Higher Education Pathways

The titles and definitions for qualifications at each level in all three education sectors [School Sector Qualifications, Technical and Vocational Education Sector Qualifications, Higher Education Sector Qualifications] have been derived from international best practices.

These include the BTEC Edexcel Level 1 & 2 Certificates and Diploma, the GCE ‘O’ Level, the GCE ‘A’ Level, the IB Diploma and the STPU which certify the completion of secondary education.

Diplomas are a qualification that commonly have a wider theoretical base than a certificate and more specialized, technical, professional or managerial competencies. Diplomas recognize technician, technologist and semi-professional level skills and knowledge.

These consist of programmes designed to facilitate successful progression to a full degree or directly to employment. These degrees focus on learning within a work context, underpinned by both vocational and academic understanding and enables learners to demonstrate learning outcomes that are explicitly relevant to employment and professional requirements. An advanced Diploma or Foundation Degree recognizes technician, technologist, managerial and professional level skills and knowledge.

This is a systematic, research-based, coherent introduction to the knowledge, ideas, principles, concepts, basic research methods and to the analytical and problem-solving techniques of a recognized major subject or subjects. A programme leading to this qualification usually involves major studies in which significant knowledge is available. Programme content is taken to a significant depth and progressively developed to a high level, which can provide a basis for postgraduate study and professional careers.

This is normally designed to extend the principal subject or subjects of the qualifying degree or may build on relevant knowledge and skills derived from advanced occupational experience. It also consists of a significant element of supervised research, normally embodied in a thesis, dissertation or substantial research paper.

This is a research qualification that is a level significantly higher than the Master’s Degree, reflecting scholarly independence. It is awarded in recognition of research which has made a substantial and original contribution to knowledge.