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What Does Each Qualification & Award Level Mean?

Course level meanings

Courses run at various levels. Here is a brief description of what to expect when studying courses at certain levels.

Entry (No awards offered at this level)

Qualifications and awards recognise basic knowledge and skills and the ability to apply learning in everyday situations under direct guidance or supervision. Learning at this level involves building basic knowledge and skills and is not geared towards specific occupations.

Level 1

Qualifications and awards recognise basic knowledge and skills and the ability to apply learning with guidance or supervision. Learning at this level is about activities which mostly relate to everyday situations and may be linked to job competence.

Level 2

Qualifications and awards recognise the ability to gain a good knowledge and understanding of a subject area of work or study and to perform varied tasks with some guidance or supervision. Learning at this level involves building knowledge and/or skills in relation to an area of work or a subject area and is appropriate for many job roles. Level 2 qualifications are at a level of learning equivalent to NVQ2/GCSE grade A*-C.

Level 3

Qualifications and awards recognise the ability to gain, and where relevant apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding. Learning at this level involves obtaining detailed knowledge and skills. It is appropriate for people wishing to go to university, people working independently, or in some areas supervising and training others in their field of work. Level 3 qualifications are at a level of learning equivalent to NVQ3/A Level.

Level 4

Qualifications and awards recognise specialist learning and involve detailed analysis of a high level of information and knowledge in an area of work or study. Learning at this level is appropriate for people working in technical and professional jobs, and/or managing and developing others. Level 4 qualifications are at a level equivalent to Certificates of Higher Education.