Levels Explained

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Entry requirements

With such a wide range of qualifications available we want to ensure that you choose the right course and the right level. Not sure what level of course to apply for? Take a look at the table below for guidance. Please note this is only a guide and may not apply to every course.


Course level

Course information General entry requirements


These courses include a variety of complex, technical, specialised and professional activities. Varies depending on the type of qualification you intend to study.


These courses develop specialist skills. Level 3 courses prepare you for employment and higher education. 5 GCSEs grade A*-C or level 2 qualification


These courses include a diverse range of work activities and allow you to take more responsibility for your own studies. 4 GCSEs grade D-E or level 1 qualification


These courses are designed to allow you to gain basic knowledge of jobs and industry, and are the first steps to gaining a vocational qualification. No formal qualifications are required but you will be assessed on your English & maths skills


These courses are for beginners and are designed to assist you in gaining basic knowledge and skills. No formal qualifications are required, but a keen interest in the subject area is essential


Levels explained… Current qualifications held

You may be asked to have qualifications at a certain ‘level’ when you apply for work or further study.

These levels are based on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). All UK qualifications are given a level numbered 1-8 or ‘entry’. You can use the table below to match your qualification to its level in the NQF.



Current qualifications held


Doctorates & specialist qualifications, such as PhDs


Masters degrees, postgraduate certificates, postgraduate diplomas


Bachelor’s degrees (e.g. BA or BSc)


Foundation degrees, HNDs, Level 5 diplomas


HNCs, Level 4 diplomas


A-Levels, Level 3 NVQs, Level 3 awards, certificates or diplomas


GCSE grade A*-C, Level 2 NVQs, Level 2 awards, certificates or diplomas


GCSE grade D-G, Level 1 awards, certificates or diplomas


Entry level courses to develop skills and increase confidence

Please call us on 01325 533050 if you can’t find your qualification or would prefer to chat to our Course and Information Team.

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