This page shows details of the level of attainment that would be required in vocational and other qualifications, for students to make competitive applications to Oxford University. Please note that where specific A-levels are listed as requirements, particularly in the sciences, students would generally need to take those A-levels or another academic equivalent.
If your qualification is not listed here, please contact us with further details, and we will be happy to advise you. It would be
helpful if you could provide details about the nature of your
qualifications, including the name of the awarding institution, and
your intended course of study at Oxford.
National Diplomas, Certificates and Awards (BTEC and City & Guilds)
The National Extended Diploma is equivalent to three
A-levels, and so students studying this qualification would
be able to apply. Students with the National Diploma,
equivalent to two A-levels, would need to take an A-level
as well as the Diploma in order to make a competitive
application. Students with the National Subsidiary
Diploma, equivalent to one A-level, would need to take
two A-levels as well as the National Subsidiary Diploma.
- Conditional offers for the National Extended Diploma
would probably be DDD (Distinctions).
- Conditional offers for the National Diploma would
probably be DD (Distinctions) plus an A grade at A-level.
- Conditional offers for the National Subsidiary Diploma
would probably be D (Distinction) plus two A grades
Please be aware that where a course requires A*AA
at A-level, a D*DD would be required for the National
Extended Diploma, for example.
Applicants will also need to ensure that they meet the
usual requirements for entry to a course (e.g. applicants
for Medicine will require A-level Chemistry or equivalent,
as well as a second science or Mathematics at A-level;
Engineering Science applicants require the equivalent of
Mathematics and Physics at A-level), and they will also
need to take any of the necessary tests and/or submit
examples of coursework.
Applicants interested in applying for Fine Art who are
studying for a BTEC National Extended Diploma
(BTEC) will have to submit a portfolio of work, and
an offer will require candidates to achieve DDD
grades. Tutors welcome applications from those who
are engaged on a BTEC National Extended Diploma
Art and Design course where there is a substantial
element of both Fine Art and Art History. Please note
that because of the practical nature of the Fine Art
degree, which also includes a substantial theoretical
component, a candidate who has successfully
completed the BTEC may be well suited to the
content and structure of the degree course at
Access courses are usually one year of full time study or two years part time study
and are the equivalent of an A-level course. They aim to provide students with
the qualifications needed to progress to Higher Education.
Some access courses allow students to take one or two A-levels as part of the
course. This option is strongly recommended for students who wish to apply to
Oxford. Conditional offers would be for A or A* grades in any A-levels taken. For
Access courses that do not include A-levels, conditional offers are likely to
be for successful completion of the course, with the majority of courses taken
at level 3.
For science subjects, access courses will only be acceptable alternatives to
A-level where the access course covers the same content as any required A-levels,
to the appropriate standard. For example, Access to Medicine courses would only
be sufficient if the course covers the same content as A-level Chemistry and an
A-level in another science or Mathematics, to the appropriate standard.
Candidates who do not have Biology, Physics and Mathematics to at least A-level
standard would need to have studied these subjects to at least GCSE standard.
Conditional offers are likely to be for 45 level 3 credits, with 24 achieved at Distinction and the rest at Merit. Where a candidate is taking more than 45 credits at level 3 within the Diploma, offers may specify the subjects where the Distinctions need to be achieved.
University of Oxford Foundation Courses
The University of Oxford offers Foundation Certificates in English Language and
Literature, and History, through its Department for Continuing Education.
Students on these courses can apply to study a complete degree at any
University, including here at Oxford University. If students do apply here to
Oxford, they may apply for direct entry to year two of the relevant
For further details please see the Continuing Education Department website, email email@example.com or call +44 (0) 1865 270369.
Open University Qualifications
Open University courses are usually studied by distance learning,
with course work and examination elements. Students are awarded points
according to the content of each course, and the points may count
towards different qualifications from diplomas to complete degrees. A
full degree would usually require 360 points: 120 at level 1 (equivalent
to the first year of a degree at a conventional university) 120 at
level 2 and 120 at level 3.
To apply to Oxford, students would
need to have completed or be studying for at least 120 points at level
1, in appropriate subjects. We would expect students to be performing at
the highest level, with at least pass grade 2.
Higher National Diploma or Certificate (HND or HNC)
who are applying with HND or HNC qualifications will only be considered for
entry to the first year of an Oxford degree. Candidates should ensure that
their reference is given by a tutor from the HND or HNC course, and that they
provide details of all their modules and grades in the UCAS application. The
University will expect a candidate to be achieving at the Distinction level.