School Curricula Guides


BTEC qualifications are a vocational path into Higher Education or the world of work. The qualifications originate from the UK and are a well-regarded alternative to traditional A Level or IB courses for Post 16 students.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
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What is a BTEC?

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.

What BTEC subjects are available?

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.

How is BTEC graded?

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
Starred distinction 56 A* A
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.  


40 UK Schools offering BTEC

School name Community Region
Akeley Wood School Buckinghamshire South East England
Appleford School Wiltshire South West England
Ardingly College West Sussex South East England
Bede's Senior School East Sussex South East England
Bosworth Independent College Northamptonshire East Midlands
Brentwood School Essex East of England
Bromsgrove School Worcestershire West Midlands
Clayesmore School Dorset South West England
Dallam School Cumbria North West England
DLD College London Westminster Greater London
Framlingham College Suffolk East of England
Frensham Heights Surrey South East England
Frewen College East Sussex South East England
Gordonstoun Moray Scotland
Gresham's (Senior School) Norfolk East Midlands
Kingham Hill School Oxfordshire South East England
Kingston Grammar School Surrey South East England
LGS Stoneygate Leicestershire West Midlands
Malvern St James Girls’ School Worcestershire West Midlands
Millfield (Senior School) Somerset South West England
Moorland Private School Lancashire North West England
Mount Kelly Devon South West England
Oakham School Rutland East of England
Plymouth College Devon South West England
Queen Ethelburga's Collegiate Yorkshire North East England
Rossall School Lancashire North West England
Royal Hospital School Suffolk East of England
Sexey's School Somerset South West England
Sidcot School Somerset South West England
St Joseph’s College Suffolk East of England
Taunton School Somerset South West England
The BRIT School Croydon Greater London
The Hammond School Cheshire North East England
Tring Park School for the Performing Arts Hertfordshire East of England
Uppingham School Leicestershire West Midlands
Westonbirt School Gloucestershire South West England
Whitgift School Croydon Greater London
Windermere School (Senior School & Sixth Form) Cumbria North West England
Worth School West Sussex South East England
Wycliffe Senior School Gloucestershire South West England

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