why do A-Level Students Look Down on BTEC's? Watch

Princepieman
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#181
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#181
(Original post by Gott)
Relevance?
You seem to have difficulty connecting dots.. UCAS do a full study on the difficulty and scarcity of qualifications when they determine the points system.
Currently, Advanced Highers are worth more points than A-levels - indicating a more difficult qualification (if you need me to spell it out). Reforms to A-levels would equalise the two.

Not going to bother anymore tbh.

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German123
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#182
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#182
(Original post by Gott)
They are not useful, it is basically a vocational course in journalism (easy English), no one is saying they can't do them do but they're just fair game.

Drama is a hobbie

How are they not useful?

Media covers a lot of aspects.
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Emma:-)
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#183
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#183
(Original post by BethanieClarke)
Actually I'd have to disagree, I'm an A-level student holding an unconditional offer for Law and many of my friends who are doing BTEC's and applying for the same and/or similar courses simply aren't getting the university offers.

This is simply because A-levels are viewed as harder and more desirable than a BTEC, because a BTEC is all one subject and completely coursework based, whereas with A-levels you take 4-5 different subjects with minimal coursework and many exams.
Do you have a source for that fact?
Having done both a-levels and a diploma (the equivalent to a BTEC) myself i can speak for both.
Plenty of people who do BTEC's get uni offers. for example A girl on my course at college got an unconditional offer to do social work at uni.
And BTEC's arent all coursework. They do have some exams in.
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German123
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#184
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#184
(Original post by Gott)
It is not as academic as English and so is not as advanced, so the employability is less. Doubtless in the media sector also I shouldn't be surprised
Well, people still want to study Media at uni regardless of the employ-ability aspect.

It is not about getting a job after uni but whether you enjoy your course.
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yt7777
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#185
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#185
(Original post by Oxford Computer Science Dept)
Just to clarify, yes we do, for our Computer Science degrees, accept the BTEC National Extended Diploma in IT. A conditional offer will normally be: DDD in the Extended Diploma and A* in A Level in Maths, Further Maths or Computing, including at least A in A Level Maths.

However, although Computer Science may suggest a more vocational style of learning, the courses are strongly academic in their focus. Academic qualifications such as A-levels, the International Baccalaureate or any other academic equivalent are strongly recommended as the best preparation for any course of study at Oxford, rather than BTECs.

So although it is possible to apply based on a BTEC, off the top of my head I can't think of a single successful candidate in the last few years who's applied on that basis. (Although we have seen the odd candidate who's done a lower level BTEC alongside three or more A Levels.)
Do you not think though if enough technical units were taken on the BTEC such as Object Oriented programming, Event-driven programming, Procedural programming, Computer Architecture, Maths for IT, Data Analysis, Systems A & D, Software Development etc. Along side A level Maths - you would potentially have just as good if not a better/more prepared applicant for a Computer Science degree, compared so someone who has Maths + 2 other A levels?
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VannR
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#186
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#186
I think in this discussion it may serve to distinguish between looking down on BTEC's themselves, and looking down on people who do BTEC's. In relation to the first view, I can understand why some people may look down on BTEC's: they have a reduced academic content compared to A-Levels, and a greater focus on vocational skill. Thus, someone who themselves values, and is in the process of developing a strong academic basis of knowledge will criticise BTEC's as being incompatible with what they aim to achieve. However, they suit people who place more emphasis on vocational skills very well, since this is what they are designed for.

The second issue here is the first set of people - those who focus on academic study alone - criticising the people who take and value BTEC's - those who focus on vocational skill alongside academic knowledge. This is a judgement of values: academic knowledge > vocational skill. This stems largely from the fact that academic knowledge is regarded as requiring a higher intelligence in order to gain, as opposed to vocational skill. This is the point of the argument which I would like to criticise.

Firstly, I would like to say that I hold to the view that an important metric of the value of piece of work lies in the intelligence required to perform it, and so it may be that they are some BTEC's which do not score highly in this way. However, there are also many BTEC's, particularly in STEM disciplines, which couple considerable academic knowledge with vocational skill, which is valuable in its own right.

