What Are Level 4 Qualifications in the UK?

In General, University by Think Student Editor1 Comment

In the UK, different types of qualifications are given different levels. The levels indicate the difficulty as well as the knowledge gained from that level. In the UK, these levels are numbered. Therefore, Level 4 is the fourth level of difficulty. However, without any background knowledge this means very little so you may be wondering what qualifications at level are all about.

Level 4 qualifications show that the recipient has a higher understanding and level of learning gained through the “core-modules” in secondary education. These qualifications tend to be taken from the age of 18 or above. Usually, you can study them at universities or specialist institutions where it would take you into employment.

There are also many other questions raised, like the equivalencies and the difficulties. You can find out more about this by reading on.

What are level 4 qualifications?

A level 4 qualification is an award of higher understanding, and greater learning from the recipient. It is taken at 18 or above in higher education (after A-Levels).

These can be taken at universities which award degrees, or specialist schools which do not offer degrees, but offer vocational courses. The level 4 course gives 120 credits towards your university.

A higher apprenticeship will give a level 4 qualification. A higher apprenticeship allows you to train, and study a highly skilled job, and get paid by the employer.

There are also other examples. The UK Government states that the level 4 qualifications are:

  • Certificate Of Higher Education (CertHe)
  • Higher Apprenticeship
  • Higher National Certificate (HNC)
  • Level 4 Award
  • Level 4 Certificate
  • Level 4 Diploma
  • Level 4 NVQ

This can be found by clicking on this link to go to the government’s page.

What is a level 4 qualification equivalent to?

A level 4 qualification is equivalent to the first year of a bachelor’s degree, or a foundation degree (two thirds of a bachelor’s degree). It is not a full bachelor’s degree but is a start to it.

A level 4 qualification also includes a higher national certificate and diploma. This is a vocational certificate which takes 1 year of full-time commitment to complete, or 2 years of part time. This can be found by clicking on this link from WhatUni.

Otherwise, you also get a Certificate of Higher Education. This is the equivalent of one full year of a bachelor’s degree. This focuses on a certain profession or academic subject at higher education. You can also find out about this, by clicking on this link from University Compare.

Is a level 4 qualification equivalent to a bachelor’s degree?

A level 4 qualification is not equivalent to a full bachelor’s degree. It is seen as the completion of the first year of a bachelor’s degree. A level 6 is seen as the full completion of a bachelor’s degree.

This usually takes 3 or 4 years. A bachelor’s degree is a higher education qualification and a undergraduate, first or honours degree. They are different types of qualifications, and you can find out about this by clicking on this link to a Think Student article.

What are some level 4 courses?

According to courseonline.co.uk, these are a few examples of level 4 courses:

  • AAT Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting
  • Pearson HND in Business Management
  • CMI Level 4 Award in Management and Leadership
  • IDM Award in Digital Marketing

You can find courses, and more information by clicking on this link from courseonline.co.uk. You can also find up to 20,000 level 4 courses on reed.com.

What can you do with level 4 qualifications?

Level 4 qualifications are a great way of getting higher level qualifications. After completion of a level 4 course, you can go straight into work.

You can do this with a Level 4 Diploma in Education and Training, with work experience, a higher apprenticeship and soon a teaching qualification.

Otherwise, you can study a foundation degree or study a bachelor’s degree. It also gives you enough knowledge to gain the ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW qualifications. Overall, it depends on your course, so you should research where your course will lead you.

Are level 4 qualifications hard to complete?

Level 4 qualifications are seen as harder than the previous qualifications. This qualification level opens a lot of doors into higher education and further qualifications, so will not be as easy as previous levels.

Level 4 contains more elements than level 2 and 3. You will need more understanding of the syllabus and should be able to confidently explain key parts of the content.

 Some people will find it easy, and others not so. If you are willing to work hard, it should be rewarding, but is definitely a step up from level 3.

What other qualification levels are available?

There are 9 levels of qualifications, and each offer a different difficulty level. They go from entry levels, to GCSEs, to doctorate. This information can be found on the government’s web page by clicking on this link.

  • Entry level– Entry level is the foundation level that all other levels build up from. It is split into 3 sub-levels.
  • Level 1– This is the next level up and includes a range of certificates and awards but also the GCSE grades 1 to 3.
  • Level 2– This is a stage higher and once again includes a range of qualifications. Included in this are GCSE passing grades from 4 to 9.
  • Level 3– This is a higher stage of education that you may do at sixth form or college. Included in its qualifications are AS or A-Levels.
  • Level 4– As you’ve found out in this article, level 4 is the first level of higher education.
  • Level 5– A level 5 degree is also a part of higher education. It is the equivalent to a foundation degree.
  • Level 6– A level 6 qualification is another stage up. It is the equivalent to a full bachelor’s degree.
  • Level 7– While all of these qualifications are good to have, a level 7 qualification is a little more special. This is because it is a high level and includes master’s degrees.
  • Level 8– This is the highest qualification in the UK. It is equivalent to a doctorate degree.

In this article, we have discussed what level 4 qualifications are, how to get them, the equivalence and if they are hard. There are many different courses available to you, if you find it difficult, there is also a lot of help. You should research your specific course. Good luck!

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Anne Matthews
Anne Matthews
1 year ago

You say a Level 4 qualification will give 120 credits. I think this would need to be a Level 4 course which had a total qualification time of 1200 hours. Is this correct?