Secondary vocational education
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, secondary vocational education is usually known as further education. It is considered to be separate from secondary education and not to be part of higher education either. Further education includes both vocationally oriented education and combinations of general secondary and vocational education.
Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC)
In 1984, the Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) began offering vocational programmes at various levels of the national qualification framework:
- Level 2-3 in British vocational secondary education; and
- Level 4-7 in British higher professional education.
BTEC Level 3 programmes
Students can obtain a variety of certificates and diplomas at Level 3 of the Qualifications Framework. These programmes vary in terms of duration and study hours. The study hours are calculated in GLH, Guided Learning Hours. A number of examples are provided in the table below. The table also specifies the organisation which awards the diplomas, such as Pearson or Edexcel (as of 2010).
|Qualification - since 2016||Qualification - 2010-2016||Qualification - 2007-2010||Study load in GLH|
|Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Certificate||Pearson BTEC Level 3 Certificate||-||180|
|Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate||Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma||Edexcel Level 3 BTEC National Award||360|
|Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma||Pearson BTEC Level 3 90-credit Diploma||-||540|
|Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma||Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma||Edexcel Level 3 BTEC National Certificate||720|
|Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma||Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma||Edexcel Level 3 BTEC National Diploma||1080|
Of these diplomas, only the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma entitles the graduate to admission to higher professional education in the Netherlands.
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma
- Duration: 2 years.
- Study hours: 1080 GLH.
- Content: depending on the specialisation, for example business, IT or health and social care. You can find more information on BTEC Level 3 Nationals on the Pearson website.
- Admission requirements: General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE).
- Diploma: BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (awarded by Pearson).