Access programmes last for one year and are a pre-degree programme. Pre-degree programmes prepare adults who have been out of education or do not have A-levels or other level 3 qualifications to move in to higher education.
A level 3 programme that has a more academic focus on one subject over the course of two years. Some A-level programmes are also formed of an AS-level qualification at the end of the first year.
An AS-level is the first part of an A-level. It takes one year to complete and can also be counted as a qualification on its own.
An A2-level is the second part of an A-level. You must firstly pass the AS-level in a subject in order to progress to A2 in the subject.
Apprenticeships are vocational training programmes that you undertake whilst employed in a specific sector. Apprenticeships can be taken at levels 2, 3 and 4.
BA, BAEd, BEng, BSc
These acronyms refer to different types of bachelor degrees at higher education: Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Education (BAEd), Bachelor of Engineering (BEng), and Bachelor of Science (BSc).
BTECs are work-related qualifications offered at different levels, as an alternative to GCSEs and A-levels. From level 3 BTEC diplomas you can progress to university level programmes. BTEC can be awarded as either awards (smallest), certificates or diplomas (largest). These terms relate to the size of a qualification – the number of units you are required to study. All three types of qualification can be studied at different levels.
Entry requirements indicate which results, evidence or level of performance you will need to have obtained in order to be offered a place on a particular programme.
Fees are the amount of money that you need to pay each year in order to study your chosen programme. Not all programmes have fees. For more information on fees click here.
Foundation degrees are higher education qualifications that involve a combination of academic study and work-based learning. Foundation degrees can be completed on a full-time and part-time basis.
Functional skills describe qualifications and ability in English, maths and ICT at level 1-3. Functional skills can be taken as a stand-alone qualification or incorporated to the assessment in other programmes of study or apprenticeships.
Standing for General Certificate of Secondary Education, GCSEs are qualifications for single subjects at levels 2 and 3 that are usually take one to two years to complete.
All education above level 3 is known as higher education. This includes HNCs, HNDs, foundation degrees and honours degrees.
Higher National Certificate (HNC) HNCs are commonly studied part time over two years. Progression is to the second year of an honours degree or to an HND.
Higher National Diploma (HND) HNDs are a vocationally orientated alternative to honours degrees. You usually complete HNDs full time, over two years whilst employed with an organisation. You can progress to the second year of an honours degree after an HND.
The level of a qualification is an indicator for its difficulty. For instance GCSEs at grades A*-C are the equivalent of level 2 whereas A-levels are graded at level 3.
A portfolio is a form of assessment. It consists of collecting a file of evidence of your progress or achievement. Portfolio can be made up of a mixture of written work and imagery.
UCAS is the central organisation that manages and processes applications to higher education programmes in the UK.