Today more than 230,000 Level 3 BTEC students receive their grades

10 August 2021

Today (10 August 2021), more than 230,000 students receive results for their Level 3 BTEC qualifications, moving on to the next step in their education or career path.  More than 6 million people have completed a BTEC in the last ten years alone, and BTEC alumni have gone on to form a vital part of the UK and global workforce.

BTECs are high quality, future-focussed qualifications that provide learners with the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to progress.  Level 3 BTECs (equivalent to A Levels) are globally recognised and continue to be the most popular vocational qualification to support progress to university - 50% of Level 3 BTEC graduates will continue into Higher Education with the rest going into employment, an apprenticeship or further study. 

Many of these students are taking their next steps into UK sectors that are currently suffering from a huge, and growing, skills gap. Included in the class of 2021 are many future healthcare professionals, engineers and construction workers who are so vital to the UK’s economy.  This year:

  • 30,300 students will have completed a Level 3 BTEC in Applied Science

  • 33,700 in Health and Social Care

  • 23,500 in IT & Computing

  • 16,500 in Engineering

  • 4,200 in Construction

There is also a growing demand for skills in emerging industries, such as esports, which is expected to generate revenues of more than $1.5bn globally by 2023. Pearson recently launched an Esports BTEC to support this new industry with qualified students who can enter the workplace with all the skills, knowledge and practical application needed to hit the ground running.  

Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice President for BTEC and Apprenticeships, said:

“I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to every teacher, tutor, lecturer, school and college leader and parent for the incredible effort they have made to support students achieving the grades they have worked so hard for this year. These students have come through another extraordinary year with the qualifications, skills and experience to prepare them for the next stage of their journey – be it onto university, into an apprenticeship or into the world of work- setting them up to follow their aspirations and succeed in their future careers and life.  Congratulations to the class of 2021! We wish each and everyone of you all the very best on your next steps.”


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Notes to editors

  1. About the 2021 grading process: The grading process this year has been adapted to reflect the challenges of this extraordinary year.  In line with the process for A level and GCSE results set out by the Department for Education and regulator Ofqual, schools and colleges were asked to determine a final Qualification-level Teacher Assessed Grade (Q-TAG) for each of their BTEC learners: 

  • This year, the Department for Education and Ofqual, [the regulator for both vocational and general qualifications,] determined the methodology that all awarding organisations have used in 2021:  

  • Each student was assessed by their teacher on the evidence of their individual work (such as completed units or classwork). Schools and colleges were asked to determine a final Qualification-level Teacher Assessed Grade, or Q-TAG, for each of their BTEC learners - a holistic judgement based on the evidence that teachers have of the learner’s performance in the qualification. This is in line with the process used for A levels and GCSEs this year and has ensured that, despite the disruption, learners could complete this phase of education and move on with confidence.  

  • Pearson has conducted external quality assurance so that the grades awarded across the system can command confidence. It helps that teacher-led internal assessment has always been a large part of how BTECs are graded, so we used a repurposed version of this familiar and established assessment process to underpin the way we award qualification results this year. 

  • As in every year, there is an appeals process in place - If students have questions about their grades they should speak to their school or college about the appeals process in the first instance. More information can be found in our appeals guidance document.

2. Learn about this year’s BTEC Award winners.


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