Check your current qualification level

In general you will need Level 3 qualifications or above to apply for university-level credit-bearing study; however for most short-courses you do not require any prior academic qualifications.

If you have not studied at university level before you can apply for a student loan for your tuition fees.

Level 8

Qualifications are:

Doctorate (PhD)

To apply for a Level 8 qualification, you need: Level 6-7 qualification

Level 7

Qualifications are:

MA ie, Master’s Degree in Arts

MSc ie, Master’s Degree in Science or equivalent

To apply for a Level 7 qualification, you need: Level 5-6 qualification

Level 6

Qualifications are:

BA (Hons) ie, Bachelor of Arts Degree

BSc (Hons) ie, Bachelor of Science Degree

To apply for a Level 6 qualification, you need: Level 3-5 qualification

Level 5

Qualifications are:


Diploma of Higher Education (= second year at university)

Foundation Degree

Higher National Diploma

To apply for a Level 5 qualification, you need: Level 3-4 qualification

Level 4

Qualifications are:


Certificate of Higher Education (= first year at university)

To apply for a Level 4 qualification, you need: Level 3 qualification

Level 3

Qualifications are:


A levels

International Baccalaureate

BTEC National Certificate/Diploma

Advanced Diploma

Advanced Apprenticeship

Access to HE course (adults)

To apply for a Level 3 qualification, you usually need: 4-5 GCSEs at grade A*-C. It is possible to apply with Level 2 qualifications such as: GNVQ Intermediate (Merit) or BTEC First Diploma (Merit).

Level ?

Not sure of your qualifications or experience?

If you are unsure where you fit into the levels shown then please contact the Information and Guidance Unit for assistance on +44 (0)1227 768896.

Returning to learning

For students who are returning to learning, we may be able to consider previous experience including work-related skills, alternative qualifications and other information instead of traditional entrance requirements.

Advice is available to guide you about the level of skill needed for all our courses. Please call +44 (0)1227 768896.

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