Courses Levels Explained

Helping you to understand which course level is right for you

Guide to Course Levels

This acts as a guide to the course levels and their entry requirements. Specific criteria for individual courses can be found on their course pages within this website

Entry Level

Get the basic skills, confidence and independence to progress further in your studies. They are not geared towards specific occupations.

Types of Qualification

  • Entry Level Certificate
  • Basic Literacy (English)
  • Basic Numeracy (maths)

Entry Requirements

  • No formal qualifications are required
  • Acceptance on these courses is by interview

Level 1

Designed for students with little or no experience. A great way to develop your knowledge, skills and confidence for further study.

Types of Qualification

  • Introductory Diploma
  • NVQ Level 1

Entry Requirements

Entry Level 3 Certificate OR GCSEs grade 3-1 / D-G including English and maths

Level 2

Get a good knowledge and understanding of a subject, and develop the basic skills and techniques you need for working in your chosen career. Prepare for an apprenticeship, a Level 3 course, T Level, or entry-level work. Most employers use this as their minimum entry requirement.

Types of Qualification

  • Level 2 Diploma
  • NVQ Level 2
  • Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • GCSEs

Entry Requirements

Relevant Level 1 qualification OR 4 GCSEs grade 9-3 / A*-D including English and maths

Level 3

Build on the skills learned at Level 2 or in your GCSEs to an advanced level. Prepare for university, a higher apprenticeship, or work.

Types of Qualification

  • Level 3 Diploma
  • NVQ Level 3
  • Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Access to Higher Education

Entry Requirements

Relevant Level 2 qualification OR 5 GCSEs grade 9-4 / A*-C including English and maths

T Levels

Combination of high-level technical study and work ready skills. Equivalent to three A Levels. Prepare for skilled work, a higher apprenticeship or a degree at university.

Types of Qualification

  • T Level

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs grade 9-5 / A*-C including English and maths OR a full Level 2 qualification with a Merit profile and GCSE English and maths at grade 5 or above

Level 4

Equivalent to the first year of degree level.

Types of Qualification

  • Higher National Certificate (HNC)
  • NVQ Level 4
  • Higher Apprenticeship
  • Certificate of Higher Education

Entry Requirements

Relevant Level 3 qualification or A Levels AND GCSE English and maths at grade 4 / C or above

GCSEs at City College

Do you still need at least a grade 4 or above in English or maths to meet your goal?

Don't worry… City College has clear learning pathways to help you achieve this at the same time as you study your full-time course here.

If your English and/or Maths GCSE results are lower than grade 4/C then you will re-take GCSE or functional skills qualifications whilst at college. These re-sits in GCSEs and functional skills provision will run alongside your main vocational course and fit into your timetable to ensure the maximum success for your learning outcomes.