Available Qualifications

A1 Open College Network Qualifications
The Open College Network (OCN) enables FE institutions to devise qualifications to meet a local need. Often, these are at a basic level to suit the needs of a particular group of students. The qualifications may be used as an introduction to a higher level or as a means of covering a specialism not covered by the qualifications in the National Qualifications Framework. Such qualifications often provide a means of developing the confidence of students who have not studied for a long time. The certificate awarded tells you the nature of the skills and knowledge which have been tested.OCN qualifications also exist at levels 1, 2,and 3.
A2 Basic Skills (Wordpower / Numberpower)
Most people understand that “basic skills” refers to the levels of literacy and numeracy needed to get by in everyday communication and operation. Most qualifications in this area are clearly named, often incorporating the words “Numeracy” or “Communication”. Popular exceptions are Wordpower and Numberpower, both awarded by City and Guilds.

Concerns about the levels of adult literacy and numeracy have lead to the establishment of the Adult Basic Skills Strategy unit as part of the DfES. A national curriculum for adult literacy and numeracy has been established with new qualifications being available from 2002 onwards. These qualifications are assessed by a test and dovetail into the key skills qualifications at level 1 upward.
A3 Vocational Qualifications.
There is a wide range of qualifications which develop the basic competences in a particular skill as well as NVQs. Often awarded by City and Guilds or OCR (which incorporates the former RSA awarding body), these include areas such as plumbing, word processing, shorthand and electronics. These qualifications are the starting point for developing skills at a higher level. The certificate from the awarding body will often clarify the exact skills acquired. To be independently effective in the work place, the student will usually need to progress to the higher levels.
A4 Qualifications in IT Applications: CLAIT
There are many qualifications which develop a basic level of competence in the use of the main IT applications. Perhaps the most popular is the Certificate in Computer Literacy and Information Technology or CLAIT awarded by OCR. The qualification is divided into modules, each assessed separately. In qualifications awarded before 2002, students gained a Pass if successful in all units. If not fully successful, the student received a Profile Certificate which details the skills which have been achieved.
The qualification was revised in 2002 so that students could achieve at different levels:

Level 1: Certificate for IT Users (New CLAIT)
Level 2: Certificate for IT Users (CLAIT Plus)
Level 3: Certificate for IT Users (CLAIT Advanced)

At level 1 in the new qualification, students must complete the core unit (Using a Computer) and then may choose from a range of optional units which include Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Databases, DTP etc. To achieve the full Certificate, students must complete 5 units successfully. A student achieving less than 5 units will receive a Certificate of Unit Achievement.
A5 GCSE Grades D-G
The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is the main school leaving qualification. GCSEs are available in a wide range of subjects, including from 2002 onwards, vocational areas such as Leisure and Tourism, Health and Social Care. GCSEs may be assessed by a combination of course work and examination or just by end of course examination. They are graded A to G. The lower grades are deemed to be equivalent to level 1.
A6 Foundation GNVQ
The General National Vocational Qualification (GNVQ) provides experience and education relevant to working life but does not provide training for a specific job or skill. Students study a range of units, assessed by assignments and for certain units, by external tests. They develop the knowledge, skills and understanding relevant to a broad vocational area, such as Business, Health and Social Care or Travel and Tourism. Most will have had work experience incorporated into the programme. At Foundation Level, students may take a 3 unit qualification which is equivalent to 2 GCSEs at grades D- G (known as a Part GNVQ) or a 6 unit qualification, equivalent to 4 GCSEs at grades D- G. The qualification is awarded at Pass, Merit or Distinction grades. From 2004, the Part GNVQ will no longer be available. There are also plans to replace the full award also but there is no definite date set for this yet.
A7 NVQ level 1
NVQs are qualifications designed to develop the skills and understanding required for someone to function effectively in the workplace. Designed by industry lead bodies (called National Training Organisations or NTOs or, in some cases, Sector Skills Councils or SSCs) they require students to develop their competence across a range of work related activities, usually whilst in employment. Colleges can deliver NVQs only where they can provide a realistic workplace environment, such as a catering kitchen and restaurant or a motor vehicle workshop. However, Colleges often work in partnership with employers or other training providers in the delivery of NVQs by teaching the theoretical aspects of the qualification.

