Qualifications & entry requirements

Qualifications guide

We are committed to helping you achieve your dreams and guarantee your progression on to the next level with us. This information below illustrates how we can support you to progress all the way from Level 2 up to Level 6.

  Study Programme Typical Entry Requirements  Equivalent
Level 6 • Top-up Degree Level 6 • Level 5 qualification OR
• Related industry experience
BA (Hons)
BSc (Hons)
Level 5

• Higher National Diploma (HND)
• Foundation Degree (Fd)
• Higher apprenticeship

• Level 4 qualification OR
• Related industry experience
Bachelor degree (year 2)
Level 4 • Higher National Certificate (HNC)
• Higher apprenticeship
• A-Levels OR
• Level 3 qualification OR
• Related industry experience
Bachelor degree (year 1)
Level 3

• BTEC Diplomas
• Access to Higher Education
• Advanced apprenticeship

• 4 GCSEs grades A*-C or 9-4 ideally
including English and maths OR
• Level 2 qualification
Level 2

• BTEC Certificates and Diplomas
• Intermediate Level apprenticeships

One year
• 3 GCSEs grades A*-D or 9-3 ideally including English and maths OR
• A qualification at Level 1

Two years

• 3 GCSEs grades A*-G or 9-1 ideally including English and maths and a keen interest in a relevant subject
• Other relevant levels of qualification or experience will be considered
GCSEs A*-C or 9-4

What are study programmes?

In today’s competitive market, employers and universities are looking for much more than just a qualification. At Bedford College, alongside your industry-recognised qualification, you’ll also study English and maths and improve your personal and employability skills.

You will either study at Intermediate Level and progress on to Advanced Level, or start at Advanced Level.

Your study programme will provide you with:

  • A nationally-recognised qualification
  • English and maths skills. If you have a grade D or 3 in GCSE English and maths you will be required to re-sit these qualifications. Those with a GCSE grade 2 or below will be required to study Functional Skills English and maths to work towards resitting GCSE English and maths.
  • Work experience. Every student will have a minimum of 20 hours per year/programme of external work experience
  • Personal development skills
  • Study skills
  • Employability skills
  • Possibility of additional vocational learning and qualifications, depending on the programme you choose.

Why do I need English and maths?
English and maths qualifications are essential whichever path you want to take in today’s world of work and education.

Many employers complain that too many young people lack the literacy (English) and numeracy (maths) skills needed for jobs in today’s workplace. In fact, these are the skills that employers demand above all others.

Further or Higher Education
If you want to continue in education, you’ll find that entry on to higher level courses also requires grades A*-C or 9-4 in GCSE English and maths. The requirement to continue studying English and maths is not about resitting exams, but increasing your skills and widening your opportunities.

New GCSE grades

A new grading system for GCSEs started in August 2017. The new GCSEs are graded 9–1, rather than A*–G, with grade 9 being the highest and set above the old A*. Grade 4 is equivalent to the old grade C.

Old GCSE structure GCSE/A-Level equivalent
A* 9


B 6
C 5
D 3
E 2
F 1
GOOD PASS RATE (DfE) C and above/4 and above

Higher education or a higher apprenticeship

We have high expectations for our students. 40% of our Advanced Level (Level 3) students went on to study a degree after studying with us last year. They went on to study subjects at over 91 institutions across the UK in 2017, including:

  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Aston University
  • Brunel University
  • Cardiff University
  • De Montfort University
  • King’s College London (University of London)
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • University of Brighton
  • University of Southampton.

All of our Advanced Level full-time study and apprenticeship programmes have a UCAS points value.

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