Education and diplomas United Kingdom

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View the Dutch comparison of diplomas from United Kingdom. Or download a pdf with more detailed information about British education.

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Download the pdf with detailed information about the British education system:
Education system United Kingdom‌ (2.1 MB)

Common diplomas of England, Wales and Northern Ireland

View the Dutch comparison of the most common diplomas from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the duration of schooling, the type of education and the purpose of these diplomas.

General Certificate of Secondary Education in 6 subjects, with marks ranging from D-G

  • Dutch comparison: VMBO-T diploma (NLQF* 2/EQF** 2).
  • Duration of schooling: 5 years.
  • Type of education: general lower secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to vocational secondary education and upper pre-university education.

General Certificate of Secondary Education in 6 subjects, with marks ranging from A* to C or 9 to 4

  • Dutch comparison: at least a VMBO-T diploma (NLQF 2/EQF 2).
  • Duration of schooling: 5 years.
  • Type of education: general lower secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to vocational secondary education and upper pre-university education.

BTEC Level 3 Diploma

  • Dutch comparison: MBO qualification level 3 diploma (NLQF 3/EQF 3).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years (part-time).
  • Type of education: secondary vocational education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to the labour market.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

  • Dutch comparison: MBO qualification level 4 diploma (NLQF 4/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: secondary vocational education.
  • Purpose of diploma: admission to higher education.

Access to HE Diploma

  • Dutch comparison: MBO qualification level 4 diploma, HAVO or VWO diploma (NLQF 4/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 1 year.
  • Type of education: combination of general secondary and secondary vocational education (foundation programme).
  • Purpose of diploma: admission to higher education.

General Certificate of Secondary Education in 4 subjects (A*-C or 9-4) + a General Certificate of Education with 2 relevant subjects at advanced subsidiary level (A*-C), 6 different subjects in total, including English and mathematics***

  • Dutch comparison: HAVO diploma (NLQF 4/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 5 + 1 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: preparation for advanced levels (A levels).

General Certificate of Secondary Education in 4 subjects (A*-C or 9-4) + a General Certificate of Education with 2 relevant subjects at advanced level (D-E), 6 different subjects in total, including English and mathematics***

  • Dutch comparison: HAVO diploma (NLQF 4/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 5 + 2 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: preparation for access to higher education.

General Certificate of Secondary Education in 3 subjects (A*-C or 9-4) + a General Certificate of Education with 3 relevant, academic (and some vocational) subjects at advanced level (A*-C), 6 different subjects in total, including English and mathematics***

  • Dutch comparison: VWO diploma (NLQF 4+/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 5 + 2 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to higher education.

Higher National Certificate

  • Dutch comparison: 2 years HBO (NLQF 5/EQF 5).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years (part time).
  • Type of education: higher professional education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to the labour market and to university bachelors.

Higher National Diploma

  • Dutch comparison: 3 years HBO (NLQF 5/EQF 5).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to the labour market and to the third year of a university bachelor.

Honours Bachelor degree

  • Dutch comparison: HBO or WO bachelor’s degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 3 to 4 years.
  • Type of education: professional or research oriented education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to university masters.

Master of Science/Master of Arts

  • Dutch comparison: HBO or WO master’s degree (NLQF 7/EQF 7).
  • Duration of schooling: 1 to 2 years.
  • Type of education: professional or research oriented education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to doctorate programmes.

Master of Philosophy

  • Dutch comparison: WO master’s degree (research master) (NLQF 7/EQF 7).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: research oriented education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to doctorate programmes.

* NLQF = Dutch Qualifications Framework
** EQF = European Qualifications Framework

*** This has been changed compared to the previous version.

Checking the evaluation of a diploma?

Find out how to apply for a diploma evaluation.

Do you work for a Dutch education institution?

Check the possibilities for diploma evaluation for institutions (in Dutch).

Common diplomas of Scotland

View the Dutch comparison of the most common diplomas from Scotland, the duration of schooling, the type of education and the purpose of these diplomas.

Scottish Qualifications Certificate with 4 Highers

  • Dutch comparison: HAVO diploma (NLQF* 4/EQF** 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 5 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to higher education.

Scottish Qualifications Certificate with 2 Advanced Highers (plus 4 Highers)

  • Dutch comparison: VWO diploma (NLQF 4+/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 6 years.
  • Type of education: general secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to the second year of university bachelors (4 years).

Honours Bachelor degree (Scotland)

  • Dutch comparison: HBO or WO bachelor’s degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 4 years.
  • Type of education: professional or research oriented education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to university masters.

Master of Arts (Honours) degree (4 old universities)

  • Dutch comparison: HBO or WO bachelor’s degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 4 years.
  • Type of education: professional or research oriented education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to university masters.

Master of Science/Master of Arts degree

  • Dutch comparison: HBO or WO master’s degree (NLQF 7/EQF 7).
  • Duration of schooling: 1 to 2 years.
  • Type of education: professional or research oriented education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to doctorate programmes.

* NLQF = Dutch Qualifications Framework
** EQF = European Qualifications Framework

Checking the evaluation of a diploma?

Find out how to apply for a diploma evaluation.

Do you work for a Dutch education institution?

Check the possibilities for diploma evaluation for institutions (in Dutch).

The credentials challenge for online learning

7 November 2019
How to overcome the challenge to assess the value of a huge variety of certificates, badges and other micro-credentials.