BTEC stands for Business and Technology Education Council. The BTEC Extended Diploma qualification represents a vocational alternative to A Levels or IB (whereas BTEC First courses are equivalent to GCSEs). Currently BTEC qualifications are offered by the Pearson Edexcel Exam Board.
BTEC qualifications can be studied as double awards (equivalent to 2 A Levels) or triple awards (equivalent to 3 A Levels). Students may also choose to study for an A Level qualification to complement their BTEC studies and attract a higher UCAS point score.
In the UK, the BTEC suite of qualifications also extends to BTEC Apprenticeships, which offer a balance of ‘on and off the job’ training in a specific career. At present, such apprenticeships are not available in the UAE.
BTEC courses are best suited to those students who have a strong leaning to a particular career or sector. In addition, the courses may well suit those students who demonstrate their talents best through ongoing assessment rather than in high stakes examinations. BTEC courses typically consist of 18 modules, for which students submit coursework to demonstrate competency.
More than 95% of UK universities accept BTEC qualifications. Some high performing universities require students to have an A Level in addition to BTEC, and students who have particular interest in a specific institution are advised to check this with the university prior to commencing their Post 16 studies.
In the UK, BTECs are offered in a broad spectrum of diverse subjects areas such as Land Management, Media, Childcare and Construction. In the UAE, schools typically offer BTECs in one or more of; Art & Design, Business, Sport and Performing Arts.
BTECs final grades are split into three and may be awared in any combination of 'Starred Distinction, Distinction, Merit and Pass'. A top performing student would receive three Starred Distinction grades. Other students may receive award combinations such as Merit, Merit, Pass. Each grade attracts a different UCAS tariff and is described as being equivalent to a certain level of A Level grades. The table below demonstrates this:
|BTEC grade||UCAS tariff||UCAS equivalence to A-Level||Equivalence to A-Level|
|Distinction||48||A||Between B and C|
|Merit||32||C||Between C and D|
|Pass||16||E||Between D and E|
There are an increasing number of UAE school now offering BTEC qualifications alongside the more traditional academic routes.
|Al Yasmina Academy||Al Raha Gardens||Abu Dhabi|
|Arcadia School||Jumeirah Village Triangle||Dubai|
|Brighton College Al Ain||Gafat Al Nayyar||Al Ain|
|British School Al Khubairat, Abu Dhabi||Al Khubairat||Abu Dhabi|
|Cambridge International School Dubai||Al Twar||Dubai|
|Deira International School||Festival City||Dubai|
|Diyafah International School MBZ||Mohammed Bin Zayed City||Abu Dhabi|
|Dubai British School||Emirates Hills||Dubai|
|Dubai British School Jumeirah Park||Jumeirah Park||Dubai|
|Dubai English Speaking College||Dubai Academic City||Dubai|
|Dubai International Academy||Emirates Hills||Dubai|
|GEMS FirstPoint School||The Villa||Dubai|
|GEMS Founders School Al Barsha||Al Barsha South||Dubai|
|GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail||Dubai Hills Estate||Dubai|
|GEMS Wellington Academy, Dubai Silicon Oasis||Dubai Silicon Oasis||Dubai|
|GEMS Wellington International School, Dubai||Al Sufouh||Dubai|
|Jumeira Baccalaureate School||Jumeirah 1||Dubai|
|Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches||Arabian Ranches||Dubai|
|Kent College Dubai||Nad al Sheba||Dubai|
|Oxford School||Al Muhaisnah||Dubai|
|Pristine Private School||Al Nahda||Dubai|
|Raffles International School||Umm Suqeim||Dubai|
|Raffles World Academy||Umm Suqeim||Dubai|
|Regent International School||The Greens||Dubai|
|Safa Community School||Motor City||Dubai|
|Sunmarke School||Jumeirah Village Triangle||Dubai|
|The Aquila School||The Villa||Dubai|
|The Arbor School||Al Furjan||Dubai|
|The English College Dubai||Umm Suqeim||Dubai|
|The Sheffield Private School||Al Nahda||Dubai|
|The Winchester School||Jebel Ali||Dubai|