This takes me to the issue of 'utility', both personal and social. For people who embark on solely academic study paths, myself included, the greatest personal utility derives from A-Levels - they required in order for me to engage in my chosen future profession. For people who desire vocational careers, the greatest personal utility may possibly lie in a BTEC, since this will serve them better when it comes to doing what they want. But this issue of personal utility may just amount to saying 'people should do what is best for them', and essentially it is. Also, this is not what true critics of BTEC's care about - they care about social utility.

Alas, this is a much more difficult issue to digest. Does a BTEC provide greater benefits to society than an A-Level? People who criticise BTEC's will point to studies which show that people who study A-Levels are more likely to go to university, and thus are more likely to earn more money as a result. But I would argue that this just demonstrates personal utility, not social utility. The social utility of any qualification comes from what the person does with it, and thus, the argument comes full-circle. People who want to do BTEC's will achieve the maximum possible utility from them; people who want to do A-Levels will achieve the maximum possible utility from them. Essentially, everyone should do what is best for them!!!

But one may simply say, "Yeah, but A-Levels are still better than BTEC's, though!", to which I will say to them that they are speaking ignorantly about the purpose of the education system. It is not there so you can collect bright, shiny badges which you can stick to you jacket and show off to your peers; it is there to allow everyone the opportunity to make the best out of themselves, including people who are different to yourself.
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German123
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#187
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#187
(Original post by Gott)
Lol of course it isn't, if you're not good enough to do a proper subject then that's that but in terms of valuble subjects to take Btec-esque degrees aren't up there. I assume you judge employment in your field to be success
Not necessarily.

People have different degrees of success.
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Princepieman
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#188
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#188
(Original post by yt7777)
Do you not think though if enough technical units were taken on the BTEC such as Object Oriented programming, Event-driven programming, Procedural programming, Computer Architecture, Maths for IT, Data Analysis, Systems A & D, Software Development etc. Along side A level Maths - you would potentially have just as good if not a better/more prepared applicant for a Computer Science degree, compared so someone who has Maths + 2 other A levels?
No, Oxford's course is very very theoretical. Taking those units wouldn't help you to understand the true underlying mechanics of Computer Science - maths. You'd need as much Maths understanding as you can get to be able to cope with their course.

Things like propositional logic, sets, big O notation, etc. would be far more beneficial to a theoretical computer science degree such as the ones available at Oxbridge.

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scrunkie
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#189
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#189
(Original post by Princepieman)
It's funny how you are wrong..

Oxford accepts BTEC Computing/IT alongside A-Level Maths - so no, they do accept BTECs. Not to the same extent, but they do.

P.S. don't really care about the argument because i'm doing the Scottish equivalent of A-levels anyway. Just wanted refute your point

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Scottish highers don't count lmao, it's like doing KS2 year 6 stuff ahhahaa
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scrunkie
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#190
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#190
(Original post by Oxford Computer Science Dept)
Just to clarify, yes we do, for our Computer Science degrees, accept the BTEC National Extended Diploma in IT. A conditional offer will normally be: DDD in the Extended Diploma and A* in A Level in Maths, Further Maths or Computing, including at least A in A Level Maths.

However, although Computer Science may suggest a more vocational style of learning, the courses are strongly academic in their focus. Academic qualifications such as A-levels, the International Baccalaureate or any other academic equivalent are strongly recommended as the best preparation for any course of study at Oxford, rather than BTECs.

So although it is possible to apply based on a BTEC, off the top of my head I can't think of a single successful candidate in the last few years who's applied on that basis. (Although we have seen the odd candidate who's done a lower level BTEC alongside three or more A Levels.)
Realistically how many students doing BTEC get A* in A-Level Maths :rolleyes:
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ckfeister
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#191
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#191
Ok, so..

BTEC L2
You don't need any grade in English, maths

GCSE
You don't need anything for it, just good at it.

BTEC L3
You need at least a D in English to be able to do it.
Requirements is a Merit or a C in GCSE Science ( TAKE A HINT )

A-Level
You need at least a B, many don't accept anything lower then an A
You need B in English/Maths at least for whatever your doing

A-Levels at A*A*A - Top 10 universities open
BTEC at D*D*D - Bottom universities open
(Apart from Engineering)
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Princepieman
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#192
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#192
(Original post by scrunkie)
Scottish highers don't count lmao, it's like doing KS2 year 6 stuff ahhahaa
Eh? You guys amaze me..

