Level 2 Courses


Qualification To start you need Type How is it assessed? What's it all about? Where does it lead?
GCSEs (9-4 or A*-C) Varies, often several subjects at GCSE grades 3 or D and above General education
Mainly through exams at the end of the course.  Some subjects will also have practical assessments.
Usual subjects like maths, English, science. Some new subjects may be available. Not many places offer a full GCSE resit course. Level 3 courses or an apprenticeship

Technical Certificates

(such as BTEC Level 2 Technicals, OCR Cambridge Technicals and City & Guilds)

Varies, often look for a good GCSE record, mainly 3s/Ds and some 4s/Cs Applied general Mixture of assignments, projects, tests and practical, work-related activities.  Assessment throughout the course. Concentrates on general work areas such as hospitality, business, sport, engineering. Often involves some work experience. A Diploma is equivalent to 4 GCSEs at 9-4 (A*-C), an Extended Certificate to 2 GCSEs at 9-4 (A*-C), and a Certificate to 1 GCSE at 9-4 (A*-C) Level 3 courses (if you have equivalent of four GCSEs at grade 4 or C or above), or an apprenticeship
BTEC Firsts and OCR Cambridge Nationals Level 2 Varies, often look for a good GCSE record, mainly 3s/Ds and some 4s/Cs Applied general and vocational/technical Assignments, projects, tests and practical activities. Available in several industry sectors. Provide skills, knowledge and understanding needed to work in those sectors Level 3 courses or an apprenticeship


Varies, but employers and colleges often look for a good record at GCSE Vocational/technical Recording practical experience and assessment of you doing the actual job Training for a particular job. Sometimes offered full-time at college but usually taken as part of an apprenticeship Can lead to NVQ 3 courses or an apprenticeship