BTEC Diploma/Extended Diploma


Studied at various Levels – Entry, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3

Variable GCSE Entry Requirements – must check with individual colleges but as a guide

Level 1 – 2 GCSEs at grade 2 incl. English & Maths

Level 2 – 4 GCSEs at grade 3 incl. English & Maths

Level 3 – 5 GCSEs 9 – 4 incl. English & Maths


  • Recognised as academically rigorous qualification by employers
  • provides people with practical skills
  • vocational qualifications that will take you up to the same level as a degree
  • More likely to e able to start working sooner than A Levels
  • Wide variety of things you can do. E.G Within City and guilds there are over 500 Different

BTEC stands for the Business and Technology Education Council.  BTECs are specialist work-related qualifications.  They combine practical learning with subject and theory content.   There are over 2,000 BTEC qualifications across 16 sectors – they are available from entry level through to professional qualifications at Level 7 (equivalent to postgraduate study).

BTECs are designed for young people interested in a particular sector or industry but who are not yet sure what job they’d like to do.

You could study a BTEC at Level 2 or 3, either alongside academic qualifications or as part of a wider programme (such as an apprenticeship).  You can also study a BTEC as a standalone course.

There are over 2,000 BTEC qualifications across 16 sectors, including:

  • applied science
  • art and design
  • business
  • childcare
  • construction
  • engineering
  • media
  • health and social care
  • hospitality
  • ICT
  • land-based
  • performing arts
  • public services
  • sport
  • travel and tourism

BTEC qualifications are flexible – you can take one alongside (or instead of) GCSEs and A levels in schools and colleges.  They’re also usually studied full-time, either in college or jointly between a school and a college.

BTECs are divided into units, which cover specific areas of knowledge, skills, and understanding required by the particular sector or industry. 

  • Every BTEC student takes the core units, which provide a broad foundation and understanding about the sector.
  • There is a range of optional units to choose from which enable students to focus on particular interests and plans they have for next steps into further study, an apprenticeship, or employment. 
  • The course involves a series of assignments which can be written or activity-based, for example creating a film clip, planning and putting on a performance, or creating a business plan.  Students complete some assignments individually and some as part of a team.  For some BTEC courses, students can also apply their knowledge and skills through work experience.