploma Usually GCSE Maths/English at grade 4 and 1-2 Alevels/L3 Diploma/ Extended Diploma

L6

University Degree

(BA/BSC/BEng)

University Degree

(BA/BSC/BEng)

Degree Apprenticeship

(NVQ L5 + L6)

Grades needed Usually GCSE Maths/English at grade 4/6 and 2-3 Alevels/L3 Diploma/ Extended Diploma
(Check first!)
Usually GCSE Maths/English at grade 4/6 and 2-3 Alevels/L3 Diploma/ Extended Diploma
(Check first!)
Usually GCSE Maths/English at grade 4/6 and 2-3 Alevels/L3 Diploma/ Extended Diploma
(Check first!)

L7

Master’s Degree

(MA/MSc/MEng)

Degree Apprenticeship

(NVQ L7)

Grades needed Completion of University Degree
(usually with grade of 2:2 of higher)
Similar entry requirements to Higher Apprenticeships but may require more work experience and technical skills before starting

L8

Doctorate

(PhD)

Grades needed Completion of Master’s Degree
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