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Other qualifications at Level 3

Other qualifications offered at level 3 support applications to or offer alternative routes to higher education.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

EPQ is aimed at 16 to 19 year olds who want to go to university. It is designed to show independent working and an ability to analyse, as well as demonstrate the student's reflection on their own learning. EPQ is:

  • on the UCAS Tariff
  • equivalent to half an A level. It is graded A* to E
  • subject study chosen by the student, who works alone. It can be an investigation, report, performance, artefact (practical project with a written report) or dissertation.

For more information about these qualifications look on the following websites:

Access to Higher Education Diploma

‘Access Courses’ are for adults, usually over the age of 21, who want to take a university level course but have not achieved the qualifications needed. Access courses are:

  • an alternative to A levels and can be completed in one year if studied full-time.
  • offered in business, healthcare, humanities, science and social science

For many Access course, maths, English and sometimes science is required at GCSE.

BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies Art and Design

Art and design foundation courses are for students who want to do a degree or HND course. They:

  • are one year full-time
  • often follows an A level course
  • are offered by colleges.

Year 0/Foundation Year

Year 0/foundation year courses are offered by some universities for a range of reasons:

  • alternative entry route on to a degree for students who have the right level of qualifications but do not have the right subject combination, for example arts students wanting to do a STEM (science, engineering, technology or maths) degree
  • required in addition to an access course for some degree courses
  • intensive preparation for degree courses for people returning to education after at least three years away
  • offered by universities to students who, if successful, usually progress on to one of its degree courses.

Some courses may ask for evidence of recent study at level 3 plus English and maths GCSEs 9 to 5/4 or A* to C or equivalent. Science GCSE may be required for some courses.

For more information about A levels and other qualifications look on GOV.UK

Look on GOV.UK for what different qualification levels mean