Levels Explained

Levels can be confusing! So we’re going to attempt to make it a little easier to understand!

All UK based qualifications are assigned to a specific level on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). These are based on the standards of skills and knowledge you learn upon completion of the qualification. They start at ‘entry-level’ and are then numbered from 1 through to 8.

Through grouping the qualifications together, it also makes them easier to compare and goes some way to making them easier to understand. You will find that some employers will expect you to have reached a certain level in order to apply for jobs.

Entry Level Foundation Learning (to allow time to develop confidence and skill)
Level 1 GSCE grade 1-3, Level 1 Certificates
Level 2 GCSE grades 4-9, Level 2 Diplomas, Level 2 NVQs, Apprenticeships
Level 3 A Levels, Level 3 NVQs, Level 3 Certificates, Apprenticeship
Level 4 HNCs, Level 4 Diplomas, Higher Apprenticeships
Level 5 Foundation Degrees, HNDs, Level 5 Diplomas, Degree Apprenticeships
Level 6 Bachelor’s Degree (BA or BSc), Degree Apprenticeships
Level 7 Master’s Degrees, Postgraduates Certificates, Postgraduates Diplomas
Level 8 PHD/DPhil, Professional Doctorates