Qualifications explained & compared

Quickly understand how UK academic qualifications compare with our easy to use comparison tool Just start typing the name of a qualification below. Alternatively click any level to see equivalent qualifications at a glance.

Entry Levels 1 - 3 qualifications

Description

Entry level Awards, Certificates and Diplomas are for people with no formal qualifications and usually serve as an introduction to a vocational area. The difference between the Award, Certificate and Diploma relates to the number of credits required to achieve each - Award (1-12 credits), Certificate (13-36 credits), Diploma (37+ credits). Students will generally be expected to also achieve Functional Skills Maths and English at an appropriate level.

Duration

Up to a year for the Diploma.

Why choose this course?

Take the first steps in your chosen vocational area. Improve your Maths, English and IT skills.

Can lead to...

A Level 1 vocational course.

Description

ESOL courses are for people whose first language is not English and who need help with communicating in English to achieve their full potential. The UK Border Agency requires that anyone applying for naturalization as a British citizen must take an ESOL course with Citizenship if their English skills are below Entry Level 3. Entry level ESOL courses include basic reading and writing, along with speaking and listening. Other subjects covered could include Maths, IT and study skills.

Duration

Usually 20 Guided Learning Hours (GLH), but can be longer.

Why choose this course?

Improve your English vocabulary, grammar, spelling and pronunciation and gain the skills to deal with employers or colleges and express your views and opinions more confidently.

Can lead to...

Progress to further ESOL, study at an English-speaking college.

Description

Skills for Life is a national strategy introduced by the UK government in 2001 to improve the literacy, language (ESOL) and numeracy skills of adults. Courses are often delivered flexibly, part-time, online or in class, and focus on Maths and English skills which are useful in everyday life. Courses can lead to recognised qualifications from beginner level up to Level 2 (GCSE) standard.

Duration

Learners achieve at their own pace.

Why choose this course?

Improve your reading, writing and number skills, boost your job prospects, progress to further courses.

Can lead to...

Move on to further study or employment.

Description

Introduced in 2010, Functional Skills are standalone qualifications, but can also be embedded within other qualifications such as GCSEs and Apprenticeships. They are a compulsory qualification for all young people in England and focus on the essential skills of English, Maths and IT. Functional Skills take a practical approach to learning, demonstrating that a person not only has knowledge but knows how to use it in real-life situations. A Functional Skills qualification at Entry Level 1-3 is below GCSE level.

Duration

45 Guided Learning Hours (GLH) per Functional Skill.

Why choose this course?

Demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life and work.

Can lead to...

Further study and increased efficiency and confidence in the workplace

Description

Essential Skills are similar to Functional Skills and are approved qualifications in Wales and Northern Ireland (They're called Core Skills in Scotland). Like Functional Skills, Essential Skills focus on numeracy, language and IT and prepare people for work or help those already in work to achieve more. Courses have a practical focus, and enable people to apply their skills in real life situations.

Duration

Up to 45 Guided Learning Hours (GLH) per Essential Skill.

Why choose this course?

Demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life and work.

Can lead to...

Further study and increased efficiency and confidence in the workplace

Level 1 qualifications

Description

The General Certificate in Secondary Education (GCSE) is primarily intended for students aged 14-16 at secondary school. Introduced in 1986 to replace the previous O Level and CSE system, GCSEs are compulsory in the core subjects of Maths, English and Science. GCSEs take a traditional approach to learning and are available at two tiers of examination - Foundation (where students can achieve grades C-G) and Higher (A*-D).

Duration

2 years.

Why choose this course?

Achieving a GSCE at Level 1 (D-G) provides a platform for further learning and demonstrates that you have acquired basic knowledge and skills in a subject.

Can lead to...

Further study at Level 2 or a job role (with supervision).

Description

These work-related qualifications are accredited by a variety of awarding bodies (including City & Guilds, CACHE, OCR and Pearson) and provide students with an opportunity to explore one or more vocational areas before committing to further study at Level 2. Primarily designed for young people not able to achieve A*-C grade GCSEs, they encourage students to develop the personal and work-related skills necessary to do a certain job. A Level 1 Diploma is roughly equivalent to 4 GCSEs (D-G).

Duration

1 year.

Why choose this course?

