• G2Q13
  • Pre-Entry & Entry

    If you do not have experience, starting at this level will help you boost your confidence and general skills.


    • GCSEs grade E-G
    • Advance2Go!
    • Functional Skills
    • Stepping Stone

    Skills gained: Basic number and reading skills, begin to develop practical skills for jobs.

    This could lead to: A Level 1 course to gain skills for work and life.

  • Level 1 Foundation

    Improve your basic knowledge and understanding at this level. It is a good place to start if you are new to the subject area.


    • GCSEs grade C-D
    • BTEC Diploma Level 1
    • NVQ Level 1
    • Functional Skills

    Skills gained: New practical and personal skills for work and daily life, work experience, personal development.

    This could lead to: A Level 2 course such as an intermediate apprenticeship. Alternatively, you can seek employment in a trainee role.

  • Level 2 Intermediate

    You need to have some knowledge or experience of the subject area. Most employers use this level as their minimum entry requirement.


    • GCSEs grade A* - C
    • BTEC Diploma Level 2
    • NVQ Level 2
    • Functional Skills

    Skills gained: Good general education, good level of knowledge to enter into employment, developing good work habits, learning to solve problems, resourcefulness.

    This could lead to: Work in entry-level roles (e.g. retail assistant, customer service, automotive technician). Alternatively, you can continue on to a Level 3 course (e.g. BTEC or advanced apprenticeship).

  • Level 3 Advanced

    This covers work in more detail. Universities require most applicants to be qualified to this level. Employers will increasingly look for applicants who are qualified to at least this level.


    • AS/A2 Levels
    • BTEC Diploma Level 3
    • NVQ Level 3
    • Functional Skills

    Skills gained: Flexible working approach, capacity to learn and adapt, good problem solving skills, ability to manage work relationships, business knowledge.

    This could lead to: Skilled technician roles (e.g. fully qualified electrician or hairdresser, IT support role). Alternatively, you can further your studies with a Level 4 qualification or higher apprenticeship.

  • Level 4 Higher

    This level involves in-depth study and helps you to become specialists in your area of learning or work.


    • Foundation Degree
    • Functional Skills

    Skills gained: Advanced problem solving skills, extensive business knowledge, advanced relationship management skills, leadership and project management skills.

    This could lead to: A variety of professional roles (e.g. management, accountancy) and entry on to graduate schemes or university courses (e.g. a full honours degree).

Coming to college gives you the opportunity to do much more than just study for your qualification and gain new skills. We also want to help you think about, and prepare for, what comes next.

Guide to qualifications

We’ve made an easy guide to qualifications to show what each level means, and what the courses at this level could lead to. All courses on our website show their level at the end of the title to make it as easy as possible for you.  

Get experienced

Windsor Forest Colleges Group (formerly East Berkshire College) can help you get experience for work in a number of ways. This includes free (or very low cost) courses for job seekers, help with gaining volunteering placements, and support organising work experience programmes, which are also part of many courses. All of these things will help you impress future employers, and give you insight into your career of choice – just drop in and see us.

Planning and resources

The College has a wealth of experience in giving advice and guidance, which is available for our students and non-students alike. See the Career Research & Planning page for some great ideas to get you started, or come in and see a student adviser for free, impartial advice and guidance.


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