Levels and Qualifications explained

There's a lot of different options when it comes to post-16 study and it can often get confusing with the different types of qualifications and levels of study available to you!  You also need to consider whether you would like to study A-levels and/or BTECs. AV6  enables students to combine both types of Level 3 qualifications to suit your personal interests.

A-levels explained

A-levels are subject-based academic qualifications. They are a level up from GCSEs and are studied over 2 years at  AV6.

AV6 offers students a choice of 24 different A-level subjects. A-levels are highly valued by employers and universities alike and offer a great route to degree level study. Each A-level earns UCAS tariff points, which count toward entry for university.

A-levels provide a great opportunity for students to continue studying their favourite GCSE subjects in more depth and students often study subjects they know they are good at or enjoy at GCSE level. A-levels are also a fantastic opportunity for students to study subjects they may not have had a chance to study at school – subjects such as Psychology, Sociology and Law for example. These A-levels do not require students to have studied them before coming to AV6.

The majority of A-levels tend to involve a mixture of exams and coursework; often with heavier emphasis on exam assessments. 

BTECs explained

Level 3 BTECs are vocational qualifications that help students develop real-world knowledge, experience and skills. Alongside A-levels they are the most widely-recognised qualification for admission to Higher Education.

AV6 offers  18 different Level 3 BTEC subjects to students. Students tend to choose these courses if they are interested in learning about a particular sector or industry (Applied Science, Performing Arts, Health & Social Care ) BTECs offer a mixture of theory and practice and are studied full time at College over 2 years.

BTECs can be studied in combination with A-levels. At Level 3, these qualifications are awarded UCAS tariff points like A-levels, for entry to higher education (university). Generally, BTEC assessment methods are less exam-based and more coursework and project focused.

The majority of universities think of BTECs as great, equal, alternatives to A-levels and very few institutions won’t consider BTEC students as candidates, although many universities also require students to have A-level qualifications too.

Every course and every university is different, so ensure you check the entry requirements of your preferred university or course (if known) before choosing your subjects at Level 3. It is important to note that a Level 3 BTEC alone will usually only get you onto a related course at university i.e. one in the same or a very similar subject. For example, if you studied an Extended Diploma (3 A-level equivalent) in Sport, you should be prepared to study Sport at University. 

There are three types of BTEC qualifications:

BTEC Extended Certificate – The equivalent of 1 A level

BTEC Diploma – The equivalent of 2 A levels

BTEC Extended Diploma – The equivalent of 3 A Levels

UCAS Points

Did you know that BTEC Level 3 diplomas are equivalent to A Levels and will give you UCAS tariff points for university entry?


How to find us.

Recreation Road

Phone: 01980 652 467
EMAIL: Admin@avonvalleycollege.org.uk