Btec extended diplomas

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dancemom43
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Re: Btec extended diplomas

Post by dancemom43 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:15 pm

My DD did the extended diploma in MT and got D*D*D* which is equivalent to 3 A levels at A*
Both ways give you 168 UCAS points
The subject does not come into it, just the marks.
There is a guide if you google to compare the grades.
I think some Unis may feel A levels are more academic so if you do the BTEC then decide not to go down the MT route but perhaps want to do a History degree or something they may look down on you a little but if going into MT then the BTEC is great too.
I will say that DD did her A level in Maths so when it has now come to writing her essays for her degree she has struggled a little so can understand why those that did A Levels found this easier.

Ditzi
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Re: Btec extended diplomas

Post by Ditzi » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:34 pm

Thanks Marissa and dancemum. So let’s say they do a BA in MT, and at a later date they want to change direction (as to what, that’s a different matter). Does it matter if they did Btec or A levels beforehand or the Degree is the qualification that counts at that stage, as it’s the latest qualification they achieved.

Marissa
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Re: Btec extended diplomas

Post by Marissa » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:59 pm

Oh I just wrote a long reply and it disappeared!
My eldest did a Btec in music production and now a degree in it so it limits her future jobs. In fact she now wants to change direction so will have to do more training! My other dd did a levels before degree and is finding the written work easy x and if she changes her career it may be easier to branch out into different areas.
Dd with Btec ended up with more ucas points but not as many areas to choose. Dd who did alevels didn’t get as many ucas points but has more options. No child is the same though. You just need them to be happy in their learning. My dds are just as bright but work in different ways x

Marissa
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Re: Btec extended diplomas

Post by Marissa » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:02 pm

So you see dd that did Btec before will only really be able to branch out into music production areas unless she gets more training. Dd that did alevels will always have English, psychology and drama alevels to help her go into other jobs should she decide musical theatres for her. English opens up so many options x

Ditzi
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Re: Btec extended diplomas

Post by Ditzi » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:22 pm

Thanks Marissa, that’s very helpful. You’re right, it is ultimately their choice, and I strongly believe they should be the ones deciding what works best for them. Our duty as parents is to guide and support them, and as long as they have that, everything else will work out. X

Chelsie68
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Re: Btec extended diplomas

Post by Chelsie68 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:01 pm

I agree, Ditzi. To me, the Btec/A levels are just the vehicle to open the doors to a degree/diploma course. I would have thought that, once you have your degree, the exams you took to get there are largely irrelevant (although I do take the point made above that the A level route may be better preparation for the written aspect of a degree). I’m a teacher, and it has always been at the back of my mind that, if everything doesn’t work out for my daughter, she might use a performing arts degree as her way into teaching. I don’t see that having done a Btec rather than A levels would make any difference to this back up plan.

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Re: Btec extended diplomas

Post by Marissa » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:04 pm

Totally agree xx

islandofsodor
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Re: Btec extended diplomas

Post by islandofsodor » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:26 pm

Harry2003 wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:11 pm
My DS will be doing an extended diploma in performing arts come September at our local college. It is absolutely the right choice for him as he is dyslexic and is just desperate to get out of school. If he does well he has the chance to get 3 grade A A’level Equivalents, something he would never stand a chance of with A’levels. He is perfectly bright, just struggles with Conventional learning environments. He may very well struggle with formal assignments if he goes on to study degree level Drama/MT but he will be a couple of years older, and more able to push through after a bit of distance. It was absolutely a no brainier for us. However, if I had a very academic child I would encourage A’levels as it will open more doors should plans and career paths change.
I agree and dd is doing A levels alongside the level 6 diploma. She is fiendishly clever.

Ds, however struggles massively with writing. He is autistic and struggles to organise his thoughts. Hence I think a Btec in music will be absolutely the right path for him.
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islandofsodor
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Re: Btec extended diplomas

Post by islandofsodor » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:33 pm

Ditzi wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:18 pm
Can someone clarify please how can doing A levels open up more doors, should a dc decide to change careers later on. What confuses me is if the Btec Extend diploma is equivalent to 3 A levels, what advantage is there on doing 3 A levels, apart from the academic side? From what I understand, the “equivalent” is in UCAS points, so if you have the equivalent of 3 A levels in UCAS points, what is the difference? Does studying certain subjects at A level, for example English literature give you more UCAS points than doing a Btec? I hope that makes sense. I wasn’t born in this country so I’m still trying to understand how the system works. Thank you.

It’s to do with facilitating subjects.

