BTEC Nationals | Pearson qualifications

BTEC Nationals

Pearson BTEC Nationals

Alongside A levels, BTEC Nationals are the most widely-recognised qualification for admission to higher education. They are level 3 vocational qualifications that provide specialist, work-related learning across a range of sectors. BTEC Nationals are designed to equip students with the specialist knowledge, practical skills and understanding they need to progress along their chosen learning and career paths.

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Why choose BTEC Nationals

BTEC Works - BTEC Works for your curriculum

BTEC Nationals are career-based qualifications designed to give students the skills they need to move on to higher education or go straight into employment.

More employers and higher education institutions than ever before are choosing BTEC-qualified candidates for their academic and practical knowledge and skills.

  • We offer the broadest Level 3 curriculum choice across 14 subject areas.
  • 1 in 4 learners enter higher education with a BTEC - that's over 100,000 learners a year.
  • 72% of UK employers believe BTEC candidates have advantage over non-BTEC candidates - (Perspectus Global, 2021)
  • 1 in 5 of the UK adult working population has a BTEC, so they are qualifications that all employers recognise -(Pearson 2022)
  • 2,295 schools and colleges taught Level 3 BTEC in the 2021/22 academic year - (Pearson 2022)
  • In 2015, over 25% of the students entering university in England did so with a BTEC qualification.
  • 90% of BTEC students are employed full time after graduation – (Progression Pathways, 2016)
  • A Level 3 BTEC qualification can boost life time earnings by £92,000 – (London Economics, 2013)
When combined with academic learning in a school or college (or as a stand-alone course in further or higher education), BTEC Nationals develop practical knowledge and skills which help learners to prepare for – and progress in – their chosen career.

Along with A levels, BTEC Nationals are the most widely-recognised qualification to get into university. In 2015, 95% of UK universities and colleges accepted students with a BTEC qualifications, including universities from the Russell Group.
  • Guide for BTEC Level 3 Students on Progression to Higher Education.
This guide gives information on the types of HE courses available and examples of degree programmes related to the BTEC subject they are studying. It also gives links to websites, including UCAS and the Complete University Guide, that will help them make their choices and support them through the whole application process. Please share this with your learners.
  • Guide for Tutors in UK Schools and Colleges on the Progression of BTEC Level 3 Students to UK Higher Education.

This gives guidance on how you can support your learners in their application to HE. Again it contains links to helpful pages on websites of other organisations such as UCAS.

> View Guide for Tutors in UK Schools and Colleges

Universities have informed us that students who have taken a BTEC National face some difficulties in completing their UCAS application form (referred to by UCAS as the Apply form). This is because there is a long list of BTEC titles to choose from.

It is important that students fill out their UCAS Apply form accurately and completely in order to maximise their chances of getting the right offer. To help with this, we have produced the following presentation with commentary that you can use with your students to guide them through the process of completing the Apply form.

The presentation runs through one example for students who have taken a QCF BTEC National and one for students who have taken a reformed RQF BTEC National.

Watch 'Guidance for BTEC Students on completing their UCAS Apply form'


BTEC has earned a worldwide reputation as a premier applied learning qualification because it provides learners with a clear route into their career. Today’s employers are looking for a confident, work ready employees who have practical knowledge and technical skills that are taught when studying a BTEC.


Getting started with BTEC Nationals

View our Getting Started: Ways to Teach and Assess training videos for the BTEC Level 3 Nationals qualifications. The training pre-records include the links to resources that the trainer will be going through in the recorded session.

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We offer face-to-face and online training events for educators who are teaching or interested in teaching BTEC qualifications.

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From planning to assessment, our step-by-step guide to BTEC will help you to get set up and ensure you have everything you need to help your BTEC team and learners succeed.

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