NCFE Level 3 Applied General (reformed)

Applied General
Countries
  • England
  • Wales
Purpose

These qualifications are listed on the DfE 16-19 performance tables in the Applied General category.

Applied General qualifications are designed to develop transferable knowledge and skills for 16-19 learners who want to continue their education through applied learning.

Applied General qualifications are recognised by at least three higher education providers as fulfilling entry requirements to a range of HE courses, either in their own right or alongside other Level 3 qualifications.

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Music Technology

The following HEPs provided letters of support for this qualification:

  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Middlesbrough College
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of West London

The NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Music Technology enables learners to develop their skills, knowledge, and understanding of working in the music technology sector. It is suitable for learners who are motivated by applied learning, through hands-on creative experiences related to the work of a performing musician and music technologist. This qualification will enable learners to continue their education through applied learning. This will equip them with transferable knowledge and skills, while giving them the opportunity to respond to contextualised industry briefs.

It is aimed at post-16 year olds studying a Key Stage 5 curriculum, with an interest in creative music production and performance.

This qualification has been designed to sit with the Study Programme, alongside A levels and other qualifications.

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Art and Design

The following HEPs provided letters of support for this qualification:

  • Glasgow School of Art
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of Sunderland

This qualification is designed for learners who want to study art and/or design at a higher level. Applied General qualifications are designed to be rigorous advanced qualifications that enable learners to develop subject-specific and transferable skills, which facilitate their progression to higher learning.

This qualification aims to:

  • focus on an applied study of art and/or design
  • offer breadth and depth of study, incorporating a significant core of knowledge and theoretical content, with broad-ranging applicability
  • provide opportunities to acquire a number of practical and technical skills

The objectives of this qualification are to help learners to:

  • progress to further and higher education
  • develop new technical skills in art and design
  • develop their knowledge of art and design

Throughout the delivery of this qualification, the following core areas and transferable skills should be evident:

  • problem solving
  • research skills
  • safe working practices
  • evaluative skills
  • critical thinking
  • visual communication
  • promotional planning

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Business and Enterprise

The following HEPs provided letters of support for this qualification:

  • Peterborough Regional College
  • Southampton Solent University
  • University of Huddersfield

The NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Business and Enterprise is designed for learners who want to study business and enterprise at a higher level. The qualification enables learners to develop their skills, knowledge, and understanding in the business and enterprise sector. It is appropriate for learners wishing to continue their education through applied learning, equipping them with transferable knowledge and skills. It is aimed at post-16 year olds studying a Key Stage 5 curriculum.

This qualification can be used within a study programme.

Learners would typically progress onto higher education courses following this qualification.

This qualification aims to:

  • focus on an applied study of the business and enterprise sector
  • offer breadth and depth of study, incorporating a significant core of knowledge and theoretical content with broad-ranging applicability
  • provide academic and study skills that will support progression in business and enterprise more broadly

The objectives of this qualification are to help learners to:

  • progress to further and higher education
  • develop transferable knowledge and skills in business and enterprise

Throughout the delivery of this qualification, the following core areas and transferable skills should be evident:

  • theoretical knowledge of business practice
  • research skills
  • evaluative skills including analysis and critical thinking planning
Education context

Following the Wolf review of vocational qualifications in England in 2011, the Department for Education announced a number of characteristics that Level 3 Applied General qualifications have to demonstrate to feature in performance tables from 2016 onwards.

As a result, over 90% of the Level 3 qualifications previously recognised in performance tables are now not recognised.

The intention was to make reformed qualifications more rigorous and robust. Reformed qualifications have to meet specific requirements in respect of purpose, size, recognition, content, assessment, and grading.

Between 2016 and 2018, awarding bodies have been permitted to phase in the reforms.

These qualifications meet the full requirements for reformed qualifications.

Awarding organisation
  • NCFE
Qualification codes
601/6779/8 (NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Music Technology)
601/8898/4 (NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Art and Design)
601/8908/3 (NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Business and Enterprise)
Structure

The NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Music Technology has:

  • six mandatory units (this exceeds the DfE’s minimum requirements)
  • a written exam
  • a practical exam

The NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Art and Design has:

  • five mandatory units  (this exceeds the DfE’s minimum requirements)
  • external assessment – practical test

The NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Business and Enterprise has:

  • seven mandatory units (this exceeds the DfE’s minimum requirements)
  • a written exam
Subject areas
  • Music technology
  • Art and design
  • Business and enterprise

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Music Technology

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Art and Design

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Business and Enterprise

Levels
  • Level 3
  • EQF Level 4

Level 3 qualifications, regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF)

A levels are also Level 3 qualifications regulated to the RQF

Level 3 is the same level as the Scottish Qualifications and Credit Framework (SCQF) Level 6

Grading
  • All units are graded
  • Each unit of the qualifications is graded using a structure of Not Yet Achieved, Pass, Merit, and Distinction
  • The final grade for the qualifications is based on a structure of Not Yet Achieved, Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction*
  • The final grade is calculated by converting the three assessment components into a UMS score to ensure comparability between the different components. The collective UMS is then converted into a grade based on fixed thresholds. Please refer to the qualification specifications for further information on grading

