BTEC Nationals are level 3 vocational qualifications that provide the same access to Higher Education as A Levels. Our courses provide specialist, work-related learning in a range of disciplines; from Art and Design to Business. By completing a BTEC course, you’ll receive a career-based qualification that reflects both your academic and practical skills – both of which are valuable for entering higher education or going straight into employment.

Students at an art studio.

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What are BTECs?

A BTEC is a practical-based, vocational qualification that can be studied at school or college.

What can you study as a BTEC?

Here at Queen Alex, we offer BTEC courses in both Art and Design and Business.

These subjects are ideal if you are interested in pursuing a career in these industries and want to gain some hands-on experience.

What are the entry requirements for BTECs?

Each of our BTEC courses will have slightly different entry requirements, to help us make sure that you’re on the right programme for you.

However, in most cases, we look for a minimum of 4 GCSEs at Grade 4 – 9 and with our art courses, you will be asked to provide a portfolio of work.

What is the transition from GCSE to BTEC like?

Whatever option you choose to take after GCSE, it’s likely that there will be a few changes in the way you study.

A key difference will be the increased freedom and independence, as you will have fewer lessons across the week. It’s also the case that you’ll have smaller class sizes, which means that you can build fantastic relationships with your tutors and classmates. Finally, studying BTECs will be much more hands-on than the learning you are used to for GCSE. If you’re someone that loves practical-based learning, a BTEC might be for you!

How are BTECs assessed?

For each course, you will complete a variety of units which are assessed through projects, coursework, exams, and moderated assignments.

For each unit you will receive either a Pass, Merit, or a Distinction.

What’s the difference between BTEC and A-levels?

There are a number of differences between BTECs and A-levels, including the teaching style, assessment methods, and amount of practical experience.

Essentially, if you study A-levels, you will be taught in a similar style to your lessons at GCSE, whereas with BTECs, you will combine any theory with practical work so you can apply what you learn.  Additionally, with A-levels, you are assessed through exams at the end of your final year. If you know that exam pressure isn’t for you, BTECs may be the answer as they are assessed throughout the year, which spreads out the work that contributes to make your final grade.

I see that QA offers BTEC Business and A-level Business. What’s the difference?

Those studying BTEC Business will learn the same core concepts, and theoretical knowledge as they would at A-level.

However, with a BTEC course, the assessments used to test this knowledge will be different and have a higher percentage of coursework. As well as this, BTEC Business students are expected to undertake a work placement or workplace shadowing to gain experience of the industry.

How long does it take to complete a BTEC?

At BTEC there are number of different levels you can study at, and these vary in length.

A BTEC Level 2 course will last for one year but the extended diploma will last for two.

Where can I progress after completing a BTEC?

Following successful completion of a BTEC, you will have a number of different opportunities at your fingertips.

Many of our students go on to further study, apprenticeships, or go straight out into employment. Whichever option you choose, we will be there to support you with expert advice and guidance.

Will universities accept BTEC qualifications?

95% of universities and colleges in the UK accept BTEC students, including competitive students in the Russell Group.

The time management and self-organisation skills you will develop in a BTEC course will be key to your success at university and BTEC students achieving good grades are just as sought after as A-level students.

Get in touch

Our team is always ready to help. So if you have questions on courses, your career, or anything else, complete this contact form and we’ll be in touch.