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How is the BTEC HND in Business better than other business diplomas?

IThere are a number of advantages that the BTEC has over other diplomas. These are:

  • no examinations – assessment is project and assignment based
  • pathways – the BTEC is accepted for prior learning at a wide number of colleges and universities around the world
  • flexible learning options – you can easily transfer between schools and the BTEC is also available entirely online
  • value for money – in general you should pay less for your BTEC than the equivalent first two years of a degree course
  • no age restrictions – you can take the BTEC at any time of life provided you meet the academic entry requirements

What are BTECs?

BTEC stands for ‘Business and Technology Education Council’. This was the name of the body which first ran them before Pearson (previously Edexcel). They cover a whole range of levels aimed at students typically from school year 10 through to the end of a Bachelor degree.

BTECs are considered vocational qualifications, rather than academic, although the distinction is less clear in modern education. Typical subjects include Agriculture, Business Studies, Travel and Tourism, Engineering and Information Technology – you can’t study subjects like History or English for BTEC. See a longer list below.

Can I get a Business Diploma with BTEC?

Yes. There are several in fact but the main one is called the BTEC HND in Business. It is a very versatile BTEC as you can use it to progress to any business career, enter a business degree programme or add it to your degree if you want to run your own business. ITS runs this course online.

What will I learn in the BTEC HND in Business?

The objectives are to develop your business skills and ability to grasp business issues from a variety of perspectives. You'll learn about what business are, how they run and the problems they face. You'll develop skills to address those problems. In the first year you learn modules such as Marketing Essentials, HR Management and Management Accounting. In the second year you move on to Modules such as Business Strategy, Business Systems and International Marketing. For a full list, read the specification here.

There may be some variation between schools as to which modules you do and when you do them. Also, the course is designed so it can be made relevant to your local area so case studies and projects vary from school to school.

What are the fees?

Fees vary from country to country and from school to school. They will also vary depending on whether your course is taught, blended or distance learning, and on whether you are full-time or part-time. Sometimes you can get discounts for paying in advance. You have to contact your institution for details. Make sure you do that before you enrol. Fees for the ITS BTEC HND in Business can be found here.

How can I pay my fees?

These days most schools will expect you to pay electronically but again you should check before you enrol. At ITS we accept bank transfers or Paypal in US dollars.

Can I pay in instalments?

Most institutions have payment plans to help students meet their fees. Again, ask before you enrol. At ITS we charge every two modules so you make four payments per year. You can see the fee information here.

Do I need to attend regularly?

Yes. Any course taught by a school requires regular attendance, either at the school or in the online classroom. You should expect to be attending at least four hours per week of lessons. The rest of your time (about 21 hours per week) is more flexible but you must do the time every week to stay up to speed with the course. You cannot fall behind without risking your completion.

What is the minimum attendance rate to be considered for an award?

You must attend 80% of all classes and learning that is set. This is not a target!! It is the minimum. You should aim to complete 100%.

What can I do with my BTEC after I finish the course?

BTEC HNDs are extremely versatile. They can be used to enter the workplace or for advancement if you are already following a career. Employers accept BTEC for a wide range of industries and of course they can be used to enter higher levels of education. Please click here for more information.

What are the BTEC levels?

BTEC runs across 7 levels as follows:

Level 1 - BTEC Introductory Diplomas and Certificates, also known as Entry Level, teach basic knowledge and skills to show you could do certain types of work in a range of jobs for school leavers aged 16.

Level 2 - BTEC First Diplomas and Certificates, known as Firsts, teach more knowledge and understanding of the subject and give you the ability to perform a variety of tasks with some supervision in different types of job for school leavers.

(Levels 1 & 2 are taken in school Years 10 & 11 in the UK and can be alongside or instead of GCSEs. Please note ITS does not offer Level 1 or 2 BTECs.)

Level 3 - BTEC Nationals help you gain or apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding, at a detailed level. These are ideal if you plan to go to university, work independently, or want to accelerate your promotion in a job so you will supervise and train others.

Level 3 is taken in school Years 12 & 13 in the UK and can be alongside or instead of A-levels. In recent years ITS has had a number of students taking BTEC Level 3 at their mainstream school and then taking an A-level with ITS to boost their overall qualification range [ITS does not offer BTEC Level 3]. This is very useful if you are quite vocational but still want to go to university. Or you can use them to enter a job at 18 years old.

The first three levels are known as the Specialist BTECs.

Level 4 - BTEC Higher National Certificates [HNCs] provide specialist learning which will often involve detailed analysis of a high level of information and knowledge in an area of work or study. This is the equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree. Credits from these qualifications can be put towards a degree programme.

Level 4 is taken at a college of further education in the UK either by school leavers at 18 years old or by mature students returning to study/training. ITS students on the BTEC HND in Business [see below] course may qualify for this certificate after the first year of the course.

Level 5 - BTEC Higher National Diplomas [HNDs] aim to deepen your knowledge and understanding of an area of work or study. They involve a higher level of expertise and competence especially in managing and training others. These can be appropriate for people working as higher grade technicians, professionals or managers. Students completing HNDs can often enter a top up year with a university to complete a full Bachelor degree. This is an increasingly attractive option as it: gives more flexibility, is often cheaper, can be spread over a longer time, can be mixed with work.

Level 5 is taken at a college of further education in the UK. ITS runs a Level 5 BTEC HND in Business.

Levels 6 & 7 - BTEC Advanced Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards give you specialist, high-level knowledge for an area of work or study, so you can use your own ideas and research to deal with complex problems and situations which may also be unpredictable. They are for people working as knowledge-based professionals, professional managers, and senior management staff.

