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, Intermediate Apprenticeships
Level 3 A Levels, Level 3 NVQs, Level 3 Certificates, Advanced Apprenticeships, T Levels
Level 4 HNCs, Level 4 Diplomas, Higher Apprenticeships
Level 5 Foundation Degrees, HNDs, Level 5 Diplomas, Higher Apprenticeships
Level 6 Bachelor’s Degree (BA or BSc), Degree Apprenticeships
Level 7 Master’s Degrees, Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas
Level 8 PHD/DPhil, Professional Doctorates


At Yeovil College, we will work with you to ensure that you are offered a course appropriate to your abilities, skills and career aspirations. We start at entry level study programmes, through to level 6, which means we have a course and a progression route which is right for you, regardless of your previous grades and experience. Once you have completed your study programme, you can progress to the next level at Yeovil College or to Yeovil College University Centre.


Which level is best for me?
Your level is determined by the grades you achieve at GCSE. Sometimes, you will not be able to start at a higher level until you have mastered the core skills required at a lower level, this is essential in subject areas such as Construction and Engineering. If you do not achieve the grades you had expected, you will be able to start at a slightly lower level and progress through the levels to ultimately achieve your career aspirations.


A Level entry requirements
You will need at least five GCSEs at grade 5 or above to study A Levels at Yeovil College, and you will also need to have a strong interest in the subject you have chosen. We will work with you to develop a strong study programme of complementary A Level subjects which will be valued by both universities and/or employers. Depending on which career route you want to follow after your A Levels at Yeovil College will determine some of your subject choices. It may also mean that you are required to hold a higher GCSE grade in a particular subject. Learn more about our A Level offer here.


If you would like to discuss which level would work best for you, then the easiest way to do this is by contacting our iZone Team on 01935 423921 or iZone@yeovil.ac.uk or by joining us at one of our physical or virtual information events, where we will be happy to work through your individual options.