A good introduction to a vocational subject, combining hands-on learning, projects and work-related activities.

Can lead to...

A Level 2 Award, Certificate or Diploma.

Description

ESOL courses are for people whose first language is not English and who need help with communicating in English to achieve their full potential. At Level 1 (Intermediate) students develop their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. There is an emphasis on widening a student's vocabulary, improving pronunciation and learning to communicate in a variety of real-life situations.

Duration

Up to 16 hours per week.

Why choose this course?

Gain employment, prepare for further education and work towards citizenship.

Can lead to...

Move on to further study and/or employment.

Description

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are studied and mostly assessed in the workplace. NVQs provide evidence of a person's knowledge and ability to do a job effectively. Designed in partnership with employers and sector skills councils, NVQs are available in most business sectors. Based on national standards for different occupations, NVQs outline what a competent person in a job should be expected to do and know. At Level 1, NVQs demonstrate that a person can carry out routine and predictable work activities to a satisfactory standard. A Level 1 NVQ is equivalent to 3 or 4 GCSEs (grade D-E).

Duration

NVQs can be taken unit by unit, depending upon the needs of students and employers.

Why choose this course?

Develop new skills or improve the skills you already have.

Can lead to...

Training at a higher level, an Apprenticeship and/or employment.

Description

Introduced in 2010, Functional Skills are standalone qualifications, but can also be embedded within other qualifications such as GCSEs and Apprenticeships. They are a compulsory qualification for all young people in England and focus on the essential skills of English, Maths and ICT. Functional Skills take a practical approach to learning, demonstrating that a person not only has knowledge but knows how to use it in real-life situations. A Functional Skills qualification at Level 1 is roughly equivalent to half a GCSE at grade D/E.

Duration

45 Guided Learning Hours (GLH) per Functional Skill.

Why choose this course?

Demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life and work.

Can lead to...

Further study and increased efficiency and confidence in the workplace.

Description

Essential Skills are similar to Functional Skills and are approved qualifications in Wales and Northern Ireland (they're called Core Skills in Scotland). As with Functional Skills, Essential Skills focus on numeracy, language and IT and prepare people for work or help those already in work to achieve more. The qualifications have a practical focus, and enable people to apply their skills in real life situations.

Duration

Up to 45 Guided Learning Hours (GLH) per Functional Skill.

Why choose this course?

Demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life and work.

Can lead to...

Further study and increased efficiency and confidence in the workplace.

Level 2 qualifications

Description

Firsts are linked to industry sectors and are suitable for students aged pre-16 who are capable of achieving GCSEs grades A*-C, but prefer to focus on a work-related qualification. Students can take a First Certificate or Diploma alongside core GCSE subjects such as English, Maths and Science. A First Diploma is equivalent to 4 GCSEs (A*-C).

Duration

2 years.

Why choose this course?

Gain qualifications to develop your career with the option to study at a higher level.

Can lead to...

Move on to further study, an Apprenticeship or employment.

Description

The General Certificate in Secondary Education (GCSE) is primarily intended for students aged 14-16 at secondary school. Introduced in 1986 to replace the previous O Level and CSE system, GCSEs are compulsory in the core subjects of Maths, English and Science. GCSEs take a traditional approach to learning and are available at two tiers of examination - Foundation (where students can achieve grades C-G) and Higher (A*-D).

Duration

2 years.

Why choose this course?

Achieving a GSCE at Level 2 (grades A*-C) provides a good platform for further learning and demonstrates that you have acquired basic theoretical knowledge and skills in a subject.

Can lead to...

Other Level 2 courses, Level 3 courses, such as A Levels, an Apprenticeship and/or employment.

Description

The Ordinary Level or O Level was introduced in the 1950s. O Levels were primarily assessed through an exam at the end of the second year - less academically able students could take CSEs (Certificate of Secondary Education). O Levels and CSEs were replaced by GCSEs in the UK in the late 1980s although O Levels remain popular in many countries, including parts of the Commonwealth.

Duration

2 years.

Why choose this course?

O Levels are still widely respected internationally and are considered by some people to demonstrate a higher level of academic attainment than GCSEs.

Can lead to...

A Levels, other Level 3 courses, an Apprenticeship and/or employment.

