Leicester College Blog

BTECs and UCAS points: What are they and what do they mean?


If you are thinking about going to university in the next few years you may wonder whether BTECs are a good choice? In 2017 more than 100,000 BTEC students were offered university places, up from just under 50,000 in 2008 – so the short answer is “yes – BTECs are a good choice if you want to go to university”.

BTEC level 3 courses are the same level as A levels, are more vocationally focused than A levels, and include real-life practical tasks and work experiences. Importantly if you are thinking about going to university you earn UCAS tariff points, depending on the grades you get, in the same way as you do with A levels, and can go on to study a huge range of subjects with BTEC qualifications, from architecture to veterinary nursing science.

Different courses at different universities do however have their own entry requirements so if you have a particular course or university in mind it is worth checking whether BTECs would be accepted.

At Leicester College, when you choose to study with us you choose one subject area and spend all of your time learning about that, rather than spreading your studies over a number of subjects.

How do BTECs compare to A levels?

People often ask how are A levels and BTECs different? One of the main differences is in the way they are assessed. A levels mainly involved two years of study with exams at the end. Rather than testing everything at the end, BTECs involve assessment throughout your course. The table below shows how many A levels different BTECs are equivalent to.

BTEC qualification A level equivalent
Subsidiary Diploma 1 A level
90 Credit Diploma 1.5 A levels
Foundation Diploma 1.5 A levels
Diploma 2 A levels
Extended Diploma 3 A levels

How many UCAS points are BTECs worth?

Level 3 BTECs qualify for UCAS points towards university applications in the same way that A levels do. This chart shows how many points each is worth.

A level grade UCAS points
A* 56
A 48
B 40
C 32
D 24
E 16
BTEC grade Subsidiary Diploma 90 Credit Diploma Foundation Diploma Diploma Extended Diploma
D*D*D* 168
D*D*D 160
D*DD 152
DDD 144
DDM 128
DMM 112
D*D* 84 112
D*D 78 104
DD 72 96
DM 60 80
MMM 96
MMP 80
MM 48 64
MMP 64
MP 36 48
PPP 48
PP 24 32
D* 56 84
D 48 72
M 32 48
P 16 24

If you are unsure about your choices you can contact our independent and award winning careers service for a free consultation.

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