HE Exams Wiki

UK Qualification Levels

UK qualifications come in different levels.


Entry Level: Below the level of a GCSE Grade G.  For those who are not yet ready for GCSE courses. Entry Level qualifications come as Entry Level 1, 2 or 3, and Entry Level 3 is the highest of these.

Level 1: GCSEs grades D-G, Level 1 vocational diplomas, Level 1 Functional Skills

Level 2: GCSEs grades A*-C or Level 2 vocational awards, Level 2 Functional Skills

Level 3: AS- and A-levels, Access to Higher Education Diplomas, Level 3 Diplomas eg Btec L3 Diplomas.

Level 4: HNC, Foundation Degree, first year of a Bachelor's Degree.

See the Qualifications and Credit Framework site for more information on higher levels.

"Further Education" generally means education up to Level 3, offered at college.

"Higher Education" means university-level education, typically degrees or HNDs.

Sometimes Further Education colleges offer some Higher Education courses.

For more examples of qualifications at each level, see What qualification levels mean on the UK Government site.

Wikipedia - National Qualification Levels in the United Kingdom has a detailed table of qualification types by level.

UK Qualifications Links

Accredited Qualifications 

This site gives overviews of the English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish qualifications and awarding bodies (exam boards).  It explains what qualification levels are.