An introduction to T Levels

teenage girl on construction site placement T Level with employer
An introduction to T Levels

T Levels, or Technical Level Qualifications, are a new government backed qualification introduced as of September 2020 and will be equivalent to 3 A Levels. These 2-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for working life.

T Levels will offer students a mixture of classroom learning with an ‘on-the-job’ placement equating to 315 hours (approximately 45 days or 20% of the course time). They will provide the knowledge, skills and experience needed for students to get ahead in their chosen industries or go on to further study or a higher apprenticeship. T-Levels will offer the chance to earn between 72 and 168 UCAS points.

T Levels are a level 3 qualification and provide an alternative to A levels, apprenticeships, IB, BTEC and other courses aimed at 16-19 year olds.

Levels of qualifications, educational routes, levels 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 T Levels A levels
Qualification levels

What subject choices are there?

Initially, only three industry areas will be available to study (construction, education and digital production) but an additional seven industry areas will be added from 2021 and further expansion will take place through 2023. T Levels are currently only available in England and differ from apprenticeships because the proportion of study time and working time is reversed.

Teenage girl in education childcare T Level placement with employer

How does it work?

T Level courses will consist of the following compulsory components:

  • an approved technical qualification specific to the student's chosen industry area;

  • an industry placement in their chosen industry area (approximately 45 days); and

  • a minimum standard (level 2 - see graph above) in maths and English if they have not already achieved them prior to starting the T Level.

Where can my child take them?

The UK government has published a list of the providers who'll be offering T Levels in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

How will my child be graded?

Your child will need to pass all the elements of their T Level to receive a nationally recognised certificate displaying their overall grade and a breakdown of what they have achieved on the course.

The T Level certificate will display:

  • an overall grade for the T level (pass, merit, distinction, distinction*);

  • a grade for each occupational specialism (pass, merit or distinction);

  • a grade for the core component (A*-E);

  • grades / details showing that the minimum requirements for maths and English have been met (level 2 minimum); and

  • confirmation that the industry placement has been completed to a minimum standard

If your child does not pass all elements of their T Level, a T Level statement of achievement outlining the elements that have been completed will be provided instead.

Boy at desk T Level digital media study construction school learning

Can my child apply to university after completing their T Level?

T Levels have been designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills and experience needed to progress onto a range of options including work, higher education or apprenticeship. UCAS tariff points have been allocated to T Levels for those wanting to get into higher education once they are finished.

UCAS Tariff points T Level grade ( A level equivalent)

168 - Distinction* (equivalent to A*A*A* at A level)

144 - Distinction (equivalent to AAA at A level)

120 - Merit (equivalent to BBB at A level)

96 - Pass - C or above on the core (equivalent to CCC at A level)

72 - Pass - D or E grade on the core (equivalent to DDD at A level)

The Parents' Guide to Post 16 Options (full edition)

For more information on how you can support your child in making the right choices after their GCSEs, you may be interested in reading The Parents’ Guide to Post 16 options (full edition).

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