Qualification Types

In England there are a number of different types of qualification on offer to suit the learning needs of everyone. A list of high quality qualifications is published each year by the Department for Education and we ensure that the qualifications we offer at North Kesteven Academy are on this list to enable our sixth form students to progress successfully into higher education, apprenticeships or employment.

What do the levels means?

Level 1 means a GCSE passed at grade 1 to 4 or an equivalent qualification.

Level 2 means a GCSE passed at a grade 5 or above. There are also BTEC, OCR Nationals, Awards and Certificates on offer at North Kesteven Academy at Level 2. This is the level that we would expect the vast majority of our students to be achieving at the end of Year 11.

Level 3 qualifications are A Levels or an equivalent BTEC, CTEC etc. This is the level studied in our sixth form.

Level 4 to 8 qualifications are available at universities and other higher education providers.

What is the difference between A Level, CTEC and BTEC Courses?

Level 3 BTEC and CTEC courses are comparable to A Level courses. The BTEC and CTEC content generally includes more practical and vocational elements. All courses have an examined element, but in some A Level’s this counts as 100% of the qualification, whereas with BTEC and CTEC it is a smaller percentage.

The individual BTEC and CTEC courses offered in Sixth Form are the equivalent of one A Level. In some cases these courses can be combined into a larger qualification that is the equivalent of two or three A Level’s. Please speak to the Head of Department if you wish to discuss the possibility of a larger qualification.

You can study a combination of BTEC, CTEC and A Level courses whilst at NK Academy. When considering your course choices you should look at what suits your learning style. The BTEC and CTEC courses are not the easy option, while the exam element is a smaller percentage of the qualification than in an A Level there are constant deadlines for coursework that need to be met.

What grades are awarded if the qualification isn’t a GCE?

BTEC and CTEC qualifications are all ‘vocational’ qualifications. This means that they relate more directly to the world of work. They all have a portfolio of units and assignments to successfully complete and all have at least one examination. The grades on offer from a Level 3 qualification are Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction *.

We currently offer a LIBF (London Institute of Finance and Banking) qualification at level 3 in Finance. The grading for this qualification is currently A* to E and is in line with A Level grading.

What do Universities’ look for?

All the Level 3 qualifications on offer at NK Academy have UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service) points associated with them. When looking at University courses for life after Sixth Form there is generally a number of UCAS points required in order to access the course. We will provide regular updates as to progress and the grade we believe can be achieved at the end of your two years with us. This will allow you to research university courses with the knowledge of the number of UCAS points you are expected to achieve.

The table below shows the comparison between Level 3 A Level, BTEC and CTEC qualifications and the associated UCAS Points.

This information has been taken from UCAS information for entries for September 2019.

A Level Grade BTEC Subsidiary Diploma CTECH Introductory UCAS Points
A* Distinction * Distinction * 56
A Distinction Distinction 48
B 40
C Merit Merit 32
D 24
E Pass Pass 16