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UK Education Levels Explained

The different levels of education are explained below.

Entry level     
entry level award
entry level certificate (ELC)
entry level diploma
entry level English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
entry level essential skills
entry level functional skills
Skills for Life

Level 1
first certificate
GCSE – grades 3, 2, 1 or grades D, E, F, G
level 1 award
level 1 certificate
level 1 diploma
level 1 ESOL
level 1 essential skills
level 1 functional skills
level 1 national vocational qualification (NVQ)
music grades 1, 2 and 3

Level 2   
intermediate apprenticeship
GCSE – grades 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 or grades A*, A, B, C
intermediate apprenticeship
level 2 award
level 2 certificate
level 2 diploma
level 2 ESOL
level 2 essential skills
level 2 functional skills
level 2 national certificate
level 2 national diploma
level 2 NVQ
music grades 4 and 5
O level – grade A, B or C

Level 3    
A level
access to higher education diploma
advanced apprenticeship
applied general
AS level
international Baccalaureate diploma
level 3 award
level 3 certificate
level 3 diploma
level 3 ESOL
level 3 national certificate
level 3 national diploma
level 3 NVQ
music grades 6, 7 and 8
tech level

Level 4   
certificate of higher education (CertHE)
higher apprenticeship
higher national certificate (HNC)
level 4 award
level 4 certificate
level 4 diploma
level 4 NVQ

Level 5   
diploma of higher education (DipHE)
foundation degree
higher national diploma (HND)
level 5 award
level 5 certificate
level 5 diploma
level 5 NVQ

Level 6  
degree apprenticeship
degree with honours – for example bachelor of the arts (BA) hons, bachelor of science (BSc) hons
graduate certificate
graduate diploma
level 6 award
level 6 certificate
level 6 diploma
level 6 NVQ
ordinary degree without honours

Level 7
integrated master’s degree, for example master of engineering (MEng)
level 7 award
level 7 certificate
level 7 diploma
level 7 NVQ
master’s degree, for example master of arts (MA), master of science (MSc)