Levels explained

At Bridgend College, we offer a range of qualifications at different levels. Below is a useful overview of the different levels available to help you decide which level is right for you, which may depend on your qualifications, previous experience or future aspirations.

GCSEs

A GCSE is a level 2 qualification which can be studied in Mathematics, English Language or Science at Bridgend College.

A Levels

A levels are level 3 qualifications and are available in a range of subject areas, including daytime or twilight study options. Achieving A levels can help you progress to University, work or training.

Entry courses

Entry courses are available at Levels 1, 2 and 3. These courses are ideal if you have no previous qualifications or experience in a chosen field, and they can give you the opportunity to progress to higher levels of study.

Short courses

Short courses can be taken across a wide range of subjects, and often provide you with industry-relevant training or qualifications required for a specific job.

Award

An award is typically a shorter qualification type, with fewer units than a Certificate or a Diploma. Awarding bodies cover a range of levels and subjects.

Certificate

Certificates are offered by a number of different awarding bodies. They could be short, specific skills courses, or some learners gain a Certificate and go straight into employment. It could also be used as a stepping-stone on to a Diploma course.

Diploma

A Diploma can be worth up to 37 credits or more, with a level 3 worth 90 credits. Diplomas are offered in a wide range of subject areas with full and part-time study options and can be studied at various levels.

Access to HE

An Access to Higher Education course aims to prepare you for a qualification at HNC, HND, Foundation Degree or Degree level. If you’d like to study at University-level but have no previous qualifications, an Access to HE course can provide you with the right knowledge and qualifications.

HNC

A Higher National Certificate (HNC) is one level below a HND and usually takes two years to complete part-time. You may have the option to top-up a HNC to a HND at a later date.

HND

A Higher National Diploma (HND) is a vocational qualification at Level 5. A full-time HND usually takes two years to complete, or three years part-time.

Foundation Degree

Foundation degrees are ideal if you’re unsure about taking a full degree or if you want to study while you work. You will be able to gain professional and technical skills to further your career within a shorter time frame than a full degree.

Degree

You don’t always need to go to university to get a degree. We offer a range of University-level courses as well as working in partnership with Cardiff Metropolitan University and being a collaborative partner of the University of South Wales. We also offer higher education courses awarded by Pearson and CPCAB.

Apprenticeships

If you are already employed and would like to improve your skills and knowledge to progress in your chosen career, then an apprenticeship could be the perfect route for you. Apprenticeships can include on-the-job training as well as classroom learning at college.

NVQ

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) are work-based courses for a particular industry or sector, providing direct skills and experience for relevant jobs.

Teacher training

These qualifications are aimed at potential and practicing teachers and trainers within the further, adult and vocational education sector.

Professional

A professional qualification is usually a vocational qualification that involves an element of practical training. These courses are ideal if you want to improve your skills within a specific industry.

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