BTEC Level 3

BTEC Level 3


BTEC courses were introduced in the 1980s, and offer an alternative to A Level education at sixth form level. A BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate is equivalent to one A Level. As a result, you can usually study a mix of BTEC level 3 courses and A Levels

A big difference between A levels and BTEC Level 3 courses is in their delivery and assessment. A Levels are assessed using formal exams at the end of two years of studying, whereas BTECs are continually assessed throughout the course through coursework, practical projects and some external exams. If the thought of exams fills you with dread, studying for a BTEC could be ideal. However, if you do not like extended projects and coursework based learning then A Levels could be more suitable.

While A Levels are graded A*- E, BTECs are awarded with Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction*. All BTEC Level 3 courses will provide a successful candidate with UCAS points when they finish the course and these can be used to access university placements.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate UCAS Points allocations

Grade Points  
D* 56
D 48
M 32
P 16

Course Selection

BTEC level 3 extended certificates are equal to one A level and have the same lesson allocation. If you wish to choose a BTEC programme you can do this alongside your A level choices. You need to select a minimum of three A level equivalent courses so you can do a combination of; all BTEC programmes; all A level programmes; or a mixture of BTEC and A level programmes.

When you make your option choices on the application form, you will be asked to make a reserve choice. This can be either an A level programme or a BTEC course.

Note: We will not allow a student to follow a BTEC and an A level in the same subject area as universities and apprenticeship providers would see this as duplication of study and would count this as one qualification.

BTEC Level 3 Courses available at Braintree Sixth Form

We are pleased to be able to offer the following BTEC Level 3 courses as part of our Key Stage 5 curriculum offering:

  • BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science
  • BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Business
  • BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Health and Social Care
  • BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts
  • BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Sport
  • BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Travel and Tourism.

Entry requirements

BTEC Level 3 courses are challenging and they require particular skill sets for their successful completion as well as academic ability to tackle them. A successful BTEC Level 3 student will:

  • Have gained 5 GCSE pass grades 4-9
  • Have strong literacy and numeracy levels (Level 4 for maths and English) and have good organizational skills to manage portfolio work
  • Be self-motivated and possess good independent study skills
  • Be able to prioritise tasks in order to meet deadlines.

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