Students have to compile a portfolio of evidence of their competence to achieve the NVQ. NVQs are not graded.

At level 1 students working towartds an NVQ will develop skills at the foundation level of a semi skilled occupation.
B1 BTEC First Diploma
The full title of these qualifications used to include the name of the Awarding body, BTEC. Although the name of the awarding body has changed to EDEXCEL “BTEC” is retained in the title and signals the distinctive nature of the qualification. The qualification has just been revised to bring it in line with the requirements of the National Qualifications Framework.

The qualification is available in a range of vocational areas or sectors and links to the National Occupational Standards of the sector to which it belongs. It is supported by the relevant NTO (National Training Organisation) or SSC (Sector Skills Council).

The qualification requires students to develop an understanding of the important theory and many of the practical skills which apply in the specified vocational area. It is designed to prepare students for employment and/or provide career development for those already in work. It is divided into units, assessed either by assignments or external examination. Achievement is graded as pass, merit or distinction. Students have to pass all units to achieve the full qualification. The vocational area covered is clear from the title.

In qualifications gained before 2000, students will also have developed “common skills” as part of the course. These common skills include Communication, Working with and relating to Others, Applying Numeracy. From 2000 onwards, students will take the new key skills qualifications separately.
B2 GCSE Grades A to C
The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is the main school leaving qualification. GCSEs are awarded in a wide range of subjects, including vocational areas such as Health and Social Care from 2002 onwards. GCSEs may be assessed by a combination of courses, work and examination or just by end of course examination. They are graded A to G. Students who gain the higher grades A to C have achieved at level 2.
B3 NVQ Level 2
NVQs are qualifications designed to develop the skills and understanding required for someone to function effectively in the workplace. Designed by industry lead bodies (called National Training Organisations/NTOs or Sector Skills Councils/SSCs) they require students to develop their competence across a range of work related activities, usually whilst in employment. Colleges can deliver NVQs only where they can provide a realistic workplace environment, such as a catering kitchen and restaurant or a motor vehicle workshop. However, Colleges often work in partnership with employers or other training providers in the delivery of NVQs by teaching the theoretical aspects of the qualification.

Students have to compile a portfolio of evidence of their competence to achieve the NVQ. NVQs are not graded.

Students awarded an NVQ level 2 will have demonstrated the required level of competence in a semi skilled occupation.
B4 Intermediate GNVQ/Vocational GCSE
The Intermediate General National Vocational Qualification (GNVQ) provides experience and education relevant to working life but does not provide training for a specific job or skill. Students will study a range of units, assessed by assignments and for certain units, by external tests. They will develop the knowledge, skills and understanding relevant to a broad vocational area, such as Business, Health and Social Care or Travel and Tourism. Some may have had work experience incorporated into the programme.

At Intermediate Level, students may take a 3 unit qualification which is equivalent to 2 GCSEs at grades A to C (known as Part one Intermediate GNVQ) or a 6 unit qualification which is equivalent to 4 GCSEs at grades A to C.

Intermediate GNVQs are currently awarded as Pass, Merit or Distinction.

From January 2004, the 3 unit qualification or Part GNVQ will no longer be available. There are also plans to replace the full qualification but no firm date has yet been set for this.
B5 Vocational Qualifications
There is a wide range of qualifications which have a vocational focus and aim to develop essential workplace skills.

Some are designed to develop practical skills such as shorthand, word processing, desk top publishing, book keeping, computerized accounts and CAD. The main awarding bodies for these are Pitmans, RSA (now called OCR) and City and Guilds. The certificate awarded often describes the level of skill acquired. For example, the number of words per minute taken in shorthand.

There are other qualifications offered by awarding bodies who specialize in a particular vocational area. An example is;

Certificate in Childcare and Education

This qualification combines study at college with work experience and provides an understanding of the fundamental requirements of working with children. Students demonstrate their knowledge through assignments and their skills through work based activities. From this qualification, students should progress to the Diploma in Childcare and Education.

The awarding body for this is CACHE, The Council for Awards in Children’s Care and Education.

