A-levels are the traditional qualifications that are offered by schools and colleges for students aged between 16 and 19. Short for Advanced Level, A-levels come after GCSEs. They usually focus on academic subjects, compared to vocational qualifications like BTECs and NVQs, which are more practical.
BTEC stands for the Business and Technology Education Council. BTECs are specialist work-related qualifications.
They combine practical learning with subject and theory content. There are over 2,000 BTEC qualifications across 16 sectors – they are available from entry level through to professional qualifications at level 7 (equivalent to postgraduate study).
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