Grades in descending order

  • Distinction *
  • Distinction
  • Merit
  • Pass
  • Not Yet Achieved
Assessment

To ensure assessment is rigorous and robust, all reformed Applied General qualifications must meet the following assessment criteria:

  • there must be a minimum of 40% external assessment
  • there must be an element of synoptic assessment
  • there are new rules for internal assessment, with only one opportunity to submit each assessment
  • quality assurance of internal assessment must be rigorous

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Music Technology

  • All work done towards the qualification is internally assessed, 50% contributes to the overall qualification grade
  • The internal assessment is internally assessed and externally quality assured
  • All units of the qualification are subject to external assessment
  • The external assessment is externally set and externally marked and comprises a two hour written exam and a ten hour practical exam
  • This qualification includes synoptic assessment. Synoptic assessment is an important part of a high-quality vocational qualification, because it shows that learners have achieved a holistic understanding of the sector, and that they can make effective connections between different aspects they have studied. It enables learners to show that they can transfer knowledge and skills learned in one context to resolve problems raised in another.

To support the development of a synoptic approach, the qualification encourages learners to make links between elements of the course and to demonstrate how they have integrated and applied their increasing knowledge and skills from the beginning.

As learners progress through the course, they use and build on knowledge and skills learnt in previous units.

The external assessments are also synoptic in nature, as they require learners to apply and integrate their knowledge and skills from across the whole qualification in a vocationally relevant context.

Full evidence of learners’ accumulated knowledge, skills, and understanding, and of their ability to ‘think like a music technologist’ will be evidenced when the learner successfully achieves the qualification.

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Art and Design

  • All work done towards the qualification is internally assessed, 50% contributes to the overall qualification grade
  • The internal assessment is internally assessed and externally quality assured
  • Units 1, 2, 3, and 5 of the qualification are subject to external assessment
  • The external assessment is externally set and externally marked. It comprises an 18 hour practical test (this includes five hours of supervised preparation time)
  • This qualification includes synoptic assessment. Synoptic assessment is an important part of a high-quality vocational qualification because it shows that learners have achieved a holistic understanding of the sector, and that they can make effective connections between different aspects they have studied. It enables learners to show they can transfer knowledge and skills learned in one context to resolve problems raised in another.

To support the development of a synoptic approach, the qualification encourages learners to make links between elements of the course, and to demonstrate how they have integrated and applied their increasing knowledge and skills from the beginning.

As learners progress through the course, they use and build on knowledge and skills learnt in previous units. Internal assessment tasks will test the learner’s ability to respond to a real life situation they may face when they are in employment.

The external assessments are also synoptic in nature, as they require learners to apply and integrate their knowledge and skills from across the whole qualification in a vocationally relevant context.

  • Full evidence of learners’ accumulated knowledge, skills, and understanding, and of their ability to ‘think like an artist or designer’ will be evidenced when the learner successfully achieves the qualification.

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Business and Enterprise

  • All work done towards the qualification is internally assessed, and 50% contributes to the overall qualification grade
  • The internal assessment is internally assessed and externally quality assured
  • Units 1 and 5 of the qualification are subject to external assessment
  • The external assessment is externally set and externally marked, and comprises a two hour question paper (plus pre-release material)
  • This qualification includes synoptic assessment. Synoptic assessment is an important part of a high-quality vocational qualification because it shows that learners have achieved a holistic understanding of the sectors and they can make effective connections between different aspects they have studied. It enables learners to show they can transfer knowledge and skills learned in one context to resolve problems raised in another.

To support the development of a synoptic approach, the qualification encourages learners to make links between elements of the course, and to demonstrate how they have integrated and applied their increasing knowledge and skills from the beginning.

As learners progress through the course, they use and build on knowledge and skills learnt in previous units. Internal assessment tasks will test the learners’ ability to respond to a real life situation they may face when they are in employment.

Synoptic assessment is embedded in units 6 and 7 which require the learners to apply their knowledge and skills gained from units 1 to 5.

The external assessment is also synoptic in nature, as it requires learners to apply and integrate their knowledge and skills from across the whole qualification in a vocationally relevant context.

Full evidence of learners’ accumulated knowledge, skills, and understanding, and of their ability to ‘think like an entrepreneur/business manager’ will be evidenced when the learner successfully achieves the qualification.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade
  • NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Music Technology

  • The internal assessment contributes 50% of the overall qualification grade
  • The written exam contributes 25% of the overall qualification grade
  • The practical exam contributes 25% of the overall qualification grade
  • NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Art and Design

  • The internal assessment contributes 50% of the overall qualification grade
  • The external assessment – practical test contributes 50% of the overall qualification grade.
  • NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Business and Enterprise

  • The internal assessment contributes 50% of the overall qualification grade
  • The external assessment – question paper contributes 50% of the overall qualification grade
Resit arrangements

Reformed qualifications are only allowed one resit opportunity. The resit must be a new task or assignment, different to the original assessment.