Students achieving at this level should be capable of routine tasks without supervision.
B6 IT Qualifications
There are several qualifications which provide training in IT Applications. Examples include the City and Guilds 7261, ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) and IBT qualifications.

These increasingly popular qualifications develop skills in the main applications of information technology, such as spreadsheets, databases and word processing.

IBT (Integrated Business Technology) courses are offered by OCR (RSA) as the progression from CLAIT and put the use of IT into a business context.

All of these course are divided into units, each assessed by tests. Students must pass all units to achieve the full qualification.

From 2002 onwards a new CLAIT qualification will be available at levels 2 and 3.
Level 2: Certificate for IT Users (CLAIT Plus)
Level 3: Certificate for IT Users (CLAIT Advanced)
At level 2 in the new qualification, students must complete the core unit (Create, Manage and Integrate Files) and then may choose from a range of optional units which include Spreadsheets, Databases, DTP, Computer Art etc. To achieve the full Certificate, students must complete 4 units successfully. A student achieving less than 4 units will receive a Certificate of Unit Achievement
B7 Qualifications from Professional Bodies
There are some awards offered by professional bodies at this level. Usually, students will use them as stepping stones to higher levels. A good example is:

Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Foundation Level.

Equivalent to NVQ level 2, this is the first step towards the higher levels AAT qualifications. Students will usually attend college to learn the theory of the qualification but they need to be able to demonstrate that they can apply this to the workplace. Students compile a portfolio of evidence of their competence for assessment. Most will progress to Intermediate level after successfully completing Foundation level. The highest level is at Level 4, the Technician award.

For further information on professional bodies see “British Qualifications 30th Edition” pub. Kogan Page ISBN 0749431644.
C1 Advanced and Advanced Subsidiary Level
GCE Advanced Level qualifications are designed to give students a broad understanding of the subjects being studied with some independence of thought and ideas. A demonstration of good literacy will be necessary as well as the ability to communicate orally.

As a result of major reforms known as Curriculum 2000, Advanced Level awards certificated after 2002 will have been achieved differently from those awarded up to 2001. All A levels have been restructured into units, each assessed separately, either through assignment or external examination. Students will achieve an Advanced Subsidiary Level or AS qualification after the successful completion of 3 specified units. They will then go on to complete a further 3 units to achieve the full A level. Both the A Level and the AS Level are graded A to E. Students on Advanced Level courses are also likely to have followed Key Skills programmes as part of their course.
C2 Advanced General National Vocational Qualification (Advanced GNVQ)
The General National Vocational Qualification (GNVQ) was available as a qualification until 2001. It provided experience and education relevant to working life but not training for a specific job or skill. Students studied a range of units, assessed by assignments and for certain units, by external tests. They would have developed the knowledge, skills and understanding relevant to a broad vocational area, such as Business, Health and Social Care or Travel and Tourism. Some may have had work experience incorporated into the programme.

At Advanced Level, students will have taken 6 units to achieve the Single GNVQ and 12 to achieve the Double GNVQ. The qualification was awarded at Pass, Merit and Distinction grades. A single GNVQ is equivalent to a single A Level, the double GNVQ to 2 A Levels.

GNVQ’s at Advanced Level will no longer be awarded after 2001. As a result of the reforms known as Curriculum 2000, the qualification has been revised to give it greater parity with A level. ( see Advanced Vocational Certificate of Education)
C3 Advanced Vocational Certificate of Education (AVCE or Vocational A level)
Introduced as part of the Curriculum 2000 reforms, this qualification, also known as the Vocational A level, replaces Advanced GNVQ. The first awards will be made in 2001.These qualifications provide experiences and education relevant to working life but do not provide training for a specific job. Students develop the knowledge and understanding of the vocational area of the qualifications title. Some may also have had the opportunity for work experience but this is not a requirement of the qualification.

AVCE’s are available in subjects such as Business, Health and Social Care, Engineering/Manufacture, Art Design, Leisure and Recreation.

The qualifications are divided into units, assessed by a combination of course work and external examination. Students may take a 3 unit award (equivalent to an Advanced Subsidiary or AS award and called the Part Award ), a 6 unit award ( equivalent to an A Level and called the Single Award ) or a 12 unit award ( equivalent to 2 A Levels and called the Double Award ). AVCE’s are graded A to E, like A levels. The grades indicate the same level of attainment so comparison with A Levels is easy.

