Studying a BTEC
BTEC courses focus on skills-based learning and are designed around themed units. Rather than testing everything together at the end, BTECs are tested throughout the course using assessments based on real-life scenarios. This practical approach allows BTEC learners to develop and apply the knowledge and skills that employers and universities are looking for. And that means there are plenty of opportunities to learn, improve and succeed.
A BTEC is so much more than just a qualification – former BTEC students often say how they continue to apply what they learned on their BTEC course when they progress on to further study, or starting a job, and as they advance throughout their career.
What are BTECs?
A BTEC, or ‘Business and Technology Education Council’ (the name of the body which originally oversaw it) is a practical-based, vocational qualification. It can be studied at a college or school.
BTECs are becoming a more popular path to both university and particular jobs in place of, or in addition to, A-levels. In 2015, 26% of students accepted on to a university course held at least one BTEC, according to Ucas.
What can you study at BTEC?
A wide range of subjects can be studied at BTEC level – 2,000 qualifications across 16 sectors, to be exact. Some of these lend themselves to the BTEC-way of learning due to their practical nature. However, you might be surprised by a few of the subjects available at BTEC level, such as computing or engineering.
Other subjects you can study at BTEC include childcare, construction, media, performing arts, sports science and travel and tourism.
What are the different types of BTEC?
BTECs are very flexible. They can be studied at various levels, each of which equates to a different qualification:
BTEC Level 1 and 2 = equivalent to a 10th and 11th years of General Secondary Education, GCSE
BTEC Level 3 = equivalent to a Foundation and A-level and provides access to a degree programme in the first year.
BTEC Level 4-7 = equivalent to 1st – 4th year of an undergraduate degree.
How are BTECs assessed?
For each BTEC, you complete a series of units – some core, others optional – which are assessed. For each unit, you receive either a Pass, a Merit or a Distinction (Distinction being the highest).
The assessments you complete can be written assignments, such as essays, or more engaging – dare we say, even fun – projects. Depending on your subject, this could be anything from building an amplifier to performing a dramatic piece, and even making a film!
How BTECs prepare you for professional world?
Today’s employers are looking for confident young people with a range of skills and background. They want you to be ready and willing to work when you hit send on your CV. Employers across the world are crying out for candidates who have the practical knowledge, experience and skills that you can get by doing a BTEC course.
Young people with BTEC qualifications are valued by a wide range of employers, because the BTEC qualifications developed by Pearson are shaped with input from professional bodies, Higher Education experts and employers. That means that employers and universities are both very aware of BTECs and know they’re a qualification that sets you up well for work or further study, whichever life path you choose.