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The Level 3 Diploma: the alternative to A-Levels

The Level 3 University Foundation Programme is designed for learners who wish to progress to a business or management degree but may not have the traditional entry qualifications usually required. You will develop a wide set of skills that can be used for further training and development.

The National Qualifications Framework sets out the level at which a qualification can be recognised in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. A Level 3 qualification is the equivalent level to an A-Level, although it differs by having a framework which is specific to a particular industry.

What makes our Level 3 Diploma so beneficial?

  1. Convenience, comfort and flexibility

Forget about attending classes for hours, sitting in an uncomfortable chair and listening to the same voice. Stay at home and learn, you don’t even need to get dressed for class. All learning materials are provided via online platforms, so you can choose to study whenever and wherever you want.

  1. Earn while you learn

Going to university is an expensive business, so you need to ensure you are prepared for it financially. The flexibility of our online diploma course enables you to study and work at the same time, so you can earn some money for your university nest egg fund and gain valuable work experience.

  1. Innovative teaching resources

The online classroom utilises a range of new tech to make learning engaging and social. You’ll have the opportunity to take part in regular lively interactive forums, live streamed webinars and video chats with tutors.

  1. Faster completion

A full A-Level requires two years of study, while our online diploma can be completed successfully within a year. So, if you’d like to fast track your way to university within the next year, a diploma is the option for you.

  1. Focus on coursework

A-Levels are heavily exam-based, whereas our diploma is based around assignments and multiple-choice assessments. The focus on coursework is good preparation for university as the practice will enable you to develop your writing skills.

  1. Build unique skills

Online learning requires more self-reliance and stronger organisational skills than traditional classroom-based learning. Online learners stand out from the crowd as they have the self-motivation and drive to succeed.

Considering a diploma?

Check out our University Foundation Programme. The course is pitched at Level 3, the equivalent level of study to an A Level. On successful completion of the course, students receive an ATHE Level 3 Business Management qualification which is fully regulated by Ofqual. Students can then apply for admission onto a full Undergraduate Degree programme from a range of UK universities. Alternatively, students can opt to study our Level 4/5 Extended Diploma in Management and then go on to complete an Undergraduate Top Up at a range of UK universities.

 

4 reasons to a study a BTEC instead of an A Level

Recent figures from UCAS show that the number of A-level students achieving grades ABB (the average grades you need to get into the top ranked universities) has fallen by 2,500 over the last year, but the number of BTEC students achieving the equivalent has increased by 16%. It is undeniable that more and more students are opting to study BTECs over A Levels these days, which means we should be paying more attention to this educational trend.

What are BTEC qualifications?

BTEC stands for ‘Business and Technician Education Council’ which used to run the award, first introduced in 1984. BTECs are vocational and work-related courses, rather than traditional academic courses, designed for study in a wide range of occupational areas from business to performing arts. BTECs are offered at all levels: levels 1 and 2 are equivalent to GCSEs, level 3 to A Levels, and levels 4 -7 hold the same status of achievement as a degree.

Why take a BTEC instead of an A Level?

BTEC national level 3 diploma courses have become one of the most widely recognised qualifications for admission to Higher Education; they are gaining popularity as an alternative to A Levels. According to figures from UCAS, the proportion of sixth-formers taking vocational qualifications rose from 3% in 2004 to 15% last year. So what are the benefits of a BTEC qualification?

  1. University progression

After 33 years of success, BTECs have built a sterling reputation. More and more students are applying to universities with BTECs, which is clear sign that institutions have recognised the value of a BTEC qualification. According to an article by the Higher Education Liaison Officers Association, 95% of universities in the UK accept BTEC students, including universities from the Russell Group. In 2015, over a quarter of students accepted into higher education held at least one BTEC, which is further proof that BTECs are just as respected as A Levels.

  1. Employability

BTECs prepare students for employment; courses can develop a student’s employability skills as they offer the experience of real-life practical tasks and work placements. The CBI has claimed that schools are “exam factories” and that A Levels fail to prepare students for the world of work. BTEC qualifications are generally well-regarded by employers as the courses enable students to develop useful hands-on skills such as time management, communication, problem solving and planning.

  1. Career progression

Employers value BTEC qualifications as courses are usually industry-directed, in other words they give students industry-specific knowledge and skills which makes them readily employable. Courses are developed by professional bodies and higher education experts, which guarantees that a BTEC-qualified candidate will demonstrate the right standards of knowledge and practical skills for the role.

  1. Practical assessments

BTECs are more practical qualifications with a focus on flexible learning and independence, which appeals to those who find traditional teaching methods and exams difficult. The assessment for BTECs is largely based on regular coursework and work experience, which makes them an ideal option for those who crumble under the pressure of exams.

Take the next step

Check out our Level 3 in Business Management, which has been specifically developed to provide the knowledge required for students to work effectively, both as individuals and in teams within business.  Upon completion of the course, students will then have the opportunity to apply for admission onto a full Undergraduate Degree programme from a range of UK universities.