The same levels of knowledge, analysis and independent thought are required as at A Level. The assessment methodology is as rigorous, with usually 2/3 external assessment to 1/3 internal assessment.
C4 The Advanced Extension Award (AE Award)
This qualification is currently being piloted with the aim of making it widely available from 2002. It is aimed at the top 10% of A Level students and is designed to give them the opportunity to show an in depth knowledge and understanding of subjects they will have taken at A Level. It is to be available in 13 subjects only initially and will be awarded at merit and distinction grades.

This qualification replaces the S Level.
C5 International Baccalaureate
Established over 30 years ago, the International Baccalaureate provides an alternative to A levels. It is offered in over 100 countries and in about 30 places in the UK.

Students will take more subjects than at A level and are able to combine arts subjects with languages and science. The aim is to maintain a broad education at a higher level than GCSE. Students are assessed through coursework and examinations.
C6 BTEC National Award/Certificate/Diplomas
The full title of these qualifications includes the previous name of the Awarding body, BTEC. Although the name of the awarding body has changed to EDEXCEL. “BTEC” is retained in the title and signals the distinctive nature of the qualifications. The qualifications have just been revised (2002) to bring them in line with the requirements of the National Qualifications Framework.
The qualifications are available in a range of vocational areas or sectors and link to the National Occupational Standards of the sector to which they belong. They are supported by the relevant NTO (National Training Organisation) or SSC (Sector Skills Council). The qualifications require students to develop an understanding of the important theory and many of the practical skills which apply in the specified vocational area. They are designed to prepare students for employment and/or provide career development for those already in work. They are divided into units, assessed either by assignments or external examination.
From September 2002, there are 3 sizes of BTEC National:
BTEC National Award: 6 units: equivalent to one A level
BTEC National Certificate: 12 units: equivalent to two A levels
BTEC National Diploma: 18 units: equivalent to three A levels
Students have to pass all units to achieve the full qualification. The vocational area covered is clear from the title.
C7 NVQ Level 3
NVQs are qualifications designed to develop the skills and understanding required for someone to function effectively in the workplace. Designed by industry lead bodies (now called National Training Organisations/NTOs or Sector Skills Councils/SSCs) they require students to develop their competence across a range of work related activities, usually whilst in employment. Colleges can deliver NVQs only where they can provide a realistic workplace environment, such as a catering kitchen and restaurant or a motor vehicle workshop. However, Colleges often work in partnership with employers or other training providersin the delivery of NVQs by teaching the theoretical aspects of the qualification.

NVQ level 3 trains students to technician level and will require them to demonstrate supervisory skills.
C8 Qualifications from Professional Bodies
Many professional bodies make awards at this level. For example:

Certificate of Supervisory Management

Awarded by The Institute of Management, this is a modular programme, assessed through internally set but externally moderated assignments. Students learn the principles and practice of effective management as these apply to the role of supervisor in the workplace. Good communication and numeracy skills are required. The award is graded at Pass, Credit (merit) and Distinction levels.

For further information on professional bodies see “British Qualifications 30th Edition” pub. Kogan Page ISBN 0749431644.
C9 Other vocational qualifications
There are many vocational qualifications available at this level. Some are awarded by professional bodies (see C8), others by awarding bodies who specialize in awards in a particular vocational area. An example would be.

Diploma in Childcare and Education.

This used to be known as the Diploma in Nursery Nursing (DNN) and before that, the NNEB. Students learn both the theory and practice of childcare such that they are capable of unsupervised work in employment. They learn through academic study and work experience and are assessed through course work. It is possible to go on to a level 4 qualification with the Advanced Diploma.

