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 What is the GCSE or A level equivalent of my BTEC? 

It is not always a simple task to equate grades for BTEC qualifications to grades for GCSEs and A levels. However, it is possible to compare BTECs with GCSEs and A levels in terms of their level, size and content.

You can also compare our BTEC Level 3 Nationals in terms of the number of UCAS points they receive.

Comparing the level of BTEC to other qualifications

Each of our BTECs has been written to a framework and assigned a level based on the relative difficulty of the course. Qualifications at the same level and on the same framework are similar in their demand, but their size and content may be significantly different.

Our BTEC Firsts are designed to be of a similar level of demand to GCSEs, whereas our BTEC Nationals are designed to be of a similar level of demand to A levels.

Find out more about qualification frameworks and levels

Comparing the size of a BTEC to other qualifications

You can estimate how big a qualification is by the amount of time required to teach or learn the content.

For qualifications accredited to the National Qualification Framework (NQF), the size of the course is measured in Guided Learning Hours (GLH). This is the number of hours teaching time required to deliver the course.

For qualifications accredited to the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF), the size of the course is measured in credits, where each credit represents 10 hours of notional learning time.

You can find out how many credits or GLHs make up your qualification by checking the course specification or searching the Ofqual register of accredited qualifications.

  • GCSEs are accredited to the NQF at Level 1/Level 2 and require 120 GLH
  • A levels are accredited the NQF at Level 3 and requires 360 GLH

Comparing the content of a BTEC to other qualifications

The specification for a course outlines what you need to know in order to complete the qualfifcation.  Comparing two different specifications can help you identify similarities and differences in the course content.

Find a specification

Our BTEC Level 3 Nationals receive a similar number of UCAS points to A levels requiring the same amount of study time.
However, some university course requirements do not use the tariff when making a conditional offer, so you should check university websites to determine individual course entry requirements.
BTEC Level 3 Nationals (QCF) AS Level A level UCAS tariff points
Extended Diploma Diploma 90-credit Diploma Subsidiary Diploma Certificate
D*D*D* 420
D*D*D 400
D*DD 380
DDD 360
DDM 320
DMM D*D* 280
D*D 260
MMM DD 240
D*D* 210
MMP DM D*D 200
DD 180
D* A* 140
MP B 100
PP M C 80
D* 70
PP D A D 60
B 50
P M C E 40
D 30
E 20
Diploma Certificate Subsidiary Certificate Award Subsidiary Award AS Level A level UCAS tariff points
BTEC Level 3 Nationals  in CPLD (NQF)

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