It literally goes:
Advanced Higher > A2
Higher = AS
National 5/(now gone)Standard Grades = GCSE

What are you on about?
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Oxford Computer Science Dept
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#193
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#193
(Original post by yt7777)
Do you not think though if enough technical units were taken on the BTEC such as Object Oriented programming, Event-driven programming, Procedural programming, Computer Architecture, Maths for IT, Data Analysis, Systems A & D, Software Development etc. Along side A level Maths - you would potentially have just as good if not a better/more prepared applicant for a Computer Science degree, compared so someone who has Maths + 2 other A levels?
For Computer Science degrees at Oxford, although we're looking for students with a genuine interest in Computer Science, we're not looking for any specific knowledge. Although our courses do have practical elements, we are at the more theoretical end of the spectrum when it comes to CompSci courses. We are very much looking for students with a level of Maths that will allow them to cope with the course. Which is why Maths, and Further Maths A Level (or other academic equivalents) are the best preparation for the course.

It may be that at some point we see a student who is strong enough on the Maths front, and has done a BTEC. That's why it's one of the qualifications that we accept. But I don't think that we've seen one yet.
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Oxford Computer Science Dept
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#194
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#194
(Original post by scrunkie)
Realistically how many students doing BTEC get A* in A-Level Maths :rolleyes:
:-) we see a few each year. But it's not many.
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neal95
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#195
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#195
Not generalising but many of my friends do Btecs and spend a hell of a lot of time on Xbox. My a level friends and myself can't do this, there simply isn't the time unless you want to fail your exams. I agree that Btecs often get bashed a bit too much although I agree that DDD isn't AAA
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yt7777
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#196
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#196
(Original post by scrunkie)
Realistically how many students doing BTEC get A* in A-Level Maths :rolleyes:
2 of my friends did, one is studying CompSci and the other is studying Mechanical Engineering (not at Oxford though)
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yt7777
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#197
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#197
(Original post by Princepieman)
No, Oxford's course is very very theoretical. Taking those units wouldn't help you to understand the true underlying mechanics of Computer Science - maths. You'd need as much Maths understanding as you can get to be able to cope with their course.

Things like propositional logic, sets, big O notation, etc. would be far more beneficial to a theoretical computer science degree such as the ones available at Oxbridge.

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I covered Logic and big O notation on my BTEC, I'm now at uni studying CompSci, also you dont cover set theory in Maths A level
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yt7777
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(Original post by Oxford Computer Science Dept)
For Computer Science degrees at Oxford, although we're looking for students with a genuine interest in Computer Science, we're not looking for any specific knowledge. Although our courses do have practical elements, we are at the more theoretical end of the spectrum when it comes to CompSci courses. We are very much looking for students with a level of Maths that will allow them to cope with the course. Which is why Maths, and Further Maths A Level (or other academic equivalents) are the best preparation for the course.

It may be that at some point we see a student who is strong enough on the Maths front, and has done a BTEC. That's why it's one of the qualifications that we accept. But I don't think that we've seen one yet.
But alongside an A level in Maths (presumably grade A*) which is what you require with the IT/Computing BTEC including the units that I mentioned which some cover some highly theoretical content such as Unit 19: Computer Systems Architecture or an advanced Networking unit accompanied by a knowledge of different programming paradigms and potentially 3/4 programming languages must be more relevant and applicable to a CompSci degree (no matter how theoretical) than Maths + 2 other subjects which potentially could be completely unrelated to CompSci?
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epic within
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#199
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#199
(Original post by yt7777)
But alongside an A level in Maths (presumably grade A*) which is what you require with the IT/Computing BTEC including the units that I mentioned which some cover some highly theoretical content such as Unit 19: Computer Systems Architecture or an advanced Networking unit accompanied by a knowledge of different programming paradigms and potentially 3/4 programming languages must be more relevant and applicable to a CompSci degree (no matter how theoretical) than Maths + 2 other subjects which potentially could be completely unrelated to CompSci?

what university are you going to?
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yt7777
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(Original post by epic within)
what university are you going to?
Royal Holloway
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