Level 3 Courses

Qualification To start you need Type How is it assessed? What's it all about? Where does it lead?
A levels
At least 4-5 GCSEs at grades 9-4, but might be more.  You may need at least a grade 5/6 in subjects you wish to continue studying at A level.
Academic Mainly exams at the end of the course.  Some subjects will have non-exam assessments. Two year academic courses in subjects like maths, English, languages and sciences but you can also start new subjects. Lots of theory and written work. Higher Education (university & college degree courses), employment, an apprenticeship, or professional or technical training.
AS levels 4-5 GCSEs at grades 9-4 or Technical Certificate. Academic Mainly exams at the end of the course. Some subjects will have non-exam assessments. A one year course which you may take alongside A levels or other qualifications. Employment or training, an apprenticeship or can be used with other qualifications for entry into Higher Education.

T Levels

(new from September 2020)

You will need to check entry requirements with any sixth form or college offering T Levels Technical A mix of academic and technical study plus practical experience gained with an employer as part of an industry  placement. Develop the skills and knowledge needed to operate in a particular occupational specialism.  Subject areas currently being offered include  Digital, Construction, Education & Childcare, Health and Science. Skilled technical employment, Higher Education (university & college degree courses), an apprenticeship or professional or technical training

Applied General Qualifications

(such as BTEC Nationals and OCR Cambridge Technicals)

4 GCSEs at grades 9-4  or other Level 2 qualification
Applied general
Applied learning through practical and written assignments, tasks and exams Develop practical skills and knowledge in a vocational area.  Can be combined with A levels. Extended Diploma is equivalent to 3 A levels, a Diploma to 2 A levels, Extended Certificate to 1 A level and Certificate to 1 AS level. Higher Education (university & college degree courses), employment, an apprenticeship or professional or technical training

Tech Levels

(such as BTEC Nationals, OCR Cambridge Technicals, City & Guilds Advanced Technicals)

4 GCSEs at grades 9-4, a Technical Certificate or other Level 2 qualification Vocational or technical Practical and written assignments, tasks and exams.  If you take one or more tech levels, a level 3 maths qualification and undertake an extended project you will achieve a Technical Baccalaureate Enable you to specialise for roles within a specific industry such as agriculture, digital media, construction, health and social care.  Can be studied alongside A levels.  As for applied general qualifications they are available as diplomas and certificates. Higher Education (university & college degree courses), employment, an apprenticeship or professional or technical training

NVQ 3

Vary, often 4 GCSEs at grades 9-4, a Technical Certificate or NVQ 2 Vocational or technical Emphasis on recording practical experience and assessment of you doing the actual job. Training for a particular job, Usually offered as part of an apprenticeship rather than full-time study at college. Further technical or professional training or a higher level apprenticeship