Qualifications explained - Grŵp Llandrillo Menai

Qualifications explained

Helping you choose suitable qualifications and see how you can progress towards your goal.

  • Access to Higher Education

    The Access Diploma is designed for adults and provides a recognised Advanced Level entry qualification for university level programmes. Most Access to Higher Education courses take one year to complete.

  • AS Level and A Level

    AS Levels (Advanced Subsidiary) & A Levels (Advanced) are recognised entry qualifications for university level programmes. The AS Level is taken over one year and is the first half of an A Level. A2 is the second half. You can choose up to four subjects in the first year if you are following a two year programme. Many students choose to concentrate on three of these in the second year. You will also study the Welsh Baccalaureate alongside your AS and A Levels.

  • Essential Skills

    As a full-time student, you could study Essential Skills qualifications in Communication, Application of Number and Information & Communication Technology. These qualifications carry UCAS points at Level 3 and are valued by employers.

  • Foundation Degree: FdA/FdEng/FdSc

    The Foundation Degree is a university level qualification that combines studying with employment or work experience to provide the skills and knowledge that employers need. You will usually only attend college for one or two days a week. After the Foundation Degree, you could top-up to an Honours Degree.

  • GCSE

    GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education) are nationally recognised qualifications usually taken in school. Employers and universities often require Maths and English/Welsh (First Language) at a Grade C or above.

  • Higher Nationals

    An HNC (Higher National Certificate) is a work-related university level qualification normally studied part-time for two years or full-time for a year. On completion, you could progress onto a HND or Foundation degree. A HND (Higher National Diploma) is a university level qualification that takes two years full-time or three years part-time to complete. Successful completion may allow you to be accepted onto the third year of a degree course.

  • Honours Degree: BA (Hons) / BSc (Hons)

    An Honours degree is a university level qualification that normally takes three years full-time or four/five years part-time to complete. You could then go on to study at postgraduate level, for example, a Masters, postgraduate teaching qualification or PhD.

  • International Baccalaureate Diploma

    This prestigious Advanced Level qualification is recognised by universities in over 140 countries, including top universities in the UK. The broad-based curriculum provides excellent preparation for university.

  • NVQ

    NVQs (National Vocational Qualification) are practical qualifications that are directly related to an area of work. They are assessed under working conditions and are awarded when you demonstrate that your skills meet work standards. NVQs can be gained at College or in the workplace and can be studied on their own or as part of an Apprenticeship Scheme. You may need to start at Level 1, in order to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to progress to higher levels, regardless of your previous qualifications.

  • Professional Qualifications

    Professional qualifications, for example, the Institute of Legal Executives Diploma in Law, give licence to practise in certain professions or are undertaken for professional development and updating. Professional qualifications are available from Level 2 to postgraduate level.

  • The Welsh Baccalaureate

    The Welsh Baccalaureate combines traditional qualifications such as BTECs or AS & A Levels with a Core Award. The Core Award includes personal, business and transferable skills. You will also develop your knowledge of contemporary Welsh life, Europe and the World, as well as studying a language, participating in community activities and gaining work-related experience.

  • VRQs

    VRQs (Vocationally Relevant Qualifications) are work-related qualifications that prepare you for working in industry, and can be achieved in College.

Vocational Qualifications

Vocational qualifications cover a wide range of vocational areas and are often available at Entry, Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced Levels. City & Guilds qualifications and BTECs (awarded by Edexcel) are recognised by industry and can provide entry to university courses or employment.

  • Level 2 vocational qualifications are the equivalent of GCSE grades A* - C
  • Level 3 vocational qualifications are the equivalent of A Levels.
Level 2

1 GCSE = BTEC Level 2 Certificate

2 GCSEs = BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate

4 GCSEs = BTEC Level 2 Diploma

Level 3

1 AS Level = BTEC Level 3 Certificate

1 A Level = BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma

2 A Levels = BTEC Level 3 Diploma

3 A Levels = BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

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