Together, Levels 4-7 are known as Professional BTECs.

How are BTECs awarded?

Generally the BTEC award is made based on your attendance levels and a judgement by the school or college that you have met the learning outcomes. Projects and assignments are set both by the school and Pearson.These are completed as part of the programme. There are no examinations. If you are not happy with how you do in a task, the great thing about BTEC is you will have the chance to improve your performance. Your school will tell you how to improve your marks. If you are still not happy and you think your mark is unfair, there are appeals procedures you can follow.

What grades are given for BTEC?

You can be awarded a Pass, Merit or Distinction. Each higher award is based on how well you demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes and assessment criteria to achieve it.

Who should take BTEC Levels 4 and 5?

These qualifications are great as an alternative to university. You may prefer the types of subject on offer or you may want to study for only another two years and then go to work. You could also use them as a way to try out a subject. The great thing about BTEC is you get an award for every year you complete. If you enrol in an HND and then stop after year one you may qualify for the Certificate instead so the year is not wasted. On the other hand, if you drop out of a university course, you have often wasted that time. You may find as you do your BTEC that you do want to go to university after all. BTEC allows you to claim the credits and finish your degree as if you had been at university the whole time. Degrees tend to offer knowledge, BTECs tend to offer skills.

You may also want to take a BTEC level 4 or 5 AFTER you have completed a degree. Say you have a BSc in Computer Science and want to start your own business. Do you know enough about business to be confident? A BTEC could help you follow that dream. You could do it straight away or a few years later once you have some work experience.

Where can I study a BTEC?

BTECs are usually studied full-time at college, university, or at school (or in collaboration between a school and college). You can also study a BTEC part-time at college. Now you can also study online with ITS Education Asia. There are over 400 institutions which offer BTEC just in the UK and many more around the world.

Can I take a BTEC online?

Yes. There are BTECs by distance learning where you have to do everything yourself and then submit your work for assessment. However, ITS Education Asia runs an online BTEC HND in Business which includes proper live lessons so it is just the same at being at a BTEC school but you can do it from anywhere you have a broadband connection. ITS is official BTEC Centre No: 92252.

Is the whole ITS BTEC HND in Business course online?

Yes. There are no residency components and no physical lessons at all. All classes are online and all work is submitted and returned online.

Can people with disabilities access BTEC?

It really depends on the BTEC subject, the school involved and the nature of the disability. The ITS online BTEC HND in Business can be accessed by anyone who can use a computer. In fact, it is an ideal way for people to access learning, especially if they have barriers to mobility through disability or other circumstances such as living in an isolated area.

What subjects can you study a BTEC in?

There are plenty of BTECs to choose from across 19 industry sectors.

They include:

  • Agriculture
  • Computing and IT
  • Construction and Civil Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Business and Management
  • Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • Performing Arts
  • Retail and Distribution
  • Hospitality management

What entry requirements are there for HND and HNC courses?

To study for an HNC or HND, you will need some previous qualifications. Most HND courses in the UK require one A-level (or equivalent). For international schools, or if you are an international student from a country where English is not the first language, then you will also need to gain an IELTS qualification. This will prove your English ability is good enough to deal with the language used on the course. It will also be needed to get your student visa if you go to study in the UK. The advantage of the ITS Education online BTEC in Business is you stay in your home country so you do not need a visa and it is much cheaper. We will need to see you can study in English though.

Can I study BTEC in a language other than English?

No. BTEC is currently only available in English.

Can I get credit for prior learning?

Yes. Obviously any prior BTEC learning can be recognised but also prior learning from other courses. You will need to submit your completed credits record to the school for consideration. At ITS we will accept BTEC prior learning or prior learning from related business degree courses. But each case is considered separately on its own merits.

How long will it take to get my BTEC HND in Business?

If you fulfil all of the requirements, you can receive your Diploma after two years of study.

How many hours does it take to get a BTEC HND?

Learners should spend around 10 hours per week - four live contact teaching hours from ITS and six hours outside the contact hours for guided learning. In addition, learners should spend around 90 hours self study per unit (six weeks) to achieve the total qualification time. The recommended learning time per unit is therefore 150 hours (25 hours per week).

Totally, the HND will take 2,400 hours over two years – 320 hours live teaching, 640 hours of guided learning and 1,440 hours of self-study.

Here are some facts about BTEC from Pearson:

  • In 2015, 1 in 4 students who got into university in the UK did so with a BTEC Level 3 (UCAS report – Progression Pathways Jan 2016)
  • Almost 79% of BTEC students go on to receive a First or Second class degree (The outcomes associated with the BTEC route of degree level acquisition, London Economics 2013)
  • 90%of BTEC students are employed full time after graduating (The outcomes associated with the BTEC route of degree level acquisition, London Economics 2013)
  • 74% of businesses prefer recruits to hold a mix of academic and vocational qualifications or value them equally (Inspiring Growth: Pearson/Skills CBI Skills survey 2015)
  • Learners who hold BTEC qualifications have high rates of progression between learning levels compared to other types of vocational qualification (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – October 2015)
  • For more information please call +852 2116 3916< or drop us an email at [email protected]
  • Read the student handbook here.
  • You can see a full list of employers and universities which accept BTEC here.
  • ITS has a range of services to help students apply to universities. We can offer a free consultation to help you understand your options better and a range of packages to help you make a successful application. Contact us for assistance in applying to university.
  • View the BTEC HND in Business updated specification here. ITS is running the very latest specification from September 2016.
  • ITS is BTEC Centre No: 92252.
  • To find out more about how online education works, please explore the menu above.
  • Make a query here (please choose BTEC in the drop-down menu).
  • Find an enrolment form here.

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