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qualification [qual-i-fi-ca-tion] noun
  1. A quality or accomplishment that makes someone suitable for a particular job or activity.
  2. The action or fact of becoming qualified as a practitioner of a particular profession or activity.

Further education is the most commonly used term in the UK to describe education after the age of 16 which is not part of higher education (HND, HE Diploma, Foundation Degree, Higher Apprenticeship, University Honours Degree and above). So, further education is a general heading used to describe an enormous range of qualifications from very basic to university entrance level. Click here for further education opportunities in Sussex.

Higher education is education at University level and beyond. You can study some higher education courses whilst still at college too. Click here to find out more about University.

Most employers will want to know that you have the qualifications needed to work in their organisation.  However, some employers may only be looking for evidence that you have concentrated and applied yourself at school and or college in order to obtain good grades or results.

RememberAll employers still see value in employees having good qualifications in maths and English at GCSE level or equivalent.

Definitions of qualification levels

  • Entry Level Courses
    e.g. BTEC Skills for Working Life, ESOL Skills for Life
  • Level 1 Introductory Courses
    e.g. BTEC level 1 Award or Certificate, NVQ or VRQ level 1, City & Guilds, IMI level 1, Destinations, 14-19 Foundation Diploma
  • Level 2 Intermediate Courses
    e.g. BTEC level 2 Award or Certificate, NVQ or VRQ level 2, City & Guilds, IMI level 2, Intermediate Apprenticeships
  • Level 3 Advanced Courses
    e.g. A level, Access to Higher Education, BTEC level 3 Extended Diploma, NVQ level 3, Advanced Apprenticeships
  • Level 4-5 Higher Education Years 1 & 2
    e.g. BTEC Higher National Diploma, Foundation Degrees, Higher Apprenticeships (certain frameworks)
  • Level 6 Higher Education Year 3
    e.g. BA (hons) Top-Up Degree, Higher Apprenticeships (being developed)

Find out what qualifications may be useful to have to find work in these sectors: