Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

BTECs explained

BTEC tyrefitterWondering how BTECs can help you get the qualifications you need for your career? Read on to find out.

Who are BTECs for?

BTECs are mainly taken by learners aged over 16, although some schools offer them to 14 to 16 year olds, normally in combination with other qualifications such as GCSEs or Functional Skills.

Where can I study a BTEC?

BTECs are usually studied full-time at college, or sometimes at school (or in collaboration between a school and college). You can also study a BTEC part-time at college.

How many BTEC levels are there?

BTEC qualifications are available in seven levels ranging from BTEC Introductory Diplomas and Certificates to BTEC Advanced Diplomas, Certificates and Awards.

Within each level, the qualifications are available in a range of sizes, taking different amounts of time to complete.

What are the differences between each level?

Level 1 - BTEC Introductory Diplomas and Certificates.

This gives you basic knowledge and skills to show you can do a certain job.

Level 2 - BTEC First Diplomas and Certificates

This gives you good knowledge and understanding of a subject and the ability to perform a variety of tasks with some guidance or supervision. It can be very useful to refer to when applying for jobs.

Level 3 - BTEC Diplomas, Certificates and Awards, and BTEC Nationals

This level gives you the ability to gain or apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding, at a detailed level. It could be appropriate if you plan to go to university, work independently, or (in some cases) supervise and train others in their field of work.

Level 4 - BTEC Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

This level provides specialist learning, involving detailed analysis of a high level of information and knowledge in an area of work or study. It can be appropriate for people working in technical and professional jobs, and/or managing and developing others.

Level 5 - BTEC Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

This level can help you deepen your knowledge and understanding of an area of work or study, so you can respond to complex problems and situations. It involves a high level of work expertise and competence in managing and training others. It could be appropriate for people working as higher grade technicians, professionals or managers.

Level 6 - BTEC Advanced Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

This gives you specialist, high-level knowledge for an area of work or study, to enable you to use your own ideas and research in response to complex problems and situations. It could be appropriate for people working as knowledge-based professionals or in professional management positions.

Level 7 - BTEC Advanced Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

This gives you a highly developed and complex levels of knowledge, enabling you to develop original responses to complicated and unpredictable problems and situations. Can be appropriate for senior professionals and managers.

What subjects can you study a BTEC in?

There are a lot of BTECs to choose from across 19 industry sectors. Click here to see a full range of subjects

How many hours does it take to study a BTEC?

BTECs range from 180 guided learning hours for a Level 2 BTEC First Certificate and 1080 hours for a Level 3 BTEC National Diploma.
Guided learning hours are the number of hours of supervised or directed study time you'll need to do to for your BTEC qualification.

How many UCAS points do I get with a BTEC?

If you take a qualification at level 3, you can earn points on the 'UCAS Tariff' for entry into higher education.

BTECs can earn you equivalent points to AS and A levels. For example, a BTEC National Diploma with overall three merit (M) grades has 240 UCAS points (one A level with A grade has 120 UCAS points).

See the following table to see how many UCAS points you can earn from Distinction (D), Merit (M) and Pass (P) grades.


BTEC National Awards give you one mark P (40 points) M (80 points) D (120 points)
BTEC National Certificates give you two marks PP (80 points)

MP (120 points)

MM (160 points)

DM (200 points)

DD (240 points)

BTEC National Diplomas give you three marks PPP (120 points)

MPP (160 points)

MMP (200 points)

MMM (240 points)

DMM (280 points)

DDM (320 points)

DDD (360 points)

Related links