Qualifications – A Quick Guide


Entry Level

Each entry level qualification is available at three sub-levels – 1, 2 and 3. Entry level 3 is the most difficult.

Level 1

Level 1 qualifications include GCSE – grades 1, 2 and  3 or grades and Music grades 1, 2 and 3

Level 2

Level 2 qualifications include GCSE – grades 4 – 9, Intermediate apprenticeship and Music grades 4 and 5 

Level 3

Level 3 qualifications include A levels, Access to higher education diploma, Advanced apprenticeship, Music grades 6, 7 and 8 and T-levels

Level 4

Level 4 qualifications include Certificate of higher education (CertHE), Higher apprenticeship and Higher national certificate (HNC)

Level 5

Level 5 qualifications include Diploma of higher education (DipHE), Foundation degree and Higher national diploma (HND)

Level 6

Level 6 qualifications include Degree apprenticeship, Degrees with honours such as (BA) hons & (BSc), Graduate certificate, Graduate diploma and an ordinary degree without honours 

Level 7

Level 7 qualifications include Integrated master’s degree, for example master of engineering (MEng), Master’s degree, for example master of arts (MA), master of science (MSc), Postgraduate certificates and Postgraduate diploma 

Level 8

Level 8 qualifications include Doctorates – for example, doctor of philosophy (PhD or DPhil)

For more information about qualifications, visit the government website


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