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Qualification Levels

We offer a wide range of academic and vocational qualifications available at different levels, from university foundation degree courses to diplomas, and it is important to know which level is right for you.

Which level should I study?

For some courses, you will need to start studying at level 1 or 2 in order to get all the background knowledge and skills you need to progress, for example in the construction trades. For other courses, as long as you have achieved a certain level of qualification, e.g. GCSEs at grade C, you can go on to higher qualifications such as a level 3 diploma.

If your goal is to go to university, then you will need a certain number of UCAS points to apply. These points can be gained on most level 3 qualifications, such as diplomas or A-levels. However, if you want to study at university level but would prefer not to study at a university itself, then Chichester College offers courses which are equivalent to the first two years of a university degree, for example level 5 HNDs or foundation degrees.

If you're still unsure, don't worry. Our friendly Admissions Team are always available for advice and guidance.




Entry level awards, certificates and diplomas


GCSE (grades 1-3/D-G) 
Key Skills level 1 
NVQ level 1 
Skills for Life level 1 
Foundation diploma 

BTEC  award, certificate and diploma level 1
Functional Skills level 1


GCSE (grades 4-9/A*-C) 
Key Skills level 2 
NVQ level 2 
Skills for Life level 2 
Higher diploma 
BTEC level 2 award, certificate and diploma
Functional Skills level 2 
Apprenticeships (intermediate)


AS and A-level 
Key Skills level 3 
NVQ level 3 
Advanced diploma 
Access courses
BTEC level 3 award, certificate and diploma
Apprenticeships (advanced)


HNC (equivalent to the first year of a bachelor's degree)
NVQ level 4 
BTEC level 4 professional award, certificate and diploma
Apprenticeships (high)


HND (equivalent to the second year of a bachelor's degree)
Foundation degree