The BTEC Route to Success

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Becoming a PE teacher was always the dream for Harriet Ball. But when she became ill while completing her GCSEs at school, she feared that dream may never become a reality.

However, she is now well on her way to achieving her ambitions after gaining three Distinction Stars in her BTEC qualifications and joining the University of Worcester’s Physical Education and Sports Coaching Science degree.

“I always wanted to be a PE teacher but I wasn’t sure if I would get there when I became ill,” she said. “I wasn’t able to take exams so the BTEC was my only real option of a qualification and chance to go to university.”

Harriet studied a BTEC in Sports and Exercise Science at NEW College in Redditch, her home town, gaining 3 Distinctions, qualifying her for a £1,000 entry scholarship when she joined the University of Worcester in 2012.

“I really enjoyed the BTEC and have found that it has really prepared me well for my degree, in that I am used to doing lots of assignments and managing my time,” said the 20-year-old. “I would encourage anyone with a BTEC to consider university – people definitely shouldn’t think they can’t go to university because they haven’t done A-levels.”

Harriet is hoping to take a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) after finishing her undergraduate degree.

According to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, the number of students taking BTEC qualifications is soaring.

BTECs – awarded by the Business and Technology Education Centre – form a tiered award system, with the National Diploma regarded as roughly equivalent to three A-levels and the most common path for BTEC students to take towards university.

Worcester – which is among the top universities in the country with regards to graduate employment – attracts a significant proportion of students who take BTEC courses in areas such as Business, Information Technology, Sports Science, Health and Social Care.

If you are getting your BTEC results and are not sure what to do next, come along to an Open Day at the University of Worcester, or get in touch with our admissions team on or 01905 855111 for help and advice.