Description

These work-related qualifications are accredited by a variety of awarding bodies (including City & Guilds, CACHE, OCR and Pearson). They are available in a broad range of subjects from Art & Design to Health and Social Care. At Level 2, students focus on one vocational area and develop the personal and work-related skills necessary to do a certain job. A Level 2 Diploma is roughly equivalent to 4 GCSEs (A*-C).

Duration

1 year.

Why choose this course?

Gain qualifications to develop your career with the option to study at a higher level.

Can lead to...

Move on to further study, an Apprenticeship or employment.

Description

ESOL courses are for people whose first language is not English and who need help with communicating in English to achieve their full potential. At Level 2 (Advanced) students reach a high degree of competence, using English effectively in social and professional situations and in higher education.

Duration

20 weeks to 1 year.

Why choose this course?

Learn to deal with complex forms of language and communicate in a variety of situations that require sophisticated language.

Can lead to...

Students could move on to university or Access to HE courses where English at Level 2 is an entry requirement.

Description

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are studied and mostly assessed in the workplace. NVQs provide evidence of a person's knowledge and ability to do a job effectively. Designed in partnership with employers and sector skills councils, NVQs are available in most business sectors. Based on national standards for different occupations, NVQs outline what a competent person in a job should be expected to do and know. At Level 2, NVQs demonstrate that a person can apply their knowledge and skills in a significant range of varied work activities. A Level 2 NVQ is equivalent to 5 GCSEs (grade A*-C).

Duration

NVQs can be taken unit by unit, depending upon the needs of students and employers.

Why choose this course?

Gain qualifications to develop your career with the option to study at a higher level.

Can lead to...

A Level 3 qualification, including an Advanced Apprenticeship and/or employment.

Description

An Apprenticeship is a real job with training. All Apprenticeships include knowledge (theory) and competence (practical) elements that are relevant to the apprentice's job role. Apprenticeships can be taken at three levels: Intermediate (Level 2), Advanced (Level 3) and Higher (Levels 4/5). A Level 2 Apprenticeship is equivalent to 5 GCSE passes.

Duration

12-18 months.

Why choose this course?

Earn while you learn, gain hands-on experience and pick up knowledge and skills in the workplace.

Can lead to...

Progress to work and/or further study.

Description

Introduced in 2010, Functional Skills are standalone qualifications, but can also be embedded within other qualifications such as GCSEs and Apprenticeships. They are a compulsory qualification for all young people in England and focus on the essential skills of English, Maths and ICT. Functional Skills take a practical approach to learning, demonstrating that a person not only has knowledge but knows how to use it in real-life situations. A Functional Skills qualification at Level 2 is roughly equivalent to half a GCSE at grade B.

Duration

45 Guided Learning Hours (GLH) per Functional Skill.

Why choose this course?

Demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life and work.

Can lead to...

Further study and increased efficiency and confidence in the workplace.

Description

Essential Skills are similar to Functional Skills and are approved qualifications in Wales and Northern Ireland (they're called Core Skills in Scotland). As with Functional Skills, Essential Skills focus on numeracy, language and IT and prepare people for work or help those already in work. The qualifications have a practical focus, and enable people to apply their skills in real life situations.

Duration

Up to 45 Guided Learning Hours (GLH) per Functional Skill.

Why choose this course?

Demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life and work.

Can lead to...

Further study and increased efficiency and confidence in the workplace.

Level 3 qualifications

Description

These specialist, career-focused qualifications are available as Award, Certificate or Diploma and are designed for students who have a clear idea of their future career or who wish to progress to higher education. A National Diploma at Level 3 is equivalent to 3 A Levels.

Duration

2 years.

Why choose this course?

Benefit from a practical, real-world approach to learning and develop the theoretical knowledge to succeed in the workplace, while retaining the option to progress to university if you wish.

Can lead to...

HND/HNC, Foundation Degree, Bachelors Degree, employment

Description

A Levels are one of the main options for young people after GCSEs. With a focus on study skills, they are often chosen as a route to university. However, A Levels are also highly valued as a career qualification and demonstrate to employers that you can think and work at an advanced level.

Duration

2 years.

Why choose this course?

Prepare for further study at university level.

Can lead to...

University or university level study, such as a Foundation Degree, HNC or Honours Degree.