There are some degree subjects that require you to have studied certain A levels such as medicine or science or maths. But if a student wants to keep their options open they are advised to study two facilitating subjects such as English Lit, maths, science, history, geography etc. These are subjects that universities will accept for various other areas of study.

If you’ve studied a Btec in performing arts that’s really only going to gain you entry into a related course so it narrows your options.
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Chelsie68
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Re: Btec extended diplomas

Post by Chelsie68 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:29 pm

This is a fair point, if they are not completely fixed on a performing arts degree and are likely to change their mind about the direction they want to take between 16-18. Lots to think about - weighing up the advantage of leaving options more open with A Levels against increasing the chance of getting into a good college with the Btec.

Have booked dd into Performers College summer school this year. Hopefully I can give her as many opportunities to find out what full time training will be like over the next couple of years, which will really confirm that this is the direction she wants to take.

Hilltop
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Re: Btec extended diplomas

Post by Hilltop » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:37 am

My DD is only in year 8 so I don’t have experience from the other side, but I thought I’d share some experience of other people I know. One left school to be a chef at 16, then retrained in science in mid 20s, by doing a science access course (equivalent to A levels), followed by degree and then PhD. Another I know has a drama degree and is now a project manager in a digital healthcare communications company.

So i think these days it’s more possible to retrain and I think employers are seeing the transferable skills that performing arts qualifications can bring.

But I agree it ultimately depends on your child - my DD is bright but not academic and learns more by ‘doing’ rather than ‘sitting’ so I’m not sure she’ll do A levels. However we’ve got a few more years to decide (and stress about it!).

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Re: Btec extended diplomas

Post by Felicity » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:21 am

I feel the decision is a very personal one dependent on a number of factors; academic ability for A-levels, quality of alternative options, happiness at existing school, prospect/environment at alternative school, quality of non-school MT related activities eg singing/dance lessons/theatre groups etc.

My DD went down the A-level route. We didn’t really consider other options at the time as she/we thought A-levels would give her more flexibility if she changed her mind. She did her GCSEs at a grammar school but decided to move to another grammar school with more of a performing arts speciality for sixth form. She took drama, history and English literature A-levels and did well but it was very hard work. She had out-of-school ballet and (classical) singing lessons as well as performing in MT shows with a local youth theatre group and choirs. My DD is the sort of person who likes to be busy so it suited her but it was “full on”. She is currently on the Foundation at Arts Ed (which is fantastic and she loves) and auditioning for degree places at the moment with a few offers including from Urdang. There is no doubt that the Foundation course has developed her skills and maybe if she had taken more of a vocational route earlier, she might have not needed the Foundation? Having said that, many of the people on her course did PA BTecs so it probably doesn’t matter too much. I still think the route DD took was the right one for her.

Best of luck with the decision making, you still have plenty of time to consider and see how things evolve.

Felicity
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Re: Btec extended diplomas

Post by Felicity » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:35 am

P.S. forgot to say that it’s a great idea to do a summer course if possible. DD did a YMT week in the summer at the end of Y10 and a 1 week MT course at GSA in the summer after Y12. She loved both.

islandofsodor
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Re: Btec extended diplomas

Post by islandofsodor » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:02 pm

Marissa wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:59 pm
Oh I just wrote a long reply and it disappeared!
My eldest did a Btec in music production and now a degree in it so it limits her future jobs. In fact she now wants to change direction so will have to do more training! My other dd did a levels before degree and is finding the written work easy x and if she changes her career it may be easier to branch out into different areas.
Dd with Btec ended up with more ucas points but not as many areas to choose. Dd who did alevels didn’t get as many ucas points but has more options. No child is the same though. You just need them to be happy in their learning. My dds are just as bright but work in different ways x
Marissa - I would live to hear more as its Music production that ds is looking into. My gut feeling is that perhaps he should bo the Btec in Music which is a bit more all round than the Production one then specialise at degree.
Everybody has the right to dream

Rose20
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Re: Btec extended diplomas

Post by Rose20 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:56 pm

Hi, just wanted to add my Ds’s experience. Not MT but music production/tech.
He did a BTEC at a local college followed by an extended diploma at another college. He then went to university to convert his qualifications to degree level. He really struggled with the academic part and even the course work was far harder than the local diploma
It probably depends upon how good the college offering the BTEC/ diploma are and how well they prepare the students, but our local college seemed to lack in this area. To be honest, when he was doing the BTEC he wasn’t working particularly hard but did well grade wise.
I suggest you check out the BTEC courses’s your child is interested in and where the students go when they finish them.
Wishing you all best. We should have checked a lot more thoroughly than we did!

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