Guide to Qualifications

The right decision

This is your most important decision. We have a very wide range of courses in many different subjects. Getting on the right course is the key first step to a successful future, and we place great emphasis on pre-course guidance. Virtually every course is delivered without additional costs to you.

As you think about your course, consider:

  • the subjects you enjoy
  • the subjects you are good at
  • the subjects you might need for a future career

Guide to qualifications

We offer an extensive range of courses that will ensure you get the most out of your college experience. Each course offers the highest quality of teaching and the support you need to ensure you meet your full potential.

Guide to qualifications

To find out more about BTEC course structure please click here

Advanced Level (A Level) Courses

Advanced Level Courses are generally aimed at preparing you for higher education.

BTEC Nationals


BTEC National Diplomas are 2-year Level 3 courses made up of 18 units (6 core units and 12 specialist units) related to your chosen industry.

It is graded Pass, Merit or Distinction and at the end you should achieve a triple grade e.g. PPP, MMP or DDD, which attracts UCAS points for university, just like A levels.

A BTEC National Diploma is the equivalent to achieving 3 A levels. The BTEC Subsidiary Diploma is equivalent to achieving 1 A level.


A lot of students will go on to university after studying a BTEC National Diploma to study a BTEC Higher National qualification or a full degree course. Others go straight into work. A BTEC National will give you the relevant knowledge and skills to enter your chosen industry.

BTEC First Diplomas


BTEC First Diplomas are 1-year Level 2 courses made up of 6 units, related to your chosen industry. At the end you should achieve a Pass, Merit or Distinction. A BTEC First Diploma is the equivalent to achieving 4 GCSEs at grade C.


The BTEC First Diploma is a great stepping stone onto the BTEC National Diploma and most of our students will go on to study at this higher level at Suffolk One. Others might continue learning in the workplace or gaining employment-based training.

Entry Level

Entry Level is the right course if you need extra support to gain the skills you need to move on to a Level 1 course at college or to prepare you for work.

To join the Entry Level course you do not need any formal qualifications but we do expect you to want to work hard at college and achieve your targets. The course can last 1 or 2 years depending on your ability.