Description

AS (Advanced Subsidiary) level qualifications focus on traditional study skills. Currently, AS levels can be taken as a standalone qualification, or as the first part of an A level course. However, recent government proposals could mean that AS Levels become decoupled from 2 year A Levels but remain as a qualification in their own right.

Duration

1 year.

Why choose this course?

Prepare for further study at university level.

Can lead to...

Progress to university, college or employment.

Description

These work-related qualifications are accredited by a variety of awarding bodies (including City & Guilds, CACHE, OCR and Pearson). They are available in a broad range of subjects from Art & Design to Health and Social Care. At Level 3, students specialise in a particular vocational area and develop the personal and work-related skills necessary to do a job to a professional level. A Level 3 Diploma is roughly equivalent to 3 A Levels.

Duration

1-2 years.

Why choose this course?

Benefit from a practical, real-world approach to learning and develop the theoretical knowledge to succeed in the workplace, while retaining the option to progress to university if you wish.

Can lead to...

HND/HNC, Foundation Degree, Bachelors Degree, employment

Description

ESOL courses are for people whose first language is not English and who need help with communicating in English to achieve their full potential. Level 3 ESOL courses enable students to develop a very high degree of competence and the ability to differentiate finer shades of meaning even in complex situations.

Duration

20 weeks to 1 year.

Why choose this course?

Gain the necessary skills and confidence to study at an English-speaking university.

Can lead to...

Students could move on to university or employment.

Description

The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a nationally recognised qualification for students aged 19+ who require extra support to prepare for university. Students study different subject combinations according to the entry requirements of the university of their choice and attend study skills sessions to prepare for higher education.

Duration

1 year.

Why choose this course?

Gain the necessary, qualification, skills and confidence to prepare for study at a UK university.

Can lead to...

Move on to university level study.

Description

The Foundation Diploma in Art & Design is a post-A Level course for students who wish to develop their art, design and media skills for entry to university or related employment. The course provides a bridge between the skills developed at A Level or on a Level 3 Diploma and the breadth of work necessary to compete for a place at university.

Duration

1 year.

Why choose this course?

Explore your ideas across a wide range of art and design disciplines while developing your portfolio.

Can lead to...

Bachelors Degree (Art & Design), HND/HNC, NVQ, employment.

Description

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are studied and mostly assessed in the workplace. NVQs provide evidence of a person's knowledge and ability to do a job effectively. Designed in partnership with employers and sector skills councils, NVQs are available in most business sectors. Based on national standards for different occupations, NVQs outline what a competent person in a job should be expected to do and know. At Level 3, NVQs demonstrate that a person has knowledge in a broad range of work activities and can perform in a wide variety of complex, non-routine contexts. A Level 3 NVQ is equivalent to two or more A Levels.

Duration

NVQs can be taken unit by unit, depending upon the needs of students and employers.

Why choose this course?

Gain qualifications to develop your career with the option to study at a higher level.

Can lead to...

A Level 4 qualification, including a Higher Apprenticeship.

Description

An Apprenticeship is a real job with training. All Apprenticeships include knowledge (theory) and competence (practical) elements that are relevant to the apprentice's job role. Apprenticeships can be taken at three levels: Intermediate (Level 2), Advanced (Level 3) and Higher (Levels 4/5). A Level 3 Apprenticeship is equivalent to 2 A Level passes.

Duration

2 years.

Why choose this course?

Earn while you learn, gain hands-on experience and pick up knowledge and skills in the workplace.

Can lead to...

Progress to work and/or further study.

Description

Aimed primarily at students aged 16-19, the IB Diploma provides an internationally accepted route to university. It is considered by some to be a more academically challenging route to university than A Levels. Students are required to take six subjects over two years including a second language and an experimental science. Alongside this, students must also study the theory of knowledge and complete a major research assignment or an extended essay.

Duration

2 years.

Why choose this course?

Prepare for university without having to limit your options to the traditional 3 or 4 A Level subjects. Achieve a qualification recognised by universities worldwide.

Can lead to...

University or university level study, such as a Foundation Degree, HND/HNC or Bachelors Degree.