Guided / notional learning hours
Music Technology – 360 GLH plus a ten hour practical exam and a two hour written exam (totalling 372 GLH): 360 hours
Art and Design – 360 GLH plus an 18 hour external assessment – practical test (totalling 378 GLH): 360 hours
Business and Enterprise – 360 GLH plus a two hour question paper (totalling 362 GLH: 360 hours
Guided / notional learning hours notes

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Music Technology

610 Total qualification time (TQT)

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Art and Design

540 TQT

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Business and Enterprise

540 TQT

UCAS Tariff points

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Music Technology

Grade Points
D* 56
D 48
M 32
P 16

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Art and Design

Grade Points
D* 56
D 48
M 32
P 16

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Business and Enterprise

Grade Points
D* 56
D 48
M 32
P 16
Key issues for UK HE admissions

Applied General qualifications are rigorous advanced (Level 3) qualifications, mainly taken by 16-19 year old students who want to develop transferable knowledge and skills.

They are designed to support progression to a range of higher education courses.

Applied General qualifications differ in size, some will meet the entry requirements for higher education in their own right, whereas some will be offered in conjunction with other Level 3 qualifications, for instance, A levels.

The exact curriculum studied may depend on the choice of optional units taken, however, reformed qualifications require a specified core of at least 60%.

All Applied General qualifications have the endorsement of at least three higher education providers.

Applicants holding reformed Applied General qualifications will have had experience of external and synoptic assessment.

Timing of assessments and results

Internal assessment

Internal assessment grades can be submitted on a rolling process.

Grades are confirmed following quality assurance from NCFE.

External assessment  NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Music Technology

Written exam – there are two set dates during each year. Please refer to the assessment windows document on the NCFE website for exact dates: www.ncfe.org.uk/schools/v-certs/assessment-windows/

Practical exam – there are two assessment windows in each academic year. Please refer to the assessment windows document on the NCFE website for specific dates: www.ncfe.org.uk/schools/v-certs/assessment-windows/

External assessment  NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Art and Design

Practical test – there are two assessment windows in each academic year. Please refer to the assessment windows document on the NCFE website for specific dates: www.ncfe.org.uk/schools/v-certs/assessment-windows/

External assessment - NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Business and Enterprise

Question paper – there are two set dates in each academic year. Please refer to the assessment windows document on the NCFE website for specific dates: www.ncfe.org.uk/schools/v-certs/assessment-windows/

Qualification date
Starting from 01 Sep 2016 (NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Music Technology)
Starting from 01 Sep 2017 (NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Art and Design)
Starting from 01 Sep 2017 (NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Business and Enterprise)
Qualification dates notes

This qualification is current.

Certification information

The results of many UK qualifications are reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL)

  • A levels and results from larger awarding bodies are reported automatically
  • IB results are only reported with the candidate’s permission
  • Some results are not reported through ABL, this does not reflect the validity of the qualification.

View the results available through ABL.

Where results are not available through ABL, HEPs will need to ask applicants to provide their own evidence of achievement.

Results are made available to NCFE centres throughout the year in line with the results release dates.

Certification of these qualifications is reported on the basis of the number of certificates achieved over a 12 month period. Data is provided to Ofqual and DfE.

Progression information

These qualifications offer progression to a range of higher education courses.

They may need to be offered in conjunction with other qualifications, such as A levels.

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Music Technology

This qualification fulfils entry requirements for a range of higher education courses, either by meeting entry requirements in its own right, or being accepted alongside and adding value to other qualifications at the same level.

Degree courses could include:

  • music technology
  • live sound production
  • music production
  • creative music production
  • creative music technology
  • music technology and audio systems
  • music technology and popular music

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Art and Design

This qualification fulfils entry requirements for a range of higher education courses, either by meeting entry requirements in its own right, or, being accepted alongside and adding value to other qualifications at the same level.

Degree courses could include:

  • art and design
  • graphic design
  • advertising and branding
  • architecture
  • art history
  • fne art
  • fashion and textiles
  • illustration
  • ceramic design
  • 3D design
  • film and visual culture
  • photography
  • animation

It may also be useful to those studying qualifications in the following sectors:

  • art and/or design
  • architecture
  • photography
  • moving image production

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Business and Enterprise

This qualification fulfils entry requirements for a range of higher education courses, either by meeting entry requirements in its own right, or being accepted alongside and adding value to other qualifications at the same level.

Degree courses could include:

  • management studies
  • business studies
  • marketing
  • accounting/finance
  • HR
  • economics
  • politics
Further information

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Music Technology

www.ncfe.org.uk/qualification-search/ncfe-level-3-applied-general-certificate-in-music-technology-3666

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Art and Design

www.ncfe.org.uk/qualification-search/ncfe-level-3-applied-general-certificate-in-art-and-design-4548

NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Business and Enterprise

www.ncfe.org.uk/qualification-search/ncfe-level-3-applied-general-certi…