Other qualifications

Other Qualifications

Queen’s is committed to widening access and we welcome applications from applicants offering qualifications other than those referred to in the general entrance requirements page. If you are undertaking other qualifications, have a look at the information below and if you have any queries please contact the Admissions and Access Service (admissions@qub.ac.uk).

1. BTEC and OCR Qualifications at Level 3

Applications are considered individually on their merits, and GCSE background and results in the first year BTEC/ OCR (or qualifications deemed equivalent from other awarding bodies) examinations may be taken into account, bearing in mind, where appropriate, the course requirements. Offers will be based on performance in individual units rather than the overall grade(s) awarded.

The targets set for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences-based subjects range from 100 credits at Distinction and 80 credits at Merit in the BTEC Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma examinations, to 160 credits at Distinction and 20 credits at Merit depending on the specific degree programme.

In Science, Engineering and Agri-Food and Land Use, applicants offering a relevant BTEC Extended Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma are considered individually on their merits. Where offers are made, they range from 100 to 160 credits at Distinction (including specified units) a nd Merits in all other units.

A combination of A-levels and BTEC/ OCR qualifications will also be considered and, where applicants take two A-levels and a BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma/Extended Certificate or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma offers will be made in terms of performance in individual units rather than the overall grade(s) awarded.

Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma/Extended Certificate will normally be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications (except Dentistry, Medicine and Pharmacy, for which these qualifications are not acceptable). Again offers will be made in terms of performance in individual units rather that the overall grades awarded. The table below is for guidance.

More detailed information is available via the Course Finder site.

A-level Grade BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma/ Extended Certificate – Level 3
A 60 credits at Distinction
B 30 credits at Distinction and 30 credits at Merit 
C 60 credits at Merit

BTEC National Extended Certificate/ Diploma/Extended Diploma at Level 3 (first teaching September 2016)

Entry requirements for the new BTEC Nationals at Level 3 are currently under consideration and further information will be published as soon as possible.

2. BTEC Higher National Diplomas ( HND – Level 5)

Applications are considered individually on their merits and academic background at GCSE, GCE General and Applied A-levels and results in the first year examinations are taken into account, bearing in mind, where appropriate, the course requirements. For Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences-based subjects, where offers are made these range from Merits in all final year units to a mixture of Distinctions and Merits for the more competitive courses including some of the BA Single Honours degrees, Law, Psychology and for degree programmes in Queen’s Management School. Entry would normally be to Stage 1 although some courses at Queen’s may consider a dmission to Stage 2.

In Science, Engineering and Agri-Food and Land Use, applicants offering a relevant Higher National Diploma are considered individually on their merits for Stage 1 or Stage 2 entry, depending on how closely the syllabus correlates to Stage 1 and on their performance in first year. Where offers are made for Engineering these are normally based on 12 Merits (4–6 units specified) and four Passes for Stage 2 and nine Merits (3 specified) and seven Passes for Stage 1. Science-based subjects usually require either Merits in all final year units or a mixture of Distinctions and Merits.

HND Entry Requirements are currently under review for 2019 entry.

3. BTEC Higher National Certificates ( HNC – Level 4)

Applicants offering BTEC Higher National Certificates are considered on the same basis as applicants offering Higher National Diplomas, however, entry would be to Stage 1. HNC Entry Requirements are currently under review for 2019 entry.

4. Foundation Degrees

Applicants offering a Foundation Degree are considered individually on their merits and academic background at GCSE, GCE General and Applied A-levels and the performance in first year may be taken into consideration. Where offers are made these are based on completion of the full qualification and for Stage 1 or Stage 2 depending on compatibility and performance.

5. Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers

The University accepts Scottish Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications. The following is a guide to the standard required in terms of equivalencies to A -level target grades.

• For certain degree courses within Science, Engineering, Agri-Food and Land Use, Queen’s Management School and Pharmacy programmes, an Advanced Higher in one or more specified subjects will be required.

• For Medicine and Dentistry, performance in Scottish Highers at first attempt is important with a minimum of AAABB required. Three Advanced Highers are necessary except where applicants achieved AAAAA in Scottish Highers. In such cases, two Advanced Highers would be acceptable.

A-level grades Higher offer (S5) Advanced Higher offer (S6) Typical Advanced Higher + Higher offer (4 subjects)
AAA AAAAB AAA AA + AA
AAB AAABB AAB AA + AB
ABB ABBBB ABB AB + AB
BBB BBBBB BBB BB + AB
BBC BBBBC BBC BB + BC
BCC BBBCC BCC BC + BC

6. International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP)

Applicants must obtain the Diploma in order to be eligible for admission. While it is not possible to give exact equivalences, the following acts as a guide.

A-level Grades International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) Individual grades refer to subjects at Higher Level
AAA 6,6,6, and 36–37 points overall
ABB 6,5,5 and 33–34 points overall
BBB 6,5,5 and 32 points overall
BBC 5,5,5 and 30 points overall
BCC 5,5,5 and 29 points overall

(Maximum grade 7 – Minimum pass grade 4)

Applicants presenting with a combination of A-levels and individual IB Higher Level (HL) subject certificates will also be considered.

7. Open University Qualifications

Applicants offering Open University qualifications are considered individually on their merits and on level of performance. Applicants are normally expected to offer 120 CATS points and previous academic background may be taken into account. For highdemand courses, 60 of the 120 CATS points may be required at Level 2 and a specified grade may be stipulated.

8. Cambridge Pre-U Diploma and Principal Subjects

The Cambridge Pre-U Diploma and Principal Subjects are acceptable, on their own or in combination with A-levels. A Principal Subject will be acceptable in lieu of a specified A-level in fulfilment of course requirements, with a grade D3 considered comparable to a grade A at A-level, a grade M2 considered comparable to a grade B at A-level and a grade M3 considered comparable to a grade C at A-level.

9. BTEC/OCR qualifications at Level 2

In fulfilment of the General Entrance Requirement or where performance at GCSE level is used in the selection process for individual programmes the University will accept a maximum of one BTEC/OCR qualification at Level 2. Normally a maximum of the equivalent of four GCSEs in acceptable vocational qualifications will be counted.

10. Certificate and Diploma in Financial Studies

Applications from applicants will be considered on an individual basis and a final decision taken in light of the full portfolio of qualifications, previous academic performance, relevant experience and the nature of the course applied for. In practice these qualifications have normally been included in conditional offers.

11. CACHE Level 3 Qualifications

Applicants offering these qualifications are considered individually on their merits. Overall academic background is taken into account plus the nature of the course applied for.

12. Essential Skills, Level 2, Application of Number

Level 2 Essential Skills in Application of Number will be considered on an individual basis in place of GCSE Mathematics Grade C, where this is a course requirement. An applicant’s overall academic profile and any additional qualifications in numerically related subjects may be taken into account, however, applicants should note that for Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work it will not be acceptable in lieu. This will be reviewed in the event of changes to the specifications or content of either the GCSE or Essential Skills qualification.

13. National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ)

NVQs are not acceptable on their own for admission to undergraduate degrees.

14. Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) FET/FETAC

These qualifications are not acceptable for admission to undergraduate degrees.

15. Other qualifications deemed equivalent by the University

If you are taking qualifications which differ from those listed here, please contact the Admissions and Access Service for advice. e: admissions@qub.ac.uk t: +44 (0) 28 9097 3838