Level 4 qualifications

Description

A Higher National Certificate (HNC) is a work-related qualification that is usually studied part-time alongside full-time employment. HNCs are a mix of academic and workplace learning that address the needs of industry by enabling students to develop management and higher level technical skills in a vocational area. An HNC is equivalent to the first year of a Bachelors Degree.

Duration

1 year (full-time), 2 years (part-time).

Why choose this course?

Blend academic and hands-on practical and vocational learning to develop the high level skills you need in the workplace.

Can lead to...

HND, Bachelors Degree or employment.

Description

The Certificate of Higher Education is offered at colleges and universities on a part-time basis. The qualification is designed to be flexible. Students can choose modules from across a range of academic disciplines and build a study profile to suit their needs and interests. The CertHE is equivalent to the first year of a Bachelors Degree.

Duration

1 year (full-time), 2 years (part-time).

Why choose this course?

Study subjects that interest you at degree level and move on to a full degree if and when you're ready.

Can lead to...

HND or Bachelors Degree.

Description

The UK Government launched a Higher Apprenticeship fund in 2011 to develop and implement Apprenticeships at Level 4/5. Responding to employers' higher level skills needs, Higher Apprenticeships are equivalent to degree level study, and are available across many industries including construction, engineering, insurance, business and financial services.

Duration

18 months to 4 years.

Why choose this course?

Earn while you learn and develop valuable high level professional skills.

Can lead to...

Progress to Bachelors Degree, Foundation Degree, HND/HNC and/work.

Description

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are studied and mostly assessed in the workplace. NVQs provide evidence of a person's knowledge and ability to do a job effectively. Designed in partnership with employers and sector skills councils, NVQs are available in most business sectors. Based on national standards for different occupations, NVQs outline what a competent person in a job should be expected to do and know. At Level 4, NVQs demonstrate that a person is capable of complex, technical or professional work activities performed in a variety of contexts and with a substantial degree of autonomy. A Level 4 NVQ is equivalent to an HNC or, in some cases, an HND.

Duration

12-18 months.

Why choose this course?

Gain qualifications to develop your career with the option to study at a higher level.

Can lead to...

HND, Foundation Degree and/or employment at managerial level.

Level 5 qualifications

Description

A Higher National Diploma (HND) is a work-related professional qualification that enables you to progress to a degree 'top up' course. HNDs are a mix of academic and workplace learning that address the needs of industry and enables students to develop management and higher level technical skills in a vocational area. An HND is equivalent to the second year of a Bachelors Degree.

Duration

2 years.

Why choose this course?

Blend academic and hands-on practical and vocational learning to develop the high level skills you need in the workplace.

Can lead to...

Bachelors Degree or employment.

Description

A Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) is offered at universities and is equivalent to the first two years of a Bachelors Degree. They tend to focus on a particular profession or academic subject and enable students to gain a recognised qualification and greater knowledge and understanding of a particular subject.

Duration

2 years.

Why choose this course?

Study for a career change or achieve professional recognition in your current career.

Can lead to...

Bachelors Degree and/or employment.

Description

Foundation Degrees are vocational higher education qualifications that blend academic and practical, work-based learning. They can be studied full-time or part-time and are equivalent to the first two years of an Honours Degree. Foundation Degrees can be taken as standalone qualifications or can be topped up to the final year of a Bachelors Degree.

Duration

2 years.

Why choose this course?

Develop the knowledge and skills that employers need with the option to top up to a full degree at university.

Can lead to...

Bachelors Degree and/or employment.

Description

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are studied and mostly assessed in the workplace. NVQs provide evidence of a person's knowledge and ability to do a job effectively. Designed in partnership with employers and sector skills councils, NVQs are available in most business sectors. Based on national standards for different occupations, NVQs outline what a competent person in a job should be expected to do and know. At Level 5, NVQs demonstrate that a person is capable of applying a range of fundamental principles across a wide and often unpredictable variety of contexts with substantial personal autonomy and often significant responsibility for the work of others.

Duration

12-18 months.

Why choose this course?

An ideal qualification for enhanced career development.

Can lead to...

Bachelors Degree and/or employment at managerial level.

