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Qualifications Explained

This guide will help you decide which course is right for your child and how they relate to other qualifications:

A Level route...

At Selby College, we believe there should be more to your child’s A Level experience than classrooms and text books. We know from past experience your child will excel in their studies through visits and activities that will enhance their learning experience.

For our A Level curriculum we achieved an excellent Alps score of 3 last year and a 99.7% pass rate across all A Level subjects in 2019. The College has focused significantly on driving up progress and challenging students to aspire higher.

We continue to focus on A Levels in facilitating subjects to ensure the majority of our A Level students will apply to Russell Group universities.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificates

They can be taken alongside your A Level options. These have the same delivery mode and UCAS points as A Levels, but are more coursework based and in our view a better specification than the A Level alternatives.

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

Students may also choose to take an extended project. This is equivalent in size to half an A Level and requires them to produce a single piece of work of their own choosing showing evidence of planning, preparation, research and working on their own.


Vocational routes…

Certificate or Diploma (dependent on level and course)

A certificate or diploma is usually awarded after successful completion of year one.

Extended Diploma

An Extended Diploma is equivalent to studying A Levels and is awarded after successful completion of two years.

Vocational Levels explained…

Level 1 = 1 Year

You will usually need to have gained Grades 1 and 2 in your GCSEs to study a Level 1 programme, but these will build on your existing skills and, upon successful completion, allow you to progress to a Level 2 course.

Level 2 = 1 or 2 Years

Level 2 qualifications are equivalent to GCSE Grades 4-9 and as such you will be expected to have achieved at least four GCSEs at Grade 3 or above to enrol on one of these programmes. Successful completion however, will pave the way for you to further your studies at Level 3.

Level 3 = 1-2 Years

Level 3 qualifications are equivalent to A Levels so you will need to have achieved at least five GCSE passes at Grade 4 or above to enrol on the programme.

Upon successful completion of a Level 3 qualification you will be ideally placed to pursue a career in your chosen industry or go on to do a degree level course either at Selby College or a University to specialise further in your chosen area.

They vary in length, usually from 1-2 years depending on the programme and level you are following, however it is possible to progress to the next qualification upon successful completion of the lower level.*

One Course

There are many subject areas to choose from but it’s worth bearing in mind that you can only study one vocational qualification at a time, so make sure it’s something you are really interested in.

Entry Level = Up to 1 Year

There are no formal entry requirements for these programmes which have been specifically designed to provide you with essential life and study skills. Successful completion of an Entry Level programme can provide you with a stepping stone to a Level 1 course.

*You will be guided throughout the application process to ensure that you enrol on the level of qualification best suited to you.