6 Qualification Frameworks and Levels in the UK and in Europe
Our discussion and the examples so far in this session have focused on characteristics outlined by the QAA in the UK Quality Code for Higher Education. Table 1 shows how the various qualification frameworks and levels relate to each other in Europe, the UK and its constituent nations, and in the Republic of Ireland. Table 2 provides further context with reference to the European Qualifications Framework.
|Higher Education Qualification||EQF||FHEQ||FQHEIS||QCF||CQFW||SCQF||NFQIE|
|Bachelor’s degree with Honours||6||6||10||6||6||10||8*|
|Ordinary Bachelor’s degrees||6||6||9||6||6||9||7|
FootnotesAbbreviations: EQF: European Qualifications Framework; FHEQ: Framework for Higher Education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; FQHEIS: Framework for Qualifications and Higher Education in Scotland; QCF: Qualifications and Credit Framework for England and Northern Ireland; CQFW: Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales; SCQF: Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework; NFQ IE: National Framework of Qualifications for the Republic of Ireland. (*) includes Irish Higher Diploma.
|Level||Knowledge (Theoretical and Factual)||Skills (Cognitive* and Practical**)||Competence (Responsibility and Autonomy)|
|7||Highly specialised knowledge, some of which is at the forefront of knowledge in a field of work or study, as the basis for original thinking and/or research. Critical awareness of knowledge issues in a field and at the interface between different fields.||Specialised problem-solving skills required in research and/or innovation in order to develop new knowledge and procedures and to integrate knowledge from different fields.||Manage and transform work or study contexts that are complex, unpredictable and require new strategic approaches; take responsibility for contributing to professional knowledge and practice and/or for reviewing the strategic performance of teams.|
|6||Advanced knowledge of a field of work or study, involving a critical understanding of theories and principles.||Advanced skills, demonstrating mastery and innovation, required to solve complex and unpredictable problems in a specialised field of work or study.||Manage complex technical or professional activities or projects, taking responsibility for decision-making in unpredictable work or study contexts; take responsibility for managing professional development or individuals and groups.|