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BTEC Nationals, otherwise known as The Business and Technology Education Council qualification, are overseen by Pearson.  One million students sit BTEC Nationals each year and over 250,000 go on to HE.

BTEC Nationals – who do they suit?

BTEC Nationals, work-ready, onsite learning, assessment-as-you-learn, options, desirable practical, skillsFor students who want to hone practical skills, backed up by relevant theory, they are an ideal choice. Tested, in the main, by continuous assessment, BTEC Nationals are qualifications that have been recognised since 1984 throughout the UK and can follow on from either BTEC Firsts or GCSEs.  A levels and BTEC Nationals are both level 3 qualifications.

Do employers recognise them?

All BTEC Nationals are work-related, and students will learn valuable workplace and practical skills alongside academic theory, making students very desirable to employers.  

Do universities recognise them?

A BTEC comprises of a set number of units. An 18-unit BTEC equates to three A levels, and many universities will accept it.  But students applying to university who have a 12-unit BTEC may well be expected to have an AS or an A level too. It’s worth noting that 95 per cent of the UK's universities accept BTEC Nationals as qualifications for over 70 per cent of their degree courses.

How are they assessed?

There are a number of assessment methods:

  • Continuous (also called ongoing) assessment, which is marked by the teachers at the student's school.
  • A practical test. 
  • Finally, an exam. This exam can either be an online multiple choice exam or a traditional, written paper.

Whichever assessment method the course uses, students are given many opportunities to prepare and present themselves and their work in the best possible light.  

Dragon's Den entrepreneur Peter Jones is an avid supporter of BTECs. Click here to hear him explain why. 

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    A levels are a qualification in a specific subject typically taken by school students aged 16–18, at a level above GCSE. The equivalent in Scotland is the Higher.

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