Pearson – what you need to know before opting in

74% of employers want new hires with practical knowledge and skills combined, 90% of BTEC students are employed full-time after graduating and 23% of students who went to university in 2018 had a BTEC. You can’t argue with numbers like these. It’s an effective path into the career you’ve always wanted, so choose BTEC – because BTEC Works.

What does BTEC stand for?

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).

What is a BTEC programme like?

BTECs are high quality, hands-on qualifications grounded in the real world of work. BTECs are all about learning by doing and that means BTEC students put what they learn into practice straight away. Throughout the course, they work on a series of assignments set in real-life scenarios, developing the practical knowledge and skills employers and universities are looking for. It’s so much more than just a certificate – BTEC-qualified students will keep applying what they learn on their BTEC course as they progress to university or a job – and throughout their future career.

What’s the next step after you get a BTEC?

More and more students are applying to universities with BTECs which is a clear sign that institutions have recognised the value of a BTEC qualification. If you are aiming to continue into Higher Education you can be confident that your BTEC Level 3 National provides the points you need for your university application just like A levels and AS levels do. You might also choose to progress to a BTEC Higher National Certificate (HNC), which is equivalent to the 1st year of university, or a Higher National Diploma (HND), which is equivalent to the 1st and 2nd year of university, before progressing to the final year of a full degree.

What about work after gaining a Pearson BTEC qualification?

Today’s employers are looking for confident, work-ready candidates who have the practical knowledge, experience and skills that BTECs provide. We’ve worked closely with employers, professional bodies and Higher Education experts to develop BTEC qualifications. That means BTEC-qualified candidates are valued by a wide range of industries. If you’re looking to move up the career ladder, or develop a higher level of knowledge in a particular area of expertise, BTEC Higher Nationals are a great option. Whichever subject you choose, your BTEC course will help you build the employability skills and confidence you’ll need to thrive throughout your career

What does a Pearson BTEC course look like, in principle?

With their focus on practical, skills-based learning, BTEC courses are designed around a number of themed units. Rather than testing everything together at the end of the course, BTECs give students the opportunity to show what they’ve learned in each unit, and build on their achievements as they progress through the course. That means there are plenty of chances to learn, improve and succeed.

What happens practically in a Pearson BTEC course?

Once you’re ready to put what you’ve learned into practice, BTEC tests – called “assessments” – are based around real-life work contexts and scenarios, and can include:

Assignments: Set and marked by the teacher or tutor, assignments involve a series of tasks designed around a work-related, real-life scenario. They give students the chance to build knowledge and skills over time and deliver a complete, integrated project using a combination of knowledge, skills and behaviours. Some BTECs are assessed completely through assignments, while the newer BTEC courses can include some units which are assessed through set tasks or tests. You’ll get a grade for each unit – Pass, Merit or Distinction – so you can see how you’re progressing throughout the course.

Set tasks, performances or written tests: For selected units in some of the newer BTEC courses, students also take practical assessments set and marked by Pearson. These tests are either based around a real-life task completed in a specified time or practically focused written tests.

Your final qualification grade will also be awarded on the Pass, Merit and Distinction scale, and your exact grades will vary depending on the course. Want to find out more? Take a look at each individual course specification which explains what you learn on each course and how it’s assessed.

For whom are Parson BTEC courses ideal?

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

What are the different types of BTEC courses available?

BTECs are broken down into three main levels of study:

BTEC Firsts are available from entry level to Level 2 (similar standard to GCSEs). These offer an introduction to work in a vocational sectorCombined with other qualifications, these can enable you to go on to further study, to an apprenticeship, or into employment. 

BTEC Nationals are available from Level 3 (similar standard to A levels). Many of these are well regarded by universities, further education colleges, and employers. A BTEC National qualification can lead to employment, continuing study, or professional development programmes.   

BTEC Apprenticeships are available at Levels 2 to 5 across more than 25 sectors. 

As a student how will a Pearson BTEC course work for you?

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.

What level of entry requirements are needed for this course?

Entry requirements vary depending on the school or college and the particular BTEC course you are interested in. You may need up to five GCSEs at grade 9 to 4, or A* to C.

Does Canada accept Pearson qualifications?

While the qualifications you have taken with Pearson will affect the courses you can apply for, both Edexcel A levels and BTECs are widely accepted throughout Canada. Students with Edexcel A levels and BTEC qualifications have achieved a higher academic level to Canadian secondary school graduates.

Is Pearson BTEC accepted in Australia?

Edexcel has received confirmation from the named universities in Australia that they recognise BTEC HNDs gained outside the UK and will welcome applications from students with such qualifications.

What is a BTEC Diploma equal to?

BTECs at levels 1 and 2 are equivalent to GCSEs. The BTEC level 3 equivalent is A-Level, with levels 4 -7 of a BTEC holding the same status of achievement as a degree. BTECs are vocational qualifications, rather than traditional academic courses.

Is the BTEC recognised internationally?

BTEC Higher National Certificates and Diplomas are internationally-recognised Higher Education qualifications that are equivalent to the first and second years of a UK undergraduate (Hons) degree.

Will universities accept a Pearson BTEC qualification?

Nearly all universities accept BTECs in relevant subject areas, similar to how they would with equivalent A-level qualifications. BTEC students can often be better prepared in terms of the independent studying that’s required at degree level, due to the portfolio-based nature of BTEC courses.

How many points is a pass in BTEC?

At level 3 a Pass is worth 7 points per credit, a Merit is worth 8 points per credit, and a Distinction is worth 9 points per credit.

What are BTEC Nationals?

Alongside A levels, BTEC Nationals are the most widely-recognised qualification for admission to higher education.

They are level 3 vocational qualifications that provide specialist, work-related learning across a range of sectors. BTEC Nationals are designed to equip students with the specialist knowledge, practical skills and understanding they need to progress along their chosen learning and career paths.

BTEC Nationals are career-based qualifications designed to give students the skills they need to move on to higher education or go straight into employment.

More employers and higher education institutions than ever before are choosing BTEC-qualified candidates for their academic and practical knowledge and skills.

  • In 2015, over 25% of the students entering university in England did so with a BTEC qualification.
  • 90% of BTEC students are employed full time after graduation – Progression Pathways, 2016.
  • A Level 3 BTEC qualification can boost life time earnings by £92,000 – London Economics, 2013.

When combined with academic learning in a school or college (or as a stand-alone course in further or higher education), BTEC Nationals develop practical knowledge and skills which help learners to prepare for – and progress in – their chosen career.

What are BTEC Higher Nationals?

BTEC Higher Nationals are internationally-recognised higher education qualifications at level 4 and 5 that are equivalent to the first and second years of a university degree, providing progression to both university and employment.

BTEC Higher Nationals provide specialist learning at Levels 4 and 5 in over 40 subjects, offering a cost-effective, vocational pathway to higher education. BTEC Higher Nationals are delivered at both universities and colleges in 60 countries around the world. They are an ideal choice for students seeking an affordable and relevant route to a degree or employment. This year over 100,000 students in the UK and worldwide will choose to do a Higher National Certificate or Higher National Diploma to help them progress in their career.

Where can you get Pearson BTEC courses?

You can study for a Pearson BTEC qualification with Global Edulink. We offer a range of Person BTEC accredited qualifications that will help you build a successful career. We also offer the best prices arund for these industry recognised programmes and will also offer you zero interest payment plans if you need any assistance.  If you would like to know more information about our courses and how you can join them, speak to our team of experts on

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