Engineering employers have welcomed the news that the vocational diplomas will be valued at three-and-a half A-levels by universities.
Roll-out of the diplomas starts next year, with engineering one of five initial subjects available, as the government seeks to boost numbers entering these careers.
Ucas, the application processing body for higher education, has announced it would award 420 points to students attaining the top grade in all parts of a diploma. An A-level is worth 120 points, and an AS is valued at 60.
Martin Temple, director-general at manufacturers’ body the EEF, said: “Industry will applaud this announcement as a welcome recognition by the universities that the new diplomas will have sufficient prestige.
“This is one more step on the road towards bridging the divide between academic and vocational routes into higher education.”
Other subjects gaining diplomas next year are construction and the built environment information technology creative and media and society, health and development.
Anthony McClaran, Ucas chief executive, said: “The recognition of the diploma within the Ucas tariff places the new qualification firmly within the spectrum of routes for entry to higher education.
“Decisions on individual applicants remain, as always, a matter for the higher education institutions themselves, and it is encouraging that many are beginning to signal an acceptance in principle of the diplomas.”