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qualifications comparison table

Countries England & Northern Ireland England, Wales & Northern Ireland Malta EU
Main Stages of education/employment Level Qualifications and Credit Framework/National Qualifications Framework for England and Northern Ireland www.ofqual.gov.uk www.ccea.org.uk Level Framework for HE qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland www.qaa.ac.uk Maltese Qualifications Framework www.ncfhe.org.mt Level Level European Qualifications Framework http://ec.europa.eu/eqf/home_en.htm
Professional or postgraduate education, research or employment 

 

Higher education/
Advanced skills training

 

 

Entry to professional graduate employment
Specialised education and training

 

 

Qualified/Skilled worker/
Entry to higher education/
Completion of secondary education

 

 

Progression to skilled employment/
Continuation of secondary education

 

 

Secondary education/ Initial entry into employment or further education

 

 

Nb Qualifications can be taken at any age in order to continue or return to education or training

Level 8 Vocational Qualifications Level 8 Level 8 Doctoral Degrees Doctoral Degree Level 8 Level 8 Doctoral Degree
Level 7 Fellowships,
NVQ Level 5,
Vocational Qualifications Level 7
Level 7 Master’s Degrees,
Integrated Master’s Degrees,
Postgraduate Diplomas,
Postgraduate Certificate in Education
(PGCE), Postgraduate Certificates
Master’s Degree
Postgraduate Diploma
Postgraduate Certificate
Level 7 Level 7 Master’s Degree
Postgraduate Diploma
Postgraduate Certificate
Level 6 Vocational Qualifications Level 6 Level 6 Bachelor’s Degrees with Honours,
Bachelor’s Degrees,
Professional Graduate Certificate in
Education (PGCE),
Graduate Diplomas,
Graduate Certificates
Bachelor’s Degree,
VET Bachelor/VET Bachelor (Hons)
Level 6 Level 6 Bachelor’s Degree,
VET Bachelor/VET Bachelor (Hons)
Level 5 NVQ Level 4,
Higher National Diplomas (HND),
Vocational Qualifications Level 5
Level 5 Foundation Degrees,
Diplomas of Higher Education (Dip HE),
Higher National Diplomas (HND)
Undergraduate Diploma
Undergraduate Certificate, VET Higher Diploma
Level 5 Level 5 Undergraduate Diploma
Undergraduate Certificate, VET Higher Diploma
Level 4 Vocational Qualifications Level 4,
Higher National Certificates (HNC)
Level 4 Higher National Certificates (HNC),
Certificates of Higher Education (Cert HE)
Level 3 NVQ Level 3,
Vocational Qualifications Level 3,
GCE AS and A Level,
Advanced Diplomas (England)
Matriculation Certificate
Advanced Level
Intermediate Level,, VET Diploma
Level 4 Level 4 Matriculation Certificate
Advanced Level
Intermediate Level,, VET Diploma
Level 2 NVQ Level 2, Vocational Qualifications Level 2, GCSEs at grade A*–C, ESOL skills for life, Higher Diplomas (England), functional skills Level 2 (England) (English, mathematics & ICT), Essential Skills Qualifications (NI) General Education
Level 3 SEC Grade 1-5,
VET 3
Level 3 Level 3 General Education
Level 3 SEC Grade 1-5,
VET 3
Level 1 NVQ Level 1, Vocational Qualifications Level 1, GCSEs at grade D–G, ESOL skills for life, Foundation Diplomas (England), functional skills Level 1 (England) (English, mathematics & ICT), Essential Skills Qualifications (NI) General Education
Level 2 SEC Grade 6-7,
VET 2
Level 2 Level 2 General Education
Level 2 SEC Grade 6-7,
VET 2
Entry Level Entry Level Certificates (sub levels 1–3), ESOL skills for life, functional skills Entry Level (England) (English, mathematics & ICT), Essential Skills Qualifications (NI) General Education
Level 1 School Leaving Certificate, VET 1
General Education
Level 1 School Leaving Certificate, VET 1

Examples of major qualifications at each level are provided. For more detail of the qualifications in another country, you will need to consult the website given at the head of each column.