UCAS Explained









Overview

Most qualifications have a difficulty level. The higher the level, the more difficult the qualification is. Qualifications at the same level sometimes cover different amounts of the same subject.

Example

Most qualifications have a difficulty level. The higher the level, the more difficult the qualification is. Qualifications at the same level sometimes cover different amounts of the same subject.

England, Wales and
Northern Ireland

There are 9 qualification levels.

Entry level

Each entry level qualification is available at three sub-levels - 1, 2 and 3. Entry level 3 is the most difficult.

Entry level qualifications are:

entry level award
entry level certificate (ELC)
entry level diploma
entry level English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
entry level essential skills
entry level functional skills
Skills for Life


Level 1

Level 1 qualifications are:

first certificate
GCSE - grades 3, 2, 1 or grades D, E, F, G
level 1 award
level 1 certificate
level 1 diploma
level 1 ESOL
level 1 essential skills
level 1 functional skills
level 1 national vocational qualification (NVQ)
music grades 1, 2 and 3


Level 2

Level 2 qualifications are:

CSE - grade 1
GCSE - grades 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 or grades A*, A, B, C
intermediate apprenticeship
level 2 award
level 2 certificate
level 2 diploma
level 2 ESOL
level 2 essential skills
level 2 functional skills
level 2 national certificate
level 2 national diploma
level 2 NVQ
music grades 4 and 5
O level - grade A, B or C


Level 3

Level 3 qualifications are:

A level
access to higher education diploma
advanced apprenticeship
applied general
AS level
international Baccalaureate diploma
level 3 award
level 3 certificate
level 3 diploma
level 3 ESOL
level 3 national certificate
level 3 national diploma
level 3 NVQ
music grades 6, 7 and 8
tech level


Level 4

Level 4 qualifications are:

certificate of higher education (CertHE)
higher apprenticeship
higher national certificate (HNC)
level 4 award
level 4 certificate
level 4 diploma
level 4 NVQ


Level 5

Level 5 qualifications are:

diploma of higher education (DipHE)
foundation degree
higher national diploma (HND)
level 5 award
level 5 certificate
level 5 diploma
level 5 NVQ


Level 6

Level 6 qualifications are:

degree apprenticeship
degree with honours - for example bachelor of the arts (BA) hons, bachelor of science (BSc) hons
graduate certificate
graduate diploma
level 6 award
level 6 certificate
level 6 diploma
level 6 NVQ
ordinary degree without honours


Level 7

Level 7 qualifications are:

integrated master’s degree, for example master of engineering (MEng)
level 7 award
level 7 certificate
level 7 diploma
level 7 NVQ
master’s degree, for example master of arts (MA), master of science (MSc)
postgraduate certificate
postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE)
postgraduate diploma


Level 8

Level 8 qualifications are:

doctorate, for example doctor of philosophy (PhD or DPhil)
level 8 award
level 8 certificate
level 8 diploma


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