How Many UCAS Points is a BTEC?
If you’re completing a BTEC qualification and thinking of applying to university, it’s handy to know how many UCAS points your qualification will be worth. Knowing how many UCAS points you need to apply to your chosen universities can give you a goal to work towards when completing your BTEC.
In this guide, we’ll discuss how many UCAS points each BTEC grade is worth.
What are UCAS Points?
UCAS has a scheme that enables students, colleges and universities to determine how many points a qualification is worth, and to make comparisons between a range of qualifications. For academic institutions, having a UCAS Tariff helps them to keep offers fair by comparing less well-known qualifications against familiar ones. This means that the decision-making process is equal and transparent when it comes to offering students a place.
Colleges and universities can use the UCAS Tariff to determine how many points students will need as entry requirements. Students can also use the UCAS Tariff calculator to see how many points their qualifications are worth, which should help them to determine whether they can get into their intended course of study.
The UCAS Tariff calculator is however only a guide, and should be used only as an indicator. Ultimately, it’s the college or university that has the final vote on whether to admit and enroll a student. Some colleges and universities don’t use the UCAS Tariff, and they refer to qualification grades instead.
How many UCAS points can you get for a Level 3 BTEC?
Below is a table that breaks down the number of UCAS points you can get for a BTEC Level 3 Diploma, and a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma. The number of points you get will depend on the type of BTEC you’ve taken, and the grade you achieved.
|BTEC Level 3 Diploma||BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma|
|Grade||UCAS Points||Grade||UCAS Points|
What is the difference between BTEC Diploma and BTEC Extended Diploma?
Taking BTEC qualifications has been an option for students since the 1980s, so they are long-standing qualifications with plenty of merit. They are often compared to A-Levels, but work rather differently.
BTEC Diploma Levels 1, 2 and 3
Level 1 and 2 BTECs are equivalent to GCSEs, while Level 3 BTECs are equivalent to two A-Levels. It’s possible to study for a mix of BTECs and A-Levels if desired.
Level 3 BTEC extended diploma
If you take a Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma, you’ll need to dedicate two years of full-time study to complete it. This larger diploma gives a student a more in-depth, specialist knowledge of a subject than a regular BTEC.
An Extended Diploma is equivalent to three A-Levels. Just like standard BTECs, Extended BTEC Diplomas can also earn UCAS points. If you are thinking of specialising in a particular area in your career, an Extended BTEC Diploma may be for you.
Whether you study for a BTEC or a BTEC Advanced Diploma, these qualifications are different in that they are practice and work-based. So you get hands-on work experience alongside classroom-based or online distance learning teaching and theory.
Examples of BTEC subjects
BTEC subjects include:
- Health and social care
Examples of A-Level subjects
A-Level subjects that we offer to our students via online distance learning include:
If you know what career you’d like to break into, a Level 3 BTEC Diploma is an alternative to the traditional routes of study providing the real-life professional work experience you need to get started. If you also prefer to learn by doing, a BTEC Diploma may be a better choice because you spend less time learning from textbooks and more time working on physical projects.
What is a BTEC qualification equivalent to?
BTEC Nationals are Level 3 qualifications, making them the same standard as A-Levels. Sixth-form colleges and online colleges are most likely to offer BTEC National qualifications. The number of A-Levels that a BTEC is equivalent to depends on the number of modules studied.
A BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate is worth a single A-Level. A Level 3 BTEC National Diploma is worth two A-Levels, and a BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma is the equivalent of three A-Levels.
Can you get into university with a BTEC?
If you’re taking BTECs rather than A-Levels, you shouldn’t be put off in terms of applying to study at university. Over 100,000 BTEC students apply to UK universities each year, and there are two main pathways you can take to entry.
You can take a BTEC Level 3, which is equivalent to A-Levels and provides entry to an undergraduate degree programme. BTEC Levels 4 HNC and 5 HND provide access to degree programmes in their second or final year.
There is a misconception that universities won’t accept BTECs, which simply isn’t true. BTECs are a viable route for university study, especially if you know what you want to study and do for a career later down the line. There are a number of universities in the UK that accept BTEC qualifications.
BTEC study can also better prepare you for university because of the independent style of studying and need for time organisation that comes with the qualification. It can also better prepare you for the world of work.
University entry requirements
Make sure you research the entry requirements for the university you want to attend as soon as possible. This way, you can see whether or not you can fulfill the entry requirements, and make adjustments if you need to do so. Some BTEC students, for example, may require an additional A-Level under their belt to meet the required number of UCAS points. This will vary by course and institution, so do your research carefully.
The way a university or college assesses your entry grades and UCAS points may vary. For instance, they may only accept Tariff points from the highest scoring qualifications like A-Levels. Generally speaking, universities will only ever accept the highest grade you have received within a subject.
For instance, if you took psychology at A and AS Level, a university will only accept your final A-Level mark in that same subject. Qualifications can also change over time in terms of their merit. The UCAS Tariff also only allows a certain number of points per qualification.
If you are studying BTEC qualifications, not all of them include a D* grade, and this will depend on the type of BTEC you are studying. Check with your tutor if you are unsure.