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The Cambridge Delta: frequently asked questions


If your question concerns the External Assessment for Module Two, there is separate guidance on this site (new tab).


What level is Delta?

In the UK, the office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) has determined that Delta is a Level 7 qualification.  It is at the same level, therefore, as a Master's degree.


Can a Delta be combined with a Master's course?

Yes, some institutions do this and some will accept Delta credits towards MA modules.


Do I have to follow a Delta course?

You only have to take a recognised course at an authorised centre for Module Two (which has a combination of internal and external assessment).
For Modules One and Three, there is no requirement to take a course because both Modules are externally assessed by Cambridge-appointed markers.
There is a preparation course and lots of revision materials for Delta Module One on this site as well as advice concerning how to submit Module Three.  Links are from the Delta Index.

There is also a guide devoted to considerations of whether, how and where to take Delta.  Click here to open it in a new tab.


Are there any online courses?

This site contains a free online course for Module One (we know of no others) and there are organisations which offer paid-for online preparation.  Go to the Cambridge website to find a face-to-face or distance, online course.
The guide for those considering Delta (linked above) explains some of the advantages and disadvantages of doing an on-line or distance-learning course.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, ALL Delta centres may now offer fully online courses for all three modules of the Delta scheme.  If you go to the link above, and search for a Distance Delta centre (via the United Kingdom) you will only be offered the three established online centres.
This is, of course, nonsense now because many other centres, previously offering only face-to-face courses, are now offering a range of online-only options.
The online-only option is currently a temporary arrangement but serious consideration is being given to making it permanent (as is now the case, incidentally, for CELTA courses).


How do I enter independently?

You need to find a Cambridge open centre that is happy to handle your entry.  You pay them the fee (plus any local administration fee they may charge) and they transfer that and your entry details to Cambridge.  All entries for Cambridge examinations must be made online by authorised centres.  You cannot enter yourself.


Do I have to take the Modules in a particular order?

You can take the Modules in any order you like.
Most centres sensibly recommend, however, that Module One should precede Module Two because many of the concepts and theoretical ideas which are assessed in Module One are built on and extended in Module Two.
Module Three, too, especially the ELT Specialism option, relies to a substantial extent on candidates' ability to apply theoretical considerations to practical issues and you will be at a disadvantage if you try to do Module Three without an adequate understanding of the content of Module One.
That does not apply to the Management Option for Module Three which does not rely on your knowledge of the rest of the Delta syllabus.


What qualifications do I need to enter Delta?

There are no explicit entry requirements, although some centres may impose their own.
Centres which impose entry requirements usually require an initial teaching qualification (such as CELTA), a certain amount of background teaching experience (often around 1200 hours or a year's full-time teaching) and some may require a first degree.
Some centres may also impose English language proficiency requirements, especially concerning the ability to write clearly in appropriate academic style.  The usual minimum language qualification is between or above levels C1 and C2 of the Common European Framework.


Who can I trust for advice about Delta and how do I choose where to take a course?

Regrettably, Delta has become much like any other commodity.  You get, if you are careful and fortunate, what you pay for.  There are many dedicated, well-informed and able tutors who will work hard to help you succeed and a few of the other sort, too.  Most organisations who offer Delta courses are doing it to make a profit.  If you appreciate that, you can approach the choices with a suitably sceptical attitude.

  1. Do not trust a centre which only offers Module One and Three.  They know, and so do you now, that you don't need to do a course at all for these modules and there is no oversight from Cambridge regarding the tutors or the content of courses ostensibly preparing for Modules One or Three.  It is, however, a good way for some organisations to make a few pennies (yours, in this case).
  2. A centre that can't also offer preparation for Module Two may not have properly qualified tutors (that's why it isn't accredited to run a course for Module Two).
    This is not to say that there aren't good courses out there for Modules One and Three, just that there are more of the other sort.  Tread carefully if you tread at all.
  3. Delta is a Master's degree level qualification.  You will be wise to check that the tutors a centre employs are up to the demands of teaching at that level.  Be aware that Cambridge do not have minimum qualifications for tutors and some are more able and more qualified than others.
  4. Be deeply sceptical of any centre that won't give you specific details about their pass rates.  Pass rates may not be a precise guide to quality but it's the best measure you have.
    Low pass rates may mean
    1. that a centre is so desperate to recruit people (and take their money) that they are taking people on to a course who have no realistic chance of passing or
    2. that the centre has poor, ill-informed tutors who are not giving people proper advice and not planning a course in a way that allows you the opportunity to build on and develop your knowledge and skills or
    3. both.
  5. Never trust a centre that does not interview properly or give you a pre-interview task to complete that really tests you.  If they can't also present you with a proper contract setting out the centre's and your responsibilities, walk away.
  6. Delta courses are expensive and you need to buy the best quality you can get.  The cheaper a course is, the less likely the centre will be able (or willing) to invest in high quality tutors and decent reference resources and so on.  You are not buying a cheese sandwich.


