Level 5 and Level 6 Major Awards are made up of a number of Minor Awards known as components. Different combinations of components lead to different Major Awards.

Each component has a credit value, typically between 15 and 30.  A Major Award needs 120 credits, made up by combining components.  For example:  8 components of 15 credits each = 120 credits.

  • Progression requires a full Level 5 or Level 6 Major Award, with at least 120 credits. In some instances, progression is on the basis of specific Level 5 or 6 Major Awards.
  • Components (Minor Awards), or achievement of less than 120 credits, will not suffice for progression under the HELS.
  • The applicant is responsible for ensuring that their college/provider applies to QQI for Major Award status on their behalf, prior to application to the CAO.

Applicants MUST check both the individual Higher Education institution and the CAO websites to ensure they meet any special or essential requirements specified such as:

  • A specific Major Award.
  • A specific grade in specific components.
  • Additional Award requirements such as mathematics.
  • That all credits used for scoring purposes are achieved in one ‘single sitting’

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