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Btecs instead of GCSE?

(16 Posts)
Mrskeylime Fri 21-Feb-14 13:18:31

In ds's school some subjects can only be taken as a btec.
So for example music can only be taken as a btec and not as a GCSE.
ds is good at music and we would definitely encourage him to take it as a GCSE, but I'm not sure about him taking it as a are they regarded by universities?
Are they equivalent to GCSE?

NigellasDealer Fri 21-Feb-14 13:20:19

a quick google will tell you the official answer.

lljkk Fri 21-Feb-14 13:22:30

I think 3 BTECs & no GCSEs would be a problem for 6th forms/Unis, but 1 or 2 BTECs + good GCSEs are fine, no problem..
I was looking at a MED school requirements last night (nosy, I work there!) about half way down the league tables, and they require 6xA at GCSE. So that's pretty high requirements, and they wouldn't care about a BTEC or 2.

headlesslambrini Fri 21-Feb-14 13:30:46

OK, some are technically worth 4 GCSE's but you need to be careful. Our local colleges will not accept one Btec subject as 4 GCSE's to gain entry onto a course.

If he is looking at University then they will be looking closely at his A Level choices in relation to what he is applying for. I don't think it's so much of an issue in relation to Music generally but uni's don't like Btec science, particularly for the science based courses.

If he is wanting to do music at uni, then is he working towards other music qualifications outside of school? This will greatly help and also his audition piece will be critical to whether or not he is offered a place.

Mrskeylime Fri 21-Feb-14 13:42:50

I have googled, but I wanted a secondary teacher's perspective as I have no experience of BTECS.
Thanks for the replies - that puts my mind at rest.
He'll probably want to do science/maths at University, but I wouldn't rule music out altogether as he loves drama and performance.

lljkk Fri 21-Feb-14 13:48:57

I wonder if You could do some research just phone admissions officers at a few Unis or Art/Drama colleges and ask them what they think. They will ask which subject first so choose a few that you think are plausible, make it clear what your research point is.

Madlizzy Fri 21-Feb-14 13:58:02

Music BTech is more about the production, composition etc and you don't need to be able to play an instrument to do it, although it helps. GCSE is more about the theory. My children's school offers both, DS1 is GCSE and DS3 is currently enjoying the Btech. Unis are more bothered about A Level results and UCAS points than GCSEs.

Mrskeylime Fri 21-Feb-14 18:27:02

great advice - thankyou

titchy Fri 21-Feb-14 18:35:34

Music BTEC can include theory and performance (and composition) - the spec is very similar to the gcse spec. The Music Technology BTEC is the one about production and using technology software to compose tracks.

titchy Fri 21-Feb-14 18:36:06

Either are fine in a sea of decent GCSE subjects though!

circular Sat 22-Feb-14 13:28:40

If there's a chance he may want to take music further, it would be worth looking at whether your local 6th forms accept Btec Music to be allowed to take A level.

DD1 (yr12) starting to look at Unis for music. Most of the higher level seem to want A level music. Sometimes G8 theory is accepted instead, but thats usually if school/college didn't offer music A level.
Headlesslambrini surprisingly, we are coming across more Unis that don't audidition than do.

afterthought Sun 23-Feb-14 08:50:02

I teach BTECs. It will have more of an impact in some subjects (for example, I don't think you could go on to A level sciences from a BTEC science) - I'm not sure about music though. A child who only does BTECs may struggle to go on to further education (although to be honest, BTEC option is the best one for some children), but just one amongst a range of GCSEs shouldn't cause a problem.

Mrskeylime Sun 23-Feb-14 12:32:27

that's great - thank you very much for answering

ChocolateWombat Sun 23-Feb-14 12:54:42

Interesting about med school requirements. I was talking to a teacher friend who works in an academic school with lots of medicine applicants. She told me that no one in the past 5 years has had an offer for medical school with less than 7 A* grades. Often the reality of admissions is stricter than it may appear on first glance.
Seems to me a BTEC on its own is not a major disadvantage, but people applying to top places for top courses usually don't have those qualifications, but the more standard ones. I would check the GCSEs are standard academic ones, which will be well regarded.
What a shame the school can't offer GCSE music.

Mrskeylime Sun 23-Feb-14 15:06:18

That's interesting chocolate wombat - thanks

EvilTwins Sun 23-Feb-14 15:56:49

I teach Performing Arts and currently deliver both GCSE & BTEC. The work the students do is exactly the same. The only difference is the final assessment, which for BTEC is individual and GCSE is a group thing. For some subjects, I believe that BTEC is a more appropriate qualification.

Level 2 BTEC specs changed last year and now all BTECs involve an element of external assessment. The 4 GCSE equivalent thing has gone. BTEC have introduced a host of measures to ensure that the assessment is robust.

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