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Did you know BTEC level 3 qualifications earn UCAS tariff points?

We have now had a number of enquiries from people needing to earn points in order to get into University, or join the Armed Forces as an officer. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), use a points system based on grades and sizes of your level 3 qualifications. It helps Universities that have courses that are oversubscribed select the top candidates. Sometimes however, if you apply as a mature student and are paying your own fees, then these points don’t necessarily mean anything, they are a benchmark of your prior attainment.

So what is my BTEC worth in UCAS tariff points?

This all depends on the size and the grade you achieved. Also when you did it. If it was before 2010, then the qualifications are put into bands. But if you have achieved your qualification as a QCF since 2010, then the following applies. So if you only get a Pass, you won’t get as many points as if you achieved a Distinction*. All courses are treated equally in QCF by UCAS, so a DD in Engineering is the same as a DD in Business Operations.

What grades are available in BTEC Nationals?

There are a number of grades available and depends on the qualification size. However each module or unit in your course will be graded Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Points per Grade

From here it will depend on the size of the qualification as to what the final grade will be. We offer 3 (certificate), 6 (Subsidiary diploma), 9 (90 Credit Diploma), 12 (Diploma) and 18 (extended diploma) unit qualifications, and they are each graded differently.

Level 3 Certificate Grades

So if you get just a Pass on each of the 3 units on the Certificate course, then your score will be 3 units @ 10 credits = 30, multiply by 7 and the score is 210. This means that the overall grade is a pass. If all units get a Merit, then that is 3 x 10 x 8 = 240, so a Merit overall.

Grade points for L3 diplomas

How to convert your grade into UCAS points:

If you are intending on starting a University course from September 2017, then you will need to use the Tariff points calculator on the UCAS website. See:

To give you an idea of how it work for courses starting before Sep 2017:

Once you have been awarded your grade, you will get it on your certificate and will look like one of those above. Follow the table below to see how many credits it is worth. If you need 180 tariff points, then you need to get a DD in a 90 credit Diploma or a DM in a Diploma. You can add points from other level 3 qualifications. You can gain Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for some units, so you don’t need to do them again to get the credit twice.



This table was taken from UCAS – BTEC QCF Qualifications, and correct at the time of writing. (Updated May 2018)

If you would like to discuss how any of our courses can count towards UCAS tariff points, then please get in contact.