Learning Progression

Progression to the next level

Well done on successfully achieving your qualification and we do hope your learning has been enjoyable and worthwhile.

Perhaps it is now a good time to think about your next steps?  Obviously qualifications are always a positive addition to your CV and you might want to have a look at our blog on Why a qualification here for further information.

Learners are often confused about qualification levels and sizes and we have put together a guide to help with this - Level Descriptors.

Clear progression is available through our wide range courses, designed to align with your chosen career progression or offer wider commercial knowledge.

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Level 1 to 2

Level 1 qualifications are entry level, giving basic, factual knowledge.  They are quite generic and do not offer you a chance to explore specific areas in more detail, to focus on particular areas or to look at using more initiative.  Progression to a Level 2 qualification course will offer you an opportunity to explore a broader perspective and more specialised areas, perhaps embarking on some of your own research and solving problems.

A Level 1 qualification is an equivalent to a first certificate and GCSE grades D to G.

A Level 2 qualification is an equivalent to a CSE grade 1, GCSE grade A* to C, intermediate apprenticeship, and O level grade A to C.

Level 2 to 3

Level 3 qualifications give you a chance to look at more complex and non-routine areas, different approaches and environments, using the knowledge you gain to evaluate and interpret challenges and situations.  They generally offer more options to explore as you begin to specialise in particular areas.  At this level as well, The Business School offers smaller sized qualifications called Awards – you might like to have a look at our blog on Level 3 Award Courses.

A Level 3 qualification is the equivalent to an A Level grades A to E, Access to higher education diploma, Advanced apprenticeship, Applied general, AS level, and an international Baccalureate diploma.

Level 3 to 4

At this level, you will really start to dig down into deeper awareness, and have a chance to research your own conclusions, offer more detailed specialisms, as well as look at those areas that are so important outside your chosen role, such as finance, marketing, stakeholder relationships and health and safety.  Without this ‘cross-sector’ knowledge, career progression is very difficult – the concept of a T-shaped person is explained further in our blog on Continuing Professional Development.

A Level 4 qualification is the equivalent to a Certificate of higher education (CertHE), Higher appreanticeship, and a Higher national certificate (HNC).

Level 4 to 5

At Level 5, you are firmly embroiled in middle management areas, exploring different concepts, perspectives and approaches, with the opportunity to define your own conclusions.  You will be analysing and evaluating information, focusing on applying theories and tools into your own environment and operations.  Again, ‘cross-sector’ areas are explored, with learning on how these would affect specialist areas, for example, feasibility and viability, client relationships and policy areas.

A Level 5 qualification is an equivalent to a Diploma of higher education (DipHE), Foundation degree, and a Higher national diploma (HND).

Level 5 to 6

Strategic perspectives – the bigger picture – are now your focus.  Advanced knowledge and concepts are explored to enable problem solving and decision making across a whole organisation, including more global perspectives. Critical analysis and evaluation are employed, supported by your own research and development of strategic conclusions.  Not only are Level 6 qualifications at Honours degree level, they are work-focused and a much more cost-effective way of gaining a qualification at this level, especially when studied via our Virtual Learning Environment to allow you to manage your life around your studies.  Being awarded by well-established UK-based professional bodies, approved by the UK Government, is also viewed as very beneficial and attractive across the world.

A Level 6 qualification is an equivalent to a degree apprenticeship, degree with honours, graduate certificate, graduate diploma, ordinary degree without honours.

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