How often are the Modules offered?

All three Modules can be entered in June and December every year.
For Module Two only, there is an additional opportunity in October each year.


What flexibility is allowed concerning the word counts?

If your submission for Module Three exceeds the maximum word count (4500 words) it will be penalised.  If it exceeds 4600 words, it will not be marked at all.
Centres running courses for Module Two usually take the same view and external assessors always do.  Background Essays for each assignment are limited to between 2000 and 2500 words and there are also limits for the Professional Development Assignment.


What's the pass rate?

For Module One, around 70%.
For Module Two, around 80%.
For Module Three, around 80%.
This is quite variable from centre to centre.  See above concerning who you should trust with your money.


When are results issued?

Approximately two months after the examination or submission dates.
Around six weeks later, the actual certificates will be sent.
All results and certificates are sent to the centre through which you entered.  They will not come directly to you.


What happens if I don't pass?

For Module One:
You can re-enter the examination as often as you like.
For Module Two:
There is a referral process and this means that you can re-try on two occasions.
You must re-take within a one-year period following the issue of results.
For example, if you are referred in June, you can try again in any two of the October and December sessions in the same year, and/or the June session in the following year.  If you are referred in December, you can try again in any two of the June, October or December sessions of the following year.
If you do not pass on one of these two occasions, you will be awarded a Fail grade and need to re-take a course.
For Module Three:
You can resubmit an amended assignment once only.  You must do so within one year of the original submission.
For example, if you are referred in June you can resubmit in December or the following June.  If you are referred in December, you can resubmit in June or December next year.
If the resubmission still doesn't pass or you miss the deadline, you need to start again and submit a new assignment.


What's the difference between Fail and Referral?

A referral may be granted for Modules Two and Three if you have not reached the pass standard.
It means your work on the course or in preparing your assignment has not been wasted.  You can, for Module Two, try the external assessment twice more and for Module Three, you can re-submit an amended assignment once.

A Fail grade is awarded:


Can special arrangements be made and consideration of circumstances given?

Yes, but you need to tell the centre well in advance so that arrangements, e.g., for separate accommodation, extra time and so on, can be made.
If something unexpected occurred before or during an examination or assessment, this can also be taken into consideration but Cambridge must be informed within 10 days.


Can I appeal if I am not happy with the fairness of assessment or the accuracy of the result?

You must, however, go through the centre to do this.
You can request a detailed report for Modules Two and Three and, once that is done, also ask for a re-mark.


When can I call myself Delta qualified?

You will get a certificate for each Module you successfully pass stating the grade.
Once you have passed all three Modules, you can request (via your centre) a combined Delta certificate and then, only then, can you call yourself Delta qualified.


Is it Delta or DELTA?

When the modular scheme was first introduced, it replaced the older scheme in which the A of DELTA stood for Adults.  As reference to the teaching of adults only was removed from the scheme, the decision was made to call the scheme Delta rather than DELTA to make it clear that it was not an acronym.
Recently, someone in the Cambridge, where the ultimate overseers of the scheme work, has decided to re-name the qualification as DELTA.  This is nonsense, of course, because it implies that the term is an acronym when it isn't.
On this site, we'll continue to use the term Delta because we know how to follow the conventions of acronyms and initialisms.

It really doesn't matter that much.

If you want to check your knowledge of the Delta scheme, try this short test.