BTECs study choices


BTECS are an alternative to A levels and GCSEs. Find out more!

Where do I want to be in five years? It’s the million dollar question when you're choosing options at school. BTECs are career-friendly courses that offer great qualifications, just like GCSEs and A levels, and help you combine knowledge with practical skills to take those first all-important steps to career success.

What is a BTEC?

What is a BTEC?

You’ll get the full breakdown if you click the link, but here’s a mini tour through the wonderful world of BTEC courses.

With a BTEC, you’re not just learning. You put all the incredible new things you’ve discovered in your studies directly into action, applying your skills and knowledge to real-life scenarios.

What BTECs can you do?

You can do BTECs in all kinds of subjects, from theatre and tourism to engineering, science and digital careers – the kind that could see you working at Sony Playstation, for instance.

Employers like them. Universities like them. And an ever-increasing number of students like them, too. Find out more about BTECs below.

BTECs, GCSEs and A levels

3 out of 4 businesses prefer recruits to have a mix of academic/vocational qualifications, or value them both equally.

You can study BTECs on their own at college. You can also combine them with GCSEs and/or A-levels to get a blend of academic and practical, skills-based learning.

Jargon buster: A BTEC is called a vocational qualification because it relates directly to careers, and helps you face your chosen career head-on.

BTEC grading is done through practical assessments where you can see how much you are improving over time. This way, you get a valuable qualification AND build life and work experience in a way that shows an employer you're totally ready for the world beyond the classroom.

BTECs and University

The fastest-growing group entering university is students who have both academic and vocational qualifications - like BTECs.

A BTEC can take you all the way to university. In 2016, nearly 1 in 4 students who went to uni did so with a BTEC qualification. For example, a BTEC Level 3 National provides the UCAS points you need for your university application, just like A levels and AS levels do. Check this table of BTEC qualifications and you'll see that some BTEC levels are like doing the first year or two of university, and you can complete the third year at uni to get a degree.

This information was brought to you by Pearson, the UK's BTEC Awarding Organisation.