The Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) is a provider of secondary school leaving qualifications and further education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Whilst the T in BTEC previously stood for Technical, according to the DFE (2016) it now stands for Technology. BTECs originated in 1984 and were awarded by Edexcel from 1996. Their origins lie in the Business Education Council, formed in 1974 to "rationalise and improve the relevance of sub-degree vocational education". It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pearson plc.
BTEC qualifications, especially Level 3, are accepted by many universities (excluding Cambridge, Oxford and UCL unless combined with other qualifications) when assessing the suitability of applicants for admission, and many such universities base their conditional admissions offers on a student's predicted BTEC grades.. Currently, Imperial College London is the only university in Britain not to accept BTECs at all.
A report by the Social Market Foundation in January 2018 found that more than a quarter (26%) of university applicants in England entered HE with at least one BTEC qualification. The research found that BTECs provide a particularly significant route to higher education for specific groups, with almost half students entering university with a BTEC, alongside large numbers of students in specific regions, including the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, North East and West Midlands. This followed a separate report published by HEPI in 2017 on BTECs and higher education.
BTEC qualifications are in theory equivalent to other qualifications, such as the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) (levels 1 to 2), A Level (level 3) and university degrees (levels 6 to 7). BTECs are undertaken in vocational subjects ranging from business studies to engineering.
The BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council) was formed by the merger of the Business Education Council (BEC) and the Technical Education Council (TEC). The University of London Examinations & Assessment Council (abbr. ULEAC) and BTEC merged to form Edexcel.
The following Level 3 courses, known as BTEC Nationals, are intended for those with five or more GCSE grades A*-C including English, mathematics and science. The qualification names for Level 3 courses changed dependent on whether they were awarded through the forthcoming National Qualification Framework (NQF) or the predecessor Qualification Credit Framework (QCF):
|NQF (2016)||QCF (2010)||A level size equivalence||Grading|
|BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma||BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma||3 x A levels||PPP to D*D*D*|
|BTEC Level 3 Diploma||BTEC Level 3 Diploma||2 x A levels||PP to D*D*|
|BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma||BTEC Level 3 90-Credit Diploma||1.5 x A levels||PP to D*D*|
|BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate||BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma||1 x A level||Pass to Distinction*|
|BTEC Level 3 Certificate||BTEC Level 3 Certificate||0.5 x A level||Pass to Distinction*|
The following Level 2 courses, known as BTEC Firsts, are intended for students at GCSE level as a vocational equivalent. There are no BTEC courses for English, or mathematics. Students who do not achieve the minimum Level 2 Pass grade will receive a Level 1 Pass in the given qualification equivalent to GCSE grades D-E and therefore does not count to the A*-C measurement system. The qualification names for Level 2 courses changed dependent on whether they were awarded though the current National Qualification Framework (NQF) or the predecessor Qualification Credit Framework (QCF):
|NQF (2012)||QCF (2010)||GCSE size equivalence||Grading|
|BTEC Level 2 Diploma||No equivalent||4 x GCSEs||PPP to D*D*D*|
|BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate||BTEC Level 2 Diploma||3 x GCSEs||PPP to D*D*D*|
|BTEC Level 2 Certificate||BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate||2 x GCSEs||PP to D*D*|
|BTEC Level 2 Award||BTEC Level 2 Certificate||1 x GCSE||Pass to Distinction*|