I am currently deciding between a level 3 BTEC (equivalent to 3 A-levels) and actually getting 3 A-levels in different subjects.

The problem with getting 3 different A levels is that I would have to switch colleges which is a bit of a hassle for me. I have contacted them and they said "Your qualifications will be evaluated on application" Well that's not exactly reassuring to know I could possibly spend two years doing the wrong one!

Does anyone know the entry requirement for British citizens?

  • It sounds to me that they're probably talking about academic qualifications. They don't want to admit you now, in case you waste 2 years getting drunk and doing drugs instead of studying... then they'll have a student they don't want on campus.
    – Flimzy
    Oct 10, 2014 at 12:43

1 Answer 1


Leiden University publishes a list of diplomas that should be considered sufficient to meet the minimal requirements. If you want at least some certainty, then you do need to get a diploma that's on it but even that list comes with a lot of caveats.

Applications from prospective students with other qualifications will presumably be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, which is probably why you won't find anybody willing to make any promise beforehand. At the end of the day, individual decisions will be made by each department based on the full application and whoever you talked to probably does not know all their criteria and can't realistically commit in any way beyond what's already published.

For what it's worth, here is what's on the list regarding the UK:

  • At least 3 GCE A-levels in general, academic subjects with grades A-C Please note that vocational qualifications, even though taken at the same National Qualifications Framework level 3, are not considered sufficient.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma or Foundation Diploma for university admission with good results (A-B) in relevant subjects
  • Scottish Qualification Certificate with at least 4 Scottish (Advanced) Highers in general, academic subjects with grades A-B for Higher and A-C for Advanced Higher subjects.

Do note that it's “3 GCE A-levels in general, academic subjects”. Another webpage provides more detail on this (it's only for the Bachelor of Psychology but it probably applies to other departments too):

Please note that most BTEC A-levels are not regarded as academic A-levels. By academic we mean science-related, for example maths, biology, geography, etc. Design, photograpy, art, etc. are not regarded as academic A-levels.

  • Looks like I just gave up hope for going to their university. I just scored a C in GCSE Maths (5 marks from a B) I also wanted to do A levels in Psychology, Business studies and I haven't decided the final one.
    – Misty
    Oct 10, 2014 at 19:37

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