This qualification is awarded by CACHE, The Council for Awards in Children’s Care and Education.
D1 Certificate in Higher Education (Cert HE)
A first level qualification in Higher Education. This can be a discrete award or can be recognised as the completion of the first year of a degree. The Cert HE can be studied in a range of subjects from Humanities to Sciences.
E1 Diploma in Higher Education (Dip HE)
The Diploma of Higher Education can be a qualification in its own right or the equivalent of the first two years of a degree. This can be studied in a variety of subjects from Humanities to Sciences. This qualification will largely be assessed by a variety of assignments from essays to project work; there may also be exams.
E2 Higher National Certificate (HNC)
The HNC is a largely vocationally focused course and can be studied in a variety of areas from Housing to Mechanical Engineering. The majority of HNC’s are studied part time over two years. HNCs require the completion of fewer units than HND. Entry can be gained without any other formal qualification if the student has related work experience.
E3 Higher National Diploma (HND)
The Higher National Diploma can be studied in a whole range of work related subjects from Engineering, Electronics to Leisure. This vocational focus is reflected in the way the subjects are studied and assessed often drawing on experiences in the work place. The HND is designed to be broadly equivalent to completion of the second year of a degree, and can be studied without any formal qualification if the student has relevant work experience.
E4 Foundation Degrees
This is a new qualification, currently being developed by consortia of employers, HE and FE institutions.

The aim is to provide a new qualification which combines the development of the technical skills required in a particular sector of industry with the appropriate academic knowledge. In addition, the programmes will be expected to develop the student’s transferable skills such as communication, teamworking, reasoning and process management. The emphasis is vocational which is the reason that significant employer involvement is being sought in the design of the programmes. Although HE institutions will accredit the new degrees, it is projected that FE institutions will be the main deliverers, through partnership arrangements. Employer involvement in delivery is considered to be highly desirable, perhaps through work placements or work based modules.

The current pilots have the involvement of National Training Organisations (NTOs) and this is expected to remain the model for the future.

The Foundation Degree will be studied over the equivalent of two years full time. It will enable students to progress to Honours Degrees, professional qualifications or higher level NVQs.

You can find out more on the HEFCE website. http://www.hefce.ac.uk

E5 Ordinary Degrees
The holders of qualifications at this level will have developed a sound understanding of the principles in their field of study, and will have learned to apply those principles more widely. Through this, they will have learned to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems. They will have qualities necessary for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision making.
E6 Qualifications from Professional Bodies
There are many qualifications from professional bodies which recognise the highly specialised skills that practitioners have to develop. An example would be the Chartered Institute of Building Certificate for managers in the construction industry. The qualification requires membership of the Chartered Institute of Building and provides a route to study at degree level. It is equivalent to NVQ Level 4.

Any qualification at this level will require the application of advanced theory to the workplace and the demonstration of work place skills, for example in the management of budgets/resources/staff etc.

For further information on professional bodies see “British Qualifications 30th Edition” pub. Kogan Page ISBN 0749431644.

