Whats the difference between an A-Level and a Level 3?

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romhaewon
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I think I'm being stupid here asking. I'm studying English Language, Drama and Theatre and Criminology at college this September, but, on my college website, Criminology doesn't appear under A-levels as instead, it's under Level 3 (the full course name is Criminology Subsidiary Diploma).

I'm worried that this will affect my UCAS score? I want to study English Language and Linguistics (with a year abroad) at University, and I'm worried that Criminology might bring down my total. Thank you
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McGinger
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Level 3 qualifications include BTECs, CTECHs, and various 'diplomas' like WJEC Applied Diplomas. A subsidiary Diploma is a BTEC with the same 'study load' as one a level.

These 'other courses' are not academic courses. They are vocational courses, and more practical in nature. And, importantly, assessment relies on coursework, not big-bang exams in your final year as with A levels.

Whilst you wont get into Oxford with a BTEC, most other leading Unis do accept one BTEC alongside two A levels, depending on the course you want to apply for.
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Compost
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Qualifications come in different levels (depending on how difficult they are), and different sizes (e.g. AS and A level).

AS level, A levels, BTEC Nationals and a host of other qualifications are all considered to be Level 3 (whereas GCSEs at grade 4 and above are Level 2), You can check how many UCAS points different grades in a qualification will gain you here https://www.ucas.com/ucas/tariff-calculator and see how it compares with other subjects. For instance a D* in a diploma in Level 3 criminology gets you the same number of UCAS points as an A* at A level. Some courses will ask for grades, e.g. AAB rather than UCAS points, but the D* should be interchangeable with an A*, a Dist with an A and a Merit with a C.
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McGinger
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(Original post by Compost)
D* should be interchangeable with an A*, a Dist with an A and a Merit with a C.
Not if the Uni will not accept that qualification and wants an A level.
The qualifications are not interchangeable.
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Compost
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(Original post by McGinger)
Not if the Uni will not accept that qualification and wants an A level.
The qualifications are not interchangeable.
But the overwhelming majority of courses do accept BTECs etc.
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University of Portsmouth Student Rep
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(Original post by romhaewon)
I think I'm being stupid here asking. I'm studying English Language, Drama and Theatre and Criminology at college this September, but, on my college website, Criminology doesn't appear under A-levels as instead, it's under Level 3 (the full course name is Criminology Subsidiary Diploma).

I'm worried that this will affect my UCAS score? I want to study English Language and Linguistics (with a year abroad) at University, and I'm worried that Criminology might bring down my total. Thank you
Hi there,

I am currently a student at Portsmouth University.

A level 3 qualification is an equivalent to an A-level, but it is not an A-level. There will be different ucas points for a-levels and Level 3 so it is important to check.

I hope this helps.
Ethan - UOP Rep
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Compost
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(Original post by University of Portsmouth Student Rep)
A level 3 qualification is an equivalent to an A-level, but it is not an A-level. There will be different ucas points for a-levels and Level 3 so it is important to check.
A levels are Level 3 qualifications but there are many Level 3 qualifications which are not A levels. Similar numbers of UCAS points are available for different Level 3 qualifications of the same size.
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