Choosing the right course
This guide to course levels can help you choose the right course.
Entry level: Learning at this level involves building basic knowledge and skills under direct guidance or supervision.
Level 1: (No previous knowledge). You are a beginner or have very little or no familiarity with the subject. The course may be linked to a particular job.
Level 2: (Intermediate). You may have completed a Level 1 course or have a recent GCSE or equivalent knowledge. Qualifications at Level 2 will recognise the ability to perform tasks with some guidance or supervision.
Level 3: (Advanced). You may have completed a Level 2 course in the subject. Level 3 qualifications (e.g. A Levels) develop detailed knowledge and skills. They are appropriate for people wishing to go to university, people working independently, or in some areas supervising and training others in their field of work.
Level 4: Qualifications at Level 4 (e.g. NVQ 4) involve specialist learning and are appropriate for people working or wishing to work in technical or professional jobs, and/or managing and developing others.
Level 5: At this level, qualifications (e.g. BTEC/HNC/HND) involve high levels of knowledge and skills and are appropriate for people working or wishing to work as higher grade technicians, professionals or managers.
Level 6: Qualifications (e.g. Degree) involve a high level of specialist professional knowledge in an area of work or study. They are appropriate for people working as knowledge-based professionals or in professional management positions.
Level 7: This involves the demonstration of high level specialist professional knowledge and is appropriate for senior professionals and managers. Level 7 qualifications are at a level equivalent to Master's degrees, postgraduate certificates and postgraduate diplomas.
Updated July 2012