E7 Vocational Qualifications
There are many vocational qualifications which are equivalent to NVQ level 4 but which are not NVQ’s. These will address areas of vocational expertise through theory and an understanding of application in the workplace. To be successful, students may have had to apply their learning in a workplace context. An example is the Executive Secretary’s Diploma, which aims to prepare senior secretaries/administrators for a management role. It covers, for example, business administration, management theory, IT skills and communication.
F1 NVQ Level 4
NVQ level 4 is assessed by observation, written/oral questioning and practical tests. The qualification awarded is based on the competences required by particular occupations. Industry defined standards assess an individual’s ability to demonstrate competence in a broad range of complex technical activities, performed in a wide variety of contexts. NVQ Level 4 is an indication of an individual’s ability to think and work independently and/or with responsibility for others.
F2 Bachelor of Arts (BA)
The Bachelor of Arts(BA) degree can be achieved in a broad range of subject areas usually located within the disciplines of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities. The BA degree has a general emphasis on the theoretical and creative basis of the subject and tends to be assessed by essay, project work and presentations. For an Honours classification a dissertation/final year project is usually required.
F2 Bachelor of Arts in Education BA(Ed)
The Bachelor of Education (BEd) is awarded for degrees which lead to a teacher training qualification. Increasingly BEd titled degrees are being phased out in favour of BA(Ed) degrees with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Both BEd and BA(Ed) are generally designed for the teaching of primary education. Students will have to demonstrate an ability to teach and manage the classroom within a school situation. The BEd/BA(Ed) is usually four years in length and studied full-time.
F2 Bachelor of Education (BEd)
Similar to Bachelor of Artts in Education.
F2 Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)
The Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree is a subject specific award for degrees in engineering or engineering related subjects. It should be noted that the BEng is not offered by some HEIs and as such does not replace or supercede a BSc in engineering or an engineering based subject. The BEng as with the BSc has a basis not only in the theoretical nature of the subject but also in its practical application. The BEng is typically assessed through essays, project work and presentations. The BEng has been designed in conjunction with the relevant professional bodies.
F2 Bachelor of Law (LLB)
The Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree does not automatically lead a graduate into a career in law but the student would expect to earn certain exemptions within a postgraduate training course for solicitors or barristers. The LLB may contain a years work experience carried out in a related occupation. The LLB is structured to contain a large percentage of practical application of the subject as well as theoretical reasoning. The degree is assessed both through essays and project work/reports. The title BA Law can also be awarded to Law degrees. The choice of title depends on the awarding HEI.
F2 Bachelor of Science (BSc)
The Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree is primarily awarded for Science based study. Some universities offer BA degrees irrespective of their Science content. Subjects include all of the natural and physical sciences as well as the social sciences such as sociology, psychology and politics. The BSc degree is assessed through essays, project work and presentations as well as the student’s practical application of the subject.
F2 First Degree (Bachelors)
The bachelors degree is designed to develop the student’s advanced knowledge of the particular subject(s) of study.
F3 Graduate Certificate/Graduate Diploma
These qualifications will be introduced from the year 2003.
G1 NVQ Level 5
The National Vocational Qualification Level Five has been designed to be of a level broadly equivalent to a PGDip. NVQ Level 5 qualifications are assessed through essays, project work, and work based experience. NVQ 5 is studied part time and alongside employment. Many postgraduate professional qualifications (e.g. IPD, ACA) are generally perceived to be at the same level as NVQ Level 5 qualifications. The NVQ Level 5 as with the PGDip and PGCert is a postgraduate qualification but is not deemed to be of the same academic level as higher degrees e.g. masters or PhD.
G2 PGCE
Studied over nine months the Post Graduate Certificate in Education is a teaching qualification designed for graduates (or equivalent) from any discipline which can be related to the National Curriculum. After qualification, graduates have Qualified Teacher Status.
G2 Post Graduate Certificate (PGCert)
The Post Graduate Certificate (PGCert) is a postgraduate qualification designed for graduates within a variety of disciplines. The PGCert would normally be studied from four to nine months and is designed to be assessed via taught modules and project work.
G2 Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip)
The Post Graduate Diploma (PGDip) is a postgraduate qualification designed for graduates within a variety of disciplines. The PGDip would normally be studied from six months to a year and is designed to be assessed via taught modules and project work. The PGDip can often be awarded to graduates who have completed the taught components of an MA or MSc programme but have not completed the research project/dissertation.
G3 Master of Arts (MA)
The Master of Arts (MA) degree is a higher degree awarded to graduates (or equivalent) who have studied to a higher level within an arts related subject. The MA represents a higher level of understanding at greater depth than a first degree(e.g BA or BSc) and is generally studied for between 1 year to 18 months full time and up to 5 years part time. The MA is usually assessed through the completion of taught modules and assignments and a large research project or thesis. The MAs granted by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge are not academic qualifications.
G3 Master of Business Administration (MBA)
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a higher degree awarded to graduates who have studied a discipline within a Business or related subjects. The MBA is designed to be awarded to graduates who already have a first degree (or equivalent) or to those who have sufficient related experience within the subject area. The MBA is a taught masters degree assessed by project work, essays, a final project/dissertation and commonly by project work within the workplace. The MBA is usually designed in conjunction with business to enhance and further the knowledge of those involved within the discipline. The MBA can be offered in areas such as personnel management or public administration. The MBA generally takes one year full time and up to 5 years part time. Many MBAs attract substantial course fees due to the perceived ‘added value’ that the qualification brings to both the individual and the business or organisation.
G3 Master of Education (MEd) / MA(Ed)
The Master of Education (MEd) degree is awarded to graduates who have studied within the related field of Education (this is sometimes now called a Master of Arts in Education). The MEd is designed to be awarded to graduates who already have first degrees (or equivalent) or to those who have sufficient related experience within the subject area. The MEd is a taught masters designed for education professionals and is assessed through essays, project work, practical based work and a large project/dissertation. The MEd is generally studied for between 1 year to 18 months full time and up to 5 years part time.
G3 Master of Engineering (MEng)
The Master of Engineering (MEng) degree is a higher degree which can be studied without a first degree. It is more difficult to be accepted onto an MEng than for example an BSc. An MEng generally runs for between four to five years. The student would follow the same programme as someone studying for a BEng initially, but the third and fourth years are integrated and require study at a more demanding level.

