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What is the difference between the new T-Levels and BTECs?

Technical qualifications designed to meet industry demands

What are T-Levels?

T-levels are the new intense technical vocational qualifications introduced by the government to meet the demands of various industries that require a highly skilled and practical workforce. They are designed to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to enter employment within industries such as engineering, IT, construction, health and more.

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What’s the difference between T-Levels and BTECs?

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T-levels are advanced level 3 courses and equivalent to 3 A Levels. They offer a much longer period of industry placement (usually up to almost 3 months) and aimed at students who are very clear on the career path they wish to pursue. The course is a combination of in-class study and work placement.

BTEC’s are also advanced level 3 courses and equivalent to 3 A-Levels however, they have a shorter work experience period (2 weeks) and mainly focused on developing key skills during practical sessions in college.

Find a T-Level near you

Can I study both?

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You cannot study both at the same time. They are both full-time programmes of study and will require you to commit only one.

Which is better?

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Both T-Levels and BTECs are equal in their levels and equal in what you learn. They are both equally valuable to employers and universities. The only difference is the industry placement and work experience you will gain within the practical side of the course.

You will need to be more confident in undertaking a T-Level as you will work alongside managers and supervisors who will teach you a specific trade and skills, give you real job responsibilities and you will be accountable for your work.

For both T-Levels and BTECs, you will need to be dedicated, highly focussed and have a good sense of which career you would like to follow. Depending on your study style, you can choose whichever programme you feel would suit you more.

What T-Levels are available?

Many industries are now ready to support T-Level students from September 2020:

September 2021

  • Building services engineering
  • Childcare and education
  • Digital business services
  • Health and social care
  • Construction
  • Science

September 2022

  • Legal and Finance
  • Accounting
  • Maintenance, installation and repair
  • Manufacturing and process
  • Design, development and control
  • Management and administration

September 2023

  • Animal care and management
  • Agriculture, land management and production
  • Craft and design
  • Cultural heritage and visitor attractions
  • Media, broadcast and production
  • Hair, beauty and aesthetics
  • Catering

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What are the entry requirements?

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T-Levels entry requirements are slightly higher than BTECs as there is the added element of you committing to a long industry placement. Employers expect a mature approach to your job role and your college would expect a high standard of work to be produced. The requirements are a minimum of five GCSE grades at 9–4 including English language and maths.

BTEC requirements are slightly lower as there will be more opportunity for you to re-draft coursework to gain a higher result. The requirements are a minimum of four GCSE grades at 9–4 including English language or maths.

However, certain programmes have subject specific requirements for example Engineering may require a 5 or 6 in GCSE maths, so make sure to double check what they are before you apply.

What can I progress into?

You can progress into the industry and sector your T-Level programme relates to. Some students may also be offered employment or an apprenticeship by the same organisation they completed their industry placement in. In such cases this is down to employers being highly impressed by the students commitment so it’s important to put in 100% effort.

Do universities accept T-Levels?

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Yes. As T-levels are advanced level 3 programmes, you will gain UCAS points to join a university. You can either apply for a degree or a degree apprenticeship. You can also progress straight into employment as you will have built key skills necessary for the sector.

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What can I do with my degree?

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East London Sixth Form College. Widest range of courses, best opportunities, greatest futures. Diverse in ambition, united in success.