Level 6 qualifications

Description

A Bachelors Degree is an academic qualification that is usually taken at university over three (sometimes four) years. Bachelors Degrees in some subjects, such as medicine, can take up to seven years. Bachelors Degrees are designed to give students an in-depth knowledge of a subject, while developing high level analytical and intellectual skills. Qualifications include Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc) and Bachelor of Education (BEd). An Honours Degree means that a student has passed the required number of modules - most universities no longer offer a Bachelors Degree without Honours.

Duration

3-4 years.

Why choose this course?

An ideal entry point to careers in a wide range of professions, with options for further study at a higher level.

Can lead to...

Postgraduate study and/or employment.

Description

A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) can be taken once a student has achieved a Bachelors Degree. A PGCert is a vocational or academic qualification that provides students with specialised knowledge at Masters Degree level but without the breadth of a full Masters Degree of Postgraduate Diploma. A PGCert will usually include a blend of taught and research elements.

Duration

6 months-1 year.

Why choose this course?

Study something new or build on the knowledge acquired from your Bachelors Degree to launch a new career or train for a particular profession.

Can lead to...

Postgraduate Diploma, Masters Degree and/or employment.

Description

A Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) enables you to follow on from a Bachelors Degree and study a subject that interests them in greater depth. A PGDip can be a vocational or academic qualification and is used by many people to enter a profession, such as law or teaching.

Duration

6 months-1 year.

Why choose this course?

Study something new or build on the knowledge acquired from your Bachelors Degree to launch a new career or train for a particular profession.

Can lead to...

Masters Degree, PhD and/or employment.

Description

An Ordinary Degree is awarded to a student who has failed to pass a sufficient number of modules to achieve a Bachelors Degree with Honours. Students in this situation may graduate, and are usually given the options to retake failed modules to achieve a full Honours Degree.

Duration

3-4 years.

Why choose this course?

n/a

Can lead to...

n/a

Level 7 qualifications

Description

A Masters Degree builds on a Bachelors Degree and can be a taught course or research based. Masters Degrees can follow on from a Bachelors Degree or be in a new subject, serving as means of retraining for a new career. Qualifications include Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil).

Duration

1 year.

Why choose this course?

Prepare for a professional career in a particular field or study a subject that interests you in greater detail.

Can lead to...

PhD and/or employment.

Description

An Integrated Masters Degree is a Bachelors Degree combined with an extra year of study for a Masters. Integrated Masters Degrees are most common in scientific and technical areas where a high level of specialist knowledge is required to work in a particular sector or profession, such as engineering (MEng). The qualification usually includes a significant period of workplace learning.

Duration

4 years.

Why choose this course?

Study a more extensive range of subjects at a more advanced level than a Bachelors Degree.

Can lead to...

PhD and/or employment.

Description

The Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) is a one-year course for people who wish to teach in state primary or secondary schools in England, Scotland and Wales. Applicants are expected to have a Bachelors Degree in a relevant subject. The course usually includes lectures at a university, as well as school-based training in at least two schools of up to 18 weeks for primary school teaching and 24 weeks for secondary school teachers. The PGCE is the same level academically as the final year of a Bachelors Degree.

Duration

1 year.

Why choose this course?

The main route into education at primary or secondary level.

Can lead to...

Masters Degree, PhD and/or employment.

Level 8 qualifications

Description

A Doctoral Degree or Doctorate is the highest academic qualification that can be achieved. Doctorates involve three or more years of study beyond a Masters Degree. Awarded by universities, Doctorates traditionally qualify the holder to teach at a university and involve significant original and independent research that should be subject to peer review and worthy of publication. Doctorate qualifications include Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD), Doctorate of Education (EdD) and Doctorate of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy).

Duration

3+ years.

Why choose this course?

Develop subject specialist knowledge and skills to the highest level, prepare for a career in academia.

Can lead to...

More about the Qualification Comparison Tool

The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) replaced the national qualifications framework (NQF) in 2010, and is made up of 9 levels. The relative 'value' of different qualification types can be confusing to those outside of academia, particular in relation to qualifications that were not current when they studied and don't have a place in the modern QCF.

The Courses Plus Qualification Comparison Tool exists to help students, employers and those seeking education easily understand what a qualification is worth, the benefits of gaining it, what it can lead to, how long it takes and other qualification equivalents at the same level. We've also included historic qualifications that are outside of the QCF in their "logical place" to help those who are more familiar with systems such as the O'Level.