MEng degrees are generally awarded to those studying engineering and related subjects. The MEng is assessed through essays, practicals, project work and examinations. Due to the method of entry and study many academics often regard the MEng as an undergraduate Masters course, implying that although it is higher than a first degree some are not of sufficient academic merit to be described as a postgraduate qualification. From 2003 all MEng Degrees will represent achievement at postgraduate level. Master of Chemistry (MChem), Master of Physics (MPhys) are in the same category as the MEng.

G3 Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is not exclusively awarded to individuals who have studied Philosophy, rather to graduates who have studied to postgraduate level by researching in a particular subject. The MPhil is typically assessed via completion of a large research project/thesis (around 50,000 words) and external examination of that project. Due to the method of study most MPhils take a minimum of 20 months full time or three years part time.
G3 Master of Research (MRes)/Master of Studies (MSt)
The Master of Research (MRes) degree is an award designed to enhance and develop the research skills of graduates. In common with MAs and MScs the MRes is studied by students who have already completed a first degree (or equivalent) and is increasingly seen to be a valuable qualification for those who wish to do further research (i.e. doctorates or high level academic research). The MRes is a taught masters which demonstrates the various processes of research and is assessed through essays and research based projects. The MRes is generally studied for 1 year full time and up to 5 years part time.
G3 Master of Science (MSc)
The Master of Science (MSc) degree is a higher degree awarded to graduates (or equivalent) who have studied to a higher level within a Science related subject (See BSc). The MSc represents a higher level of understanding and greater depth than a first degree and is generally studied for between 1 year to 18 months full time and up to 5 years part time. The MSc is usually assessed through the completion of taught modules and assignments/practicals and a large research project/thesis. MSc degrees tend to have a greater emphasis on practical and project based work than MAs.
G4 Qualifications from Professional Bodies
Qualifications at this level will usually require the equivalent of postgraduate understanding of theory and a high level of practical application in the workplace. An example is The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s Diploma in Personnel Management. Students are required to understand management theory and specialist areas such as employment law, employee relations, personnel practice, training and development etc. Assessment is by exam and project work which has to demonstrate research skills and the capacity to provide solutions to management problems.

Such qualifications require membership of the professional body and this usually means adherence to the codes of professional practice laid down by them.

For further information on professional bodies see “British Qualifications 30th Edition” pub. Kogan Page ISBN 0749431644.

H1 Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is a relatively new degree for those working (or studying) within the subject of business. The DBA is a taught doctorate that combines a mixture of taught modules, research based work and work experience or work based learning. The award is assessed through essays, projects and a significant piece of project work (the length required varies between HEIs). As with the PhD/DPhil and EdD holders of this degree are entitled to call themselves Doctor. The DBA is usually designed in conjunction with business to enhance and further the knowledge of those involved within the discipline.
H1 Doctor of Education (EdD)
The Doctor of Education (EdD) is a relatively new degree for those working (or studying) within Education. The EdD is a taught doctorate which combines a mixture of taught modules, research and work based learning within the education environment. The award is assessed through essays, projects and a significant piece of project work (the length varies between HEIs). As with the PhD/DPhil and DBA holders of this degree are entitled to call themselves Doctor.
H1 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD/DPhil)
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a research based higher degree which can be studied by graduates who have achieved an Honours degree (or equivalent). Those who successfully obtain the award are able to call themselves Doctor. The term PhD/DPhil is not necessarily awarded to individuals who have studied Philosophy. The PhD/DPhil is assessed by a very large research project/thesis (80-100,000 words) which should make a significant and original contribution to the existing knowledge of that subject. A PhD is achieved within 3 years full time and up to 8 years part time.