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A Level or BTEC?

The main difference between these courses is that A Levels are assessed through examinations with some providing coursework modules, whilst BTEC courses are more coursework based with some practical assessments or work experience.

At Cardinal Newman, we offer a wide range of advanced level courses including, A Levels, BTEC Diplomas, BTEC Extended Diplomas and BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas, as well as a number of Intermediate courses such as BTEC Extended First Certificates and GCSE resits in Maths and English.

Choosing whether to study an A Level or BTEC programme can be a tough decision to make, that’s why we offer students the opportunity to mix BTECs with A Levels to create a broader combination of qualifications.

We believe that by studying just one subject at College you may be limiting your options and although this may be perfect for students who have a clear idea of what they want to do in the future, students who are less sure of their future goals can benefit from studying a combination of BTECs and A Levels at Cardinal Newman.

Most students on an A Level programme study the equivalent of three or four subjects, with BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas counting as ‘single’, BTEC Diplomas counting as ‘double’ and BTEC Extended Diplomas counting as ‘triple’ subjects.

Examples of typical combinations are:

A Level

A Levels have one subject option. They can be combined with:

– Two or three other A Level Subjects*
– A BTEC Diploma
– Two other A Levels + one GCSE resit

*Subject to grades

BTEC Extended Diploma

The BTEC Extended Diploma is equivalent to three subject options. It can be combined with:

– A single subject at GCSE

BTEC Diploma

The BTEC Diploma is equivalent to two subject options. It can be combined with:

– BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

The BTEC Subsidiary Diploma is equivalent to one subject option. It can be combined with:

– Two or Three A Levels*

*Subject to grades

A number of students study four A Levels, but due to the move to linear A Levels, the demands of this are significant and you will need evidence of excellent GCSE results to succeed with this challenging programme of study. If you are uncertain of how many subjects to choose, please don’t worry – we will give you advice and guidance when we meet you for your interview.

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