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Levels and Entry Qualifications

Which Level is Right for you?


There are many courses to chose from at Boston College, as well as different starting levels.

If you are unsure which level is right for you, the information below explains each level and the relevant entry requirements

Please note: For individual and most up-to-date entry requirements check the relevant course information pages.

The aim of the Entry Level courses are to develop your basic skills, build on your current experience and increase your confidence to progress on to a full time Level 1 course.

Entry requirements: There are usually no formal entry qualifications for Entry Level courses.

The majority of the College's Level 1 courses are vocational, and they provide you with the practical work related skills needed to progress on to a Level 2 course in your chosen course area.

Entry requirements: The standard entry requirements for a Level 1 course is either a relevant Entry Level qualification or GCSEs at grades 2 or below (E or below).

Similar to the Level 1 courses, the majority of the College's Level 2 courses are vocationally based. The course allows you to develop the knowledge you learnt at Level 1 but at a deeper level, preparing you for the world of work.

Entry requirements: The standard entry requirements for a Level 2 course is either a relevant Level 1 qualification or GCSEs at grades 3 (D).

Different from Level 1 and Level 2, Level 3 courses can either be vocational or academic, and include Extended Diplomas and A levels (excluding Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing, Catering and Hospitality). The Level 3 courses allow you to develop your skills and knowledge to a much higher level, and will prepare you to go into employment or to further your studies.

Comparison: A triple distinction star (D* D* D*) on a Level 3 vocational course is the equivalent to three 8/9s (A*) at A level. Which is the equivalent to 168 UCAS points.

Entry requirements: The standard entry requirements for a Level 3 course is either a relevant Level 2 Merit or Distinction qualification or a minimum of five GCSEs at grades 4 (C) or above.

Progression: Successful completion of a Level 3 course can lead to a range of Higher Education courses at Level 4 or above, through Boston College or university. You can also go straight into employment.

New GCSE Grading 9-1

As you probably already know, most of your GCSEs are now going to be graded using the new 9-1 structure. This year, more of your subjects will be moving across to this new grading structure. The chart below explains how the new grades compare:

English and Maths

Boston College understand the importance of English and Maths in all aspects of your life, including the workplace. If you do not already hold a GCSE grade 4 or above (C or above) in these subjects, you will be required to attend additional classes. These classes will fit around your full time course commitments and the level at which you will study will depend on your current GCSE grade.

If you have a Grade 2 or below in English or Maths, you can study towards either a PASS in Functional Skills Level 2 or a GCSE 4-9. Once you have achieved either qualification, you will not be required to undertake any further English or Maths.

If you have a Grade 3 in English or Maths, you must study towards a GCSE grade 4-9.

Need Some More Advice?


If you are unsure about which course level is right for you or which path to take, Boston College Careers Team are here to help. The Career Advisers offer FREE Career Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) and are available before you come to college, whilst you are studying at college and when you are ready to take the next step.

If you would like to make an appointment with one of the College's Careers Advisers, they are available by appointment at both our Boston and Spalding campuses, by either calling the College's Information Line on 01205 313218 or email.

You can download our course guide

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