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BTEC Vocational Courses


DESC prides itself on delivering, what we believe to be, the best vocational provision of any British curriculum school in the Middle East. We have taken care and the necessary time to grow our vocational provision to make sure it is world class. Courses have been carefully selected and resourced to ensure they are of the highest quality.

We currently offer seven vocational BTEC courses:

  • Level 3 BTEC Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
  • Level 3 BTEC Sport
  • Level 3 BTEC Hospitality
  • Level 3 BTEC Travel and Tourism
  • Level 2 (Foundation) BTEC Business
  • Level 2 (Foundation) BTEC Sport
  • Level 2 (Foundation) BTEC ICT

What is a BTEC?

BTEC stands for Business and Technology Education Council.  These are well-established vocational courses in the UK that have been around for over 25 years. Vocational courses differ to traditional GCSE and A Level courses in many ways. Our vocational BTEC courses are 100% coursework assessed, which is often better suited to some students that prefer this method of assessment to more traditional examinations. Moreover, the style of assessments closely reflects those of the work place. This means that students learn more practical skills and are well-prepared for the world of work.

BTEC differs to more traditional examined courses in the following ways:

  • BTEC features work-related ‘hands on’ tasks.  For example, Hospitality – Running hospitality events, Sport – Running a Leisure Centre, Enterprise – Running a business.
  • Visits – We add context by visiting local organisations. For example, Dubai Garden Centre – marketing (Enterprise), Lime Tree Café (Enterprise), Grand Habtoor Hotel JBR – operations (Enterprise), Le Meridien Hotel – Customer service (Hospitality and Enterprise).
  • Visitors – For example, Coaching (Enterprise), Physiotherapy (Sport), Project Management (Enterprise), Entrepreneur Speakers (Enterprise), First Aid (Sport).

Why study BTEC?

BTECs are vocational and work-related qualifications. This means that students will learn through completing a variety of tasks that closely reflect those that they may be asked to complete in the workplace. They are assessed through 100% Coursework (no examinations).

The vocational approach is often an effective way for students to learn about a practical subject. For instance, BTEC Enterprise requires students to run a micro-business. The majority of coursework is then based around this context.  Hard-working students can often achieve a better outcome through BTEC than they would when studying A Level, especially if they prefer coursework to examinations.

How does BTEC work?

We offer BTEC courses at the equivalent of GCSE (Level 2) and A Level (Level 3).   

Level 2 is equivalent to GCSE level. We currently offer this to Year 12 students as part of our Foundation pathway. We offer the Level 2 BTEC Sport and Business courses in Extended Certificate size. This is the equivalent to two GCSEs. Level 2 BTEC IT is offered in Certificate size, which is the equivalent to one GCSE.

Level 3 is equivalent to A Level. We offer Level 3 BTEC Enterprise and Sport courses in Diploma size. This is the equivalent of two A Levels. We offer Level 3 BTEC Hospitality in Subsidiary Diploma size, which is the equivalent to one A Level in size.

What type of student is suited to a BTEC?

  • Hard-working students.  Each BTEC course is 100% coursework based, therefore there is a heavy workload.
  • Students that excel at coursework over examinations.
  • Students that enjoy learning through ‘hands on’ experiences. Work-related tasks are used. Students enjoy the vocational approach and develop soft skills.
  • Well-organised students. Multiple pieces of work have to be completed simultaneously. Students develop their organisational skills as they progress through the course.

Typical BTEC tasks

The content is similar to A Level (or GCSE if studying at level 2), but assessed differently. This depends on the course, but typically, tasks are work-related.

Examples include:

  • Demonstrating customer service skills when serving customers in BTEC Enterprise
  • Provide training on a particular sport skill in BTEC Sport
  • Preparing a banquet in BTEC Hospitality
  • Pitching for investment in Enterprise


Highly motivated students will achieve superb results. The demands of the course are great as there is a significant amount of coursework to be completed. However, past students have often found themselves in a position to apply for good universities that they did not believe they would be able to access prior to taking a BTEC. 


BTEC is very reputable and is well-respected by UK universities and a common access route. They hold equivalent UCAS points to A Levels.


University destination examples:

Student A – BTEC Sport – DD – Oxford Brookes – Sports Coaching

Student B – BTEC Sport – D*D* – Brighton University – Sports Coaching

Student C – BTEC Enterprise – D*D – Oxford Brookes – Business Enterprise

Student D – BTEC Enterprise – D*D – Kingston University – Enterprise