The Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) is a provider (existing as part of Pearson Education Ltd) of secondary school leaving qualifications and further education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Whilst the T in BTEC previously stood for Technical, according to the DFE (2016) it now stands for Technology. BTECs originated in 1984 and were awarded by Edexcel from 1996. Their origins lie in the Business Education Council, formed in 1974 to “rationalise and improve the relevance of sub-degree vocational education”.

BTEC qualifications, especially Level 3, are accepted by many universities (excluding Cambridge, Oxford and UCL unless combined with other qualifications) when assessing the suitability of applicants for admission, and many such universities base their conditional admissions offers on a student’s predicted BTEC grades. Currently, Imperial College London is the only university in Britain not to accept BTECs at all.

Qualification Subjects

BTEC qualifications are in theory equivalent to other qualifications, such as the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) (levels 1 to 2), A Level (level 3) and university degrees (levels 6 to 7). BTECs are undertaken in vocational subjects ranging from business studies to engineering. Examples of qualifications include:

  • Animal Management
  • Applied Law
  • Applied Science
  • Applied Psychology
  • Art & Design
  • Business
  • Computing
  • Children’s Care and Learning
  • Creative Digital Media Production
  • Early Years & Education
  • Engineering
  • Hair And Beauty
  • Hospitality
  • Health & Social Care
  • Music / Music Technology
  • Performing Arts
  • Public Services
  • Sports Science
  • Travel & Tourism

More BTEC subjects are set to come soon, with a more academic approach. Some exam boards have also announced Criminology qualification which is launching very soon.