Business and Technology Education Council

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The Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) is a provider (existing as part of Pearson Education Ltd) of secondary school leaving qualifications and Further education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Whilst the T in BTEC it has been mistakenly understood to stand for Technician, according to the DFE (2016) it actually stands for Technology. [1]

BTEC qualifications, especially Level 3, are accepted by many universities (excluding Cambridge, Oxford and UCL unless combined with more qualifications) when assessing the suitability of applicants for admission, and many such universities base their conditional admissions offers on a student's predicted BTEC grades.[citation needed]

Qualification Subjects[edit]

BTEC qualifications are in theory equivalent to other qualifications, such as the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) (levels 1 to 2), A Level (level 3) and university degrees (levels 6 to 7). BTECs are undertaken in vocational subjects ranging from business studies to engineering. Examples of qualifications include:

  • Animal Management
  • Applied Science
  • Art & Design
  • Business
  • Computing
  • Children's Care and Learning
  • Creative Digital Media Production
  • Early Years & Education
  • Engineering
  • Hair And Beauty
  • Hospitality
  • Health & Social Care
  • Music / Music Technology
  • Performing Arts
  • Public Services
  • Sports Science
  • Travel & Tourism

History[edit]

The BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council) was formed by the merger of the Business Education Council (BEC) and the Technician Education Council (TEC). The University of London Examinations & Assessment Council (abbr. ULEAC) and BTEC merged to form Edexcel.[2]

Awards and course system[edit]

School leaving qualification (Level 3)[edit]

The following Level 3 courses, known as BTEC Nationals, are intended for those with five or more GCSE grades A*-C including English, mathematics and science. The qualification names for Level 3 courses changed dependent on whether they were awarded though the forthcoming National Qualification Framework (NQF) or the predecessor Qualification Credit Framework (QCF):

NQF (2016) QCF (2010) A level size equivalence Grading
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma 3 x A levels PPP to D*D*D*
BTEC Level 3 Diploma BTEC Level 3 Diploma 2 x A levels PP to D*D*
BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma BTEC Level 3 90-Credit Diploma 1.5 x A levels PP to D*D*
BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma 1 x A level Pass to Distinction*
BTEC Level 3 Certificate BTEC Level 3 Certificate 0.5 x A level Pass to Distinction*

School leaving qualification (Level 2)[edit]

The following Level 2 courses, known as BTEC Firsts, are intended for students at GCSE level as a vocational equivalent. There are no BTEC courses for English, or mathematics. Students who do not achieve the minimum Level 2 Pass grade will receive a Level 1 Pass in the given qualification equivalent to GCSE grades D-E and therefore does not count to the A*-C measurement system. The qualification names for Level 2 courses changed dependant on whether they were awarded though the current National Qualification Framework (NQF) or the predecessor Qualification Credit Framework (QCF):

NQF (2012) QCF (2010) GCSE size equivalence Grading
BTEC Level 2 Diploma No equivalent 4 x GCSEs PPP to D*D*D*
BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate BTEC Level 2 Diploma 3 x GCSEs PPP to D*D*D*
BTEC Level 2 Certificate BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate 2 x GCSEs PP to D*D*
BTEC Level 2 Award BTEC Level 2 Certificate 1 x GCSE Pass to Distinction*

BTEC Grading in more detail

BTEC qualifications are graded differently from your typical A*-G or 9-1 at GCSE and A-Level. The four grades that BTEC offers are: Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction* (Pronounced Distinction-Star).

A BTEC Level 1 and 2 grading is equivalent to a GCSE. A Level 1 Pass is equivalent to grades D-G or 3-1 at GCSE. At Level 2, a Pass grade is equivalent to a grade C or 4/5 at GCSE, a Merit Grade is equivalent to a B or 6 Grade at GCSE, a Distinction is equivalent to Grade A or 7 at GCSE and Distinction* (Pronounced Distinction-star) is equivalent to Grade A* or 8/9 at GCSE.

A Level 3 BTEC is equivalent to an A-Level and therefore grading is slightly different to allow and help students gain access to further education in University or Apprenticeships. At Level 3, a Pass grade is equivalent to an E at A-Level, a Merit grade is equivalent to a C at A-Level, a Distinction is equivalent to an A at A-Level and lastly a Distinction* is equivalent to a A* at A-Level.

At both Level 1/2 and Level 3 BTECs, anything that does not meet the criteria for a Pass grade will receive a 'U' meaning 'Ungraded' and the pupil will subsequently not revieve a BTEC qualification in that subject. Additionally, grade Distinction* was introduced later, in 2010 to enable pupils to earn a grade equivalent to the top GCSE or A-Level grade and this meant that the cleverest students coild be distinguished from a Distinction student to a Distinction* student.

Higher and Further education (Adult courses) RQF or QCF[edit]

  • BTEC Level 7 Diploma - A Master's Degree level course
  • BTEC HND (Higher Nationals)

See also[edit]

References[edit]