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Pearson BTEC

Chosen by over 1 million learners every year, BTEC offers a range of professional qualifications for anyone taking their first steps into the world of work, progressing through their careers, planning to enter university, or starting an apprenticeship. After 30 years of proven success, more and more employers and Higher Education institutions across the globe are choosing BTEC-qualified candidates for their practical knowledge and employability skills.

Pearson are the UK’s largest awarding body regulated by Ofqual (England), SQA Accreditation (Scotland), CCEA Accreditation (Northern Ireland) and Qualifications Wales (Wales). Pearson offer academic and vocational qualifications that are globally recognised and benchmarked, with educational excellence rooted in names like Edexcel, BTEC, EDI and LCCI.

The academic qualifications include Edexcel GCSE, Edexcel A level, Edexcel International GCSE and the Edexcel Certificate (International GCSE for UK state schools).

The vocational qualifications include Edexcel NVQ and BTEC from entry level to Higher National Diplomas. BTECs are recognised in more than 70 countries worldwide, and in 2013/2014, 2.58 million learners registered for BTECs and other vocational qualifications, including 640,000 school registrations for BTEC Firsts and Nationals.

What is a BTEC?

BTECs are career-based qualifications designed to give students the skills they need to move on to higher education or go straight into employment. When combined with academic learning in a school or college (or as a stand-alone course in further or higher education), a BTEC develops a range of practical knowledge and skills which help learners to prepare for – and progress in – their chosen career. More employers and Higher Education institutions than ever before are choosing BTEC-qualified candidates for their academic and practical knowledge and skills

Why study a BTEC?

Many industry sectors have a set of National Occupational Standards that professionals must follow. The learning content of our BTECs is built around these National Occupational Standards, which is why BTECs are recognised as valuable qualifications by the Standard Setting Body (SSB) and/or Sector Skills Council (SSC) for each industry.

How do BTECs work?

BTECs can be studied alongside, or instead of, GCSEs or A levels in schools and Further Education colleges. Although they're often studied by full-time students, BTECs also provide career development opportunities for those already in work. Consequently, some schools, colleges and training centres provide courses part-time.

BTECs are available across a range of subjects, from art and design, business, childcare and engineering to IT, music, sports science and more. Take a look at our qualifications homepage, to discover the choice of BTEC levels and subjects available.

BTECs are also available at more specialist levels 4 and 5 in Higher Education.

How are BTECs assessed?

BTECs are assessed through a combination of tutor marked assignments and external assessments which are set and marketed by Pearson. The course specification, which you'll find on the subject page for each BTEC qualification, will provide more information on how each course is assessed.

How are BTECs graded?

BTECs are graded using a Pass (P), Merit (M), Distinction (D) and Distinction* (D*) scale. Depending on the size of your course, you may receive one, two or three grades. If the work you produce isn’t of a high enough quality to pass with a P grade, you will be awarded a U, which means ‘Unclassified’. BTEC Nationals qualify for UCAS points. You can apply for university places through UCAS – the University and Colleges Admissions Service. Find out more about UCAS